Erika Armstrong is asenior graduating in December with a Graphic Design BFA. She is currently in the process of preparing for her BFA thesis project.
When I first discovered that the theme was “democracy,” I wasn’t sure what direction to take; however, I saw this as the perfect opportunity to become more educated on the foundations for democracy and how it functions in the United States. The more I researched, the more I wanted to share all of the information I had learned. My first iterations of this poster took more of an infographic approach, with a lot of small imagery and facts.
I stepped back from these iterations and refocused my idea. What did I want to communicate in the quarter of a second that someone might glance at my poster as they walk by? I decided I wanted to share that “democracy was intended to be by the people and for the people.” I It’s no perfect system; that’s easy to see if you look around long enough, but the heart remains. It’s not only meant to be by ALL people, but for ALL people. This notion inspired the usage of different languages to emphasize America’s diversity. I also decided to use languages that came from countries whose governmental systems are categorized as democracies.
The American flag imagery came along later in the process. It was iconic enough that people would recognize it as they walked by, but as the designer, I had the opportunity to reinvent what the viewer saw in the American flag.
One of the biggest challenges I had to overcome in my design process was avoiding over-communication. Poster design has to be simple and communicate quickly, but at the same time, it must be detailed and engaging. From a technical standpoint, the design challenge was setting all of the type to look nice and neat. Hours were spent kerning and adjusting the alignment of everything, but it was well worth it!
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to create for Themester. My favorite aspect of this poster is how bold the messaging is and how each of the components come together to revitalize the imagery of the American flag.