I thought this project might be more unnatural than it was. I was surprised at how much more visually compartmentalized the world became when I started looking at everything from a design standpoint. Though I did find a number of posters around Fredericksburg that certainly demonstrated various elements of visual design, I found that many of the very best ones were right in my own house.
This first one is just like a poster I used to own for the film/novel Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, and instantly popped in my head when looking for a piece that demonstrated minimalism. It features a simple, clean color palate, simple, straight lines, and a general absence of visual clutter. It looks similar to the pictogram movie posters example on the website, though obviously containing much more color. The text, too, particularly its heavy emphasis, could also make this picture a demonstration of unique typography. Naturally, the all-caps setting heavily emphasizes and demands attention away from the otherwise sparse visual backdrop.
This next one has a ton of stuff going on, but I chose it particularly for how it uses visual rhythm to simulate a swirling motion effect at the image’s base. This effect is largely induced by the cylindrical patterns “created” by the base vortex. The image largely mirrors itself until this point in a fine example of visual symmetry. The stones falling off of the river into the vortex do so in a mirrored, round shape, giving them a three-dimensional, toilet bowl-like effect.
This is a poster my roommate keeps in his room for reasons beyond my comprehension, but it is undeniably an interesting example of visual metaphors, symbols, and proportion, as with all of Dali’s work. Yes, this one is called “The Great Masturbator,” and it is indeed full of sexual, phallic imagery. There are numerous symbols of psychedelic, abstract faces, noses, mouths, phalluses, legs, eyes, lamps, phalluses, and more phalluses. If you look closely, you can also see more phalluses. It’s the sort of work that I can only read at face value, if such a thing even exists for this kind of picture. What I find more interesting than Dali’s symbolic infatuation with self-fondling is his bizzare proportional scaling of his visual elements. There are three large, primary elements that push out from the image in the sideways head, the female bust, and the male waist-down. Throughout the image, however, are multiple human figures, creatures, and web-like designs that are on an entirely different plane in terms of size.
This last one, another Fear and Loathing reference, is a poster in my room that immediately lit up to me as a perfect example of interesting color use. Anytime dashes of color are thrown into an otherwise black and white image, it creates an interesting, attention-grabbing visual dynamic. Here, only the flowers on Dr. Gonzo’s Hawaiian shirt and the rims of his glasses are splashed with color. They’re bright, bold primary colors that add a great deal of contrast and life to the rest of the image. This poster is equally in an example of unique typography as well, using the classic, splattered ink look from the cover of Hunter S. Thompson’s original novel. The combination of these elements creates an inky, messy visual appearance on top of a clean, white background; almost as if a debaucherous, hand-drawn cartoon character was on the loose and making a mess.