donny nguyen.
donny nguyen.
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another, slightly more serious, foray into design

a little while ago i was asked to design a poster for a 10 year high school reunion. the basic need was to convey the message of fundraising through the fees for the event and use the school colours and/or emblem. i wanted to convey a sense of identity despite it being difficult to visually depict that with a few hundred people who belong to one graduating class of a rather old school. of course, the students collectively comprise the identity of any class and this was the basis for my design.

i’ve become fond of the idea of purely using text in illustration so i thought i would give that a go. my immediate thought was to use a classic fingerprint image integrated with a paw logo the school used at the time. instead of a fingerprints, the image would have pawprints. instead of typical lines for the prints, i would use peoples’ names arranged along the paths where the fingerprint lines would go. to push it a bit further, the fingerprint paths would spell out the school’s intials and the year of the class but hidden among filler lines (i guess you could call them)

the concepted paw came out as follows:

now, the organiser thought all this effort might be lost easily considering that facebook would be the primary group event site and the image would be rather small. i thought about ways to make these ideas more obvious which led to some slight modifications. hopefully you see what i meant with the hiding of the initials and year.

however, with art, i’m usually not a fan of being blatant with everything. that way, i like to think the re-view value is higher as you might find something you didn’t see in the first place. true, this is just a silly poster for typical event but i guess it’s just the way i try to work, ha ha. 

the organiser wasn’t overly convinced though so i thought i would try another approach. grad photos were the other way to identify people and the organiser actually wanted to try to incorporate a group photo into the poster. i had some notions about trying to use images that are reminiscent of the late 90s. cd players. giant cell phones. cassettes and walkmen! an idea that never quite came to fruition was doing a hand-drawn poster as if it was done by a student for a semi-formal or something. 
polaroids were the only thing that would work with the whole identity theme and the group/grad photos so i took every grad’s photo and made it look like a polaroid. i spliced up the desired photo so that it spanned several polaroids as well. finally, the group photo ended up being arranged to form the palm of the paw. each digit was a mishmash of the different grad photos.

the group organising the event ended up liking the original text based idea so i just needed to add the title and slogan. i thought about a couple of ways to do this too.

claw marks!

i preferred the claw mark idea but the consensus was to go with this, voila:

in retrospect, the claw marks were a better idea but the number of words in each line kind of prevented that from looking better than the more classic arrangement. i’ve gotten some positive feedback on this which definitely helps to tell me that my choices helped more than they hindered. of course, feel free to blast me now; the bad is just as welcome as the good. just try and be nice about it please, lol. 

[+] comments

Have you seen this?

no but i’ll check it out.