by Kerby Rosanes . May 15th, 2013
We usually think of colorful illustrations or beautiful photography when it comes to poster design. However, typography used as a major design element is now a common trend in designing posters today. With a smart choice of colors and typeface, a clean and simple typography poster can be more effective than those packed with photos and illustrations. YTD’s latest featured project is another experiment using typography as a major poster design element combined with animation.
Meet Simi Zeko, a graphic design student from Falmouth University in United Kingdom. His work get noticed just recently after publishing his project online called “The World Between” Animated Posters. This university project involved the creation of a series of animated posters as an introduction shown between events at The World Between (Museum of Circles). The smart choice of combining poster design with animation made this project a “breathe of fresh air” when it comes to designing typography posters.
You The Designer got the chance to talk to Simi Zeko about his work, background notes and the creative process behind this project. Check out the short interview below:
YTD: Hi Simi! How are you and how’s UK?
SIMI: I’m great thanks. I’m just about to finish my second year of studying Graphic Design at Falmouth University. It’s been an amazing experience so far and I’m looking forward to my final year.
YTD: Give us a little background as your work as a Graphic Design student.
SIMI: As a designer I love solving problems and telling stories. I try not to put a limit on what an outcome can be. So far my time as a Graphic Design student as been focused on trying something new with every project. Whether it’s learning how to use new tools or exploring the disciplines of graphic design.
YTD: How did you come up with the idea of combining type with animation?
SIMI: The brief offered the choice of either branding a museum of the circus, or to create a piece of moving image to be shown to audiences between events at the same museum. The outcome I chose had to be typographically focused either way.
I had never done anything related to motion graphics before, so I jumped at the opportunity.
YTD: Can you share with us your creative process? From where did you start?
SIMI: After deciding to pursue a moving image outcome, it became clear that I still needed to do a little branding. The circus museum needed a name and logo. I also needed to identify my audience and how best to communicate to them. After researching the circus’s glory days and the popular circuses of today, I decided that the museum’s audience would be families with young children. I needed to create something that would remind the adults about their childhood circus experiences and paint a picture of wonder for the young generation.
The function of the video developed into something designed to enhance the excitement in the atmosphere, by giving the museum a boastful and inviting typographic introduction. The name ‘The World Between’ came from the concept of a world outside the ordinary where anything could happen, you could always be surprised and amazed. The poster’s copy is also rooted in this world between worlds, inspired by ringmaster dialogue and the words on old circus posters.
With the museum named and an objective in sight, I was ready to start designing my outcome. I wanted something with that classic circus feel, but with a slightly more contemporary visual style. After coming up with a range of ideas for the video I decided to go in the direction of using moving circus posters to tell the museum’s story. As I wrote the copy and the idea developed, the visual elements of the posters became based on showmanship. The circus stage, the makeup and costumes that create the show. The type would be dressed up as if it was about to perform and be animated as if presenting itself with a lively flair. I began sketching lots of different layouts for each poster until I was satisfied with them. I also created a reference sheet to tell me which words should be decorated and how different parts of each poster should be animated.
YTD: How did you select the right typography to use in this particular project?
SIMI: I started by looking at letterforms on old circus posters. Looking for repeated features and opportunities for appropriation. I ended up looking for a typeface that had a strong sense of showmanship. Laudanum offered a great balance of tall condensed letters as well as exciting shapes and serifs. Corki and Nevis were chosen as opposites to give the posters some visual variety.
YTD: What are the tools you used?
SIMI: After roughly designing each poster on paper I took them into Adobe Illustrator for further development. When I was pleased with them I imported the posters into After Effects to animate them. It was fun learning how to use the software.
YTD: Which of them is your most favorite?
SIMI: That’s a tough question. I think I’m going to go with the poster with the list of circus acts, because I spent the most time designing and animating it. As the poster with the most type, it was quite a challenge working on how the list would be set, but it was the most satisfying one to finish.
YTD: Any future plans for the project?
SIMI: No future plans for this project right now. But I’d love to do something similar with moving type again. Maybe ultra colourful animated type for an 80’s sci-fi film, who knows?
Check out more information about Simi Zeko and his awesome projects by visiting his Behance portfolio.
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