Graphic Design – Hierarchy of Information


Hierarchy of information is all about the order of importance of information. Whether you are making a poster, a flyer, a business card, or any printed material, you will have certain information that needs to be included. Some information will be more important than other information. For example if you are advertising a band gig, you wouldn’t make the date and entry fee the largest piece of text. You would give the name of the band the most space as it is the identifying title that people will recognise. This exercise will look at how informative text can be effectively set out on a poster. The purpose of a poster is to convey information. This can be done either using text, imagery, or most commonly a combination of the two. Weather a poster is intended to advertise an art exhibition or to address a political topic, it must always communicate the message in a direct and eye catching manner in order to be a successful design. Then you can begin breaking down the text into an arrangement that catches the eye but also offers up all of the information in a clear, simple way. In this example you can see which information works where. The title is obviously the first part, and the information of when where and how is further down the hierarchy. Look at these examples. Think about how the text has been arranged so that the main title is clear and eye-catching, but the other information has also been included and arranged in a way that works with the overall visual design. If you have a look in your notes you’ll see an analysis of which design techniques have been used to organize the text in order of importance. The brief for this exercise I to design and A3 poster for an exhibition you are planning (or for one that you dream of having). This exercise can be completed using collage, drawing and painting techniques. But if you wish to you may use a computer and graphic design software. For this exercise you will need: Use whatever you feel comfortable with. Begin by brainstorming your dream exhibition. What work will you exhibit? Where will you exhibit it? Maybe it is a crazy project you dream of doing where you fill office blocks with foam. Let your imagination go. What visual elements do you want to include? Will it be an image of your artwork? Remember that people like to have a taste of what they are coming to see. What information is important to include? Here are some obvious ones: What is the title of your exhibition? You will need your name on the poster. Where is the exhibition? When is the exhibition? Don’t forget opening times and opening night. Is there an entry fee? Do you have any sponsors? Now that you have this information you need to list it in the order or hierarchy of importance. The most important piece of information might be your name, or it might be the title of the exhibition. It is up to you to have a play with what details are most important. Think about what will grab attention, and what details can be used more subtly. Think about how the image and the text work together compositionally. Sometimes an image looks great, but doesn’t go well with text. You may also think about using a close-up or a section of an artwork. You could also use several images. Consider the difference between titles and detailed information. Some fonts work well large, but are too difficult to read when shrunk down small. Hi I’m Vicky, I’m a student at TLC, and I did this poster here for a performance I did on the weekend. I began making this picture quite a while ago. I wanted the image to be quite centred because it was quite a symmetrical image. I kept the wording centred, and then halved the wording here to keep on two sides. One problem that I came across was that this sunflower was coming quite close to the text. So I quickly just made it shorter to create the space for the writing (so nothing interfered with it). Hi my name is Kate Logan, and I have made a poster for a fashion show called ‘The Stray Cat Strut’. When I set out making this poster I tried out a few different ideas. The main thing that I wanted to include in it was the border because it made it tie in with the opportunity for animals op-shop logo. I wanted to do some animals in it because it is raising money for stray cats so it was appropriate to have cats in it. I went on the internet and I got some pictures of cats off the internet and then I traced them basically and drew little outfits on them and then put them into the composition. So in terms of all the information I had to fit on this, the first thing I did was just break it all down into different stages of importance. The title being the most important and then breaking it down from there. Just writing it down so I could see it quite clearly before I embarked on doing my design made it a lot more simple. I decided that the name of the fashion show was the most important: The Stray Cat Strut. Then the fact that it is a fashion show (just in case anyone was wondering). Then the date and time so that they knew where and when to go, and the address was the next important bit. What was going to be available at the event, and where to get tickets from. And then on the bottom here just that people can buy the clothes on the night, and then a logo from the one of the sponsors.

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