Design Studio: Typography (Project 4 – 20th century type)

7 years


This project requires you to design an information panel featuring aspects of type and typography from a particular decade of the 20th century. The panel is to be designed for display at a temporary exhibition at the State Library of Victoria. It is a free public exhibition on typography, type design and related technology of the 20th century, presenting the material chronologically by decade as a combination of full colour large format information panels and objects/artefacts.

My Decade: 


Suggested process:

  1. Investigate the various aspects within the nominated decade. Collect a lot of related information, as quickly as you can, about what was happening in the typographic/design world in that period.
  2. Select the three aspects to work with in consultation with your eLA. Carefully consider the significance and relationship of the components.
  3. Continue researching, image sourcing and referencing. Make sure you record and provide evidence of the source material.
  4. Record your process for your Design Process Document using the Design process document brief (AdditionalResources/Design-process-document-brief.html).
  5. Present a project proposal and work in progress in Week 9.
  6. Thumbnail layout and design sketching and development
  7. Begin execution and present work in progress Week 11 (tile output at scale).
  8. Critique, review and continue to refine and develop design and layout.
  9. Finesse the typographic detailing.
  10. Source suitable printer and check file for accuracy and completeness.
  11. Print A1 information panel, submit print, PDF file and design process documentation.

My Three Aspects:

  1. Typeface: Helvetica
  2. Typographer: Wim Crouwel
  3. Typographic Technology: Phototypesetting with CRT (Cathode Ray Tube)

The content

In week 9, I compiled my content in a content summary that includes my copy and imagery that I intend to use in my poster design. This is included below in an image capture of the PDF.


The content summary is only intended to display the information I indent to use and does not reflect on the actual design of the poster.


Before I begin making drafts of the poster, I want to take a moment and really think about what I want to say, where the focal areas are and what my intention is. It’s easy to loose sight of purpose when you begin creating many design variations and I want to make sure that my true intention is not lost. I want my poster to reflect on the decade of the 1960s by focusing on the designer Wim Crouwel, how Helvetica was significant in this time and how phototypesetting was used. My three sections all interact with each other, by the designer Wim Crouwel advocating Helvetica (and inclusion of the quote) and his production of typefaces for phototypesetting. It must be clear that all sections are united, to inform the audience about this period in time, while still remaining organised. For instance, having all the text together would not work. There must also be a connection to the actual structural design of the period, which will include the organisation of the content on the page (through the grid), the typefaces used and colour incorporated into sections/background/etc.

Draft Posters

poster poster2 poster3 poster4 poster5 poster6 poster7 poster8 poster9 poster10 poster11 poster12 poster13 poster14 poster15 poster16 poster17 poster18 poster19 poster20 poster21 poster22 poster23 poster24

Print and review

I printed my poster using 15 sheets of A4 (and a whole colour ink cartridge, eek). Doing so really enabled me to see that the body text didn’t translate as strongly as I had hoped, and that there wasn’t really the level of engagement that wanted you to read the text. It feels a bit disconnected and I need to enlarge part of the text that draws attention in. The colour (white) of the subheadings seemed like a good choice at first, and on screen. However when viewed from the printed version and at a distance, you can not decipher them correctly. The colour of the Wim Crouwel artwork is also not bold enough.

Included is a photograph of the compiled poster and with notes on adjustments that I want to make and try.

img_2510-2 img_2519-2

Even though I got a new cartilage, I started to run out of ink towards the end of the poster. That washed out part on the right is not intended to be part of the poster.


After viewing my printed version, I began working on improving the sections that I felt needed to be changed, as well as working with the feedback from others.

poster25 poster26 poster27 poster28 poster29 poster30 poster31 poster32 poster33 poster34 poster35 poster36 poster37 poster38 poster39 poster40 poster41 poster42 poster43 poster44 poster46 poster47

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