In search of some design criticism... (1 Viewer)

LickTheStar

Sad Flower in the Sand
After a couple years of floating around in retail as a full time job, I've found that... I don't honestly believe that I could handle working in the college environment I envisioned.

In conversations with former professors of mine, as well as one too many cynical Bukowski poems, I don't think the world of academia is where I want to be for 40 years before I'm forced into retirement for fucking some girl 1/2 my age.

So I find myself drifting back toward my other interest left over from college... graphic design. Portland, and Portland State College, have strong ties to publishing and, most excitingly, letterpressing and I really am relishing the idea of doing those sorts of things for a living (or as a supplemental income if it be so).

Given that it has been... oh, 3 or 4 years since my design classes and I'm having a bit of insomnia... I whipped this up over the past few hours and want some opinions. Tear it up, lemme know.

And I'm sure I'm tearing Bill up inside doing this on a computer... but there's no room for a letterpress in my apartment at the moment, so this will have to do.

It is a bit of an unpleasant reminder of the difference between the program and the end result on a monitor... ugh. Well, I'm gonna try to sleep now, so I look forward to responses. Dignified and otherwise.

broadside-design-1.jpg
 

pichon64

Not read nor write
Maybe it's me, but I found the contrast between the font and the background color a little confusing. I like the right alignment. I personally dislike the use of capitals all the way.

Hope this helps, LickTheStar.
 

bospress.net

www.bospress.net
Hi,
I agree. The design of it is really, really nice. The couple things to think about changing are:

1) Not using all caps
2) Pulling the words a little off of the edge. But just a little
3) change of color, maybe.

I love the right justify and the lines. It is a really nice design.

And for the record. If you can find a Kelsey 5x8 for a reasonable price, you can letterpress print in your place. These presses weigh about 50 lbs. They are easily movable. I had one and carried it up from my office to the living room every night and printed while we watched tv. This is the same press as I used to pring Bukowski's as Buddha smiles and Bottle #2.

Best,
Bill
 

hoochmonkey9

Art should be its own hammer.
Moderator
Founding member
lose the all caps, deepen the font colour for more contrast. I like the layout.

so, basically, I'm just saying what's already been said.

what I should've said was listen to whatever Bill says. ;)
 
it looks good but I agree with what Master Bill, King of Printers and Sure Genius said...

he's like yoda.

mostly the green skin, I think...;)
 

mjp

Founding member
I whipped this up over the past few hours and want some opinions. Tear it up, lemme know.
I can't read it at all on my monitor.

But in general, graphic design is a very crowded field. They crank those kids out of college at a shocking rate these days, and I don't see how they can all find work now, let alone while adding thousands of them every year.

If it's in you and you have to do it, you have to do it. But you're going to have to stand out, and as in most industries, an overabundance of prospective workers tends to depress wages. Things to keep in mind. I think a couple of people around here make a living doing design, they will have a better take on it than I do.

If you can find a Kelsey 5x8 for a reasonable price, you can letterpress print in your place. [...] This is the same press as I used to pring Bukowski's as Buddha smiles and Bottle #2.
Make sure your health insurance will cover owning a Kelsey 5x8. I speak from painful personal experience, and I know others here can tell a similar story.
 

Hosh

hoshomccreesh.com
My personal tastes lean towards the use of more than 1 font & more than 1 color, if possible (looks like you used CAPS & small caps?). I think the title & name of the author (especially in this case, where the author is instantly recognizable) must really stand out/pull you in. I also think the name of the press at the bottom is too big. That's what I'd look to change.

What I like are the graphics, I like the negative space on the page. I don't know how easy it would be to get those colors on that color paper with a letterpress...Bill's got better info on that. An inventive design--I especially think the graphics would look pretty sweet letterpressed.

Anyhow--my $.02
 

bospress.net

www.bospress.net
Make sure your health insurance will cover owning a Kelsey 5x8. I speak from painful personal experience, and I know others here can tell a similar story.

True. I was looking for the photos of my wrist after having surgery following my marathon printing of "as Buddha smiles". I cannot find it right now. The photo is nasty. Purple arm after having cysts removed from my wrist.

Yes, you need to switch arms and have a helper. Plus, trying to get a deep impression is tough on the wrist.

Bill
 

LickTheStar

Sad Flower in the Sand
Thank you all for the opinions, links, and general comments about the piece. I'll keep poking at this one and keep on plugging away at this.

I assumed the color would be a bit of a problem. It looked OK on my monitor until I made it into a JPG...

hey, out of curiosity, have you ever been here?

http://www.iprc.org/

if you haven't, go! go!

edit: looks like you just missed 'intro to letterpress' but i'm sure it will be around again soon...

I've heard of it, but haven't had an opportunity to go down and check it out. Plus the classes are a bit out of my financial range while I'm the only one working in my household. Still, it looks like a nice place.
 

vodka

Miss Take
yah, i think if you become a member the classes are a lot cheaper or something??? not sure. just not sure. worth looking into though. cheaper than psu that's for sure... but no financial aid! ;)
 

mjp

Founding member
Remember, graphic design and typography are two different things. We have hundreds of years of research and experience behind what makes a piece of text enjoyable to read. Graphic design - at least for a while there - seemed to be hell bent on discarding all that knowledge and making everything unreadable. Though you see less and less of that these days.

Hosh is right about "negative space" (in printing it's just -- space --) being important. You need margins, and you need some blank space for the words to work.

I always thought the old letterpress instruction manuals on typesetting for beginners were a valuable thing for someone doing type on the computer to read (check eBay). Knowing the basics of type jargon and good page design will really free you up to be creative and effective.
 

LickTheStar

Sad Flower in the Sand
I've found a couple books through my store, but I'll poke around for some older stuff too. Any title suggestions?

I... can't actually uh, DRAW myself, so I'm really hoping to focus on line and text myself. Maybe have my artistic wife do the drawing stuff...

And I appreciate your honesty and straightforwardness mjp. Thank you.
 

mjp

Founding member
I've found a couple books through my store, but I'll poke around for some older stuff too. Any title suggestions?
I don't remember any titles off the top of my head, if I think if them I will add them here. What I'm thinking of are like textbooks from high schools back when they used to teach printing. They are very basic but have a wealth of information on balance and layout, the math (ouch!) involved in it...interesting stuff. There are two or three very common ones. I'd send you my copies, but I sold them with my press a little over a year ago.
 

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