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The poster is a fundamental part of graphic design that has existed since the 1800s. Throughout the years, its purposes and aesthetics have changed, but its format has adapted very little. This thesis project sought to define the traditional format of the poster, and then challenge the definition to expand the audience’s understanding of what a poster is and isn’t. This project’s primary goal was not to create aesthetically unique poster, but to create a poster that redefined the format—which would likely result in the achievement of the former goal as well.
The definition was derived by viewing and understanding what famous poster design looks like physically. The definition: A poster is printed, two-dimensional, and static.
Explorations involved sketching both on paper and physically to see what form this project could take. The ideas specifically sought to challenge the three aspects of a poster previously defined. Instead of printed, could a poster be made of shaving cream? Be sewn on? Be a shadow? Instead of being two-dimensional, could a poster be a chair? A lamp? An umbrella? And lastly, if a poster wasn’t static, how would it move? Could it be rotated? Rolled up like toilet paper? Blown away by a fan? A few key challenges throughout the process involved finding cohesion behind the resolutions to each part of the poster’s definition. Although several individual ideas had valuable outcomes, some ultimately could not work cohesively with solves for other aspects of poster design.
The end result used typographic shadows, dimensional forms, and video format to combat the idea of a poster as a printed, two-dimensional, and static object, respectively. The cohesion between the three is found in how the shadows move across the dimensional forms, creating unique stills at every moment. In the end, this project discusses both the format of the poster as well as the exploration of a space.
Strait, Lynnae, "Poster, Expanded" (2019). Honors Theses. 3171.
Honors Thesis-Open Access