When I saw the above (left) advert in the student newspaper I was immediately struck by how appalling it was. I knew I had to redesign it (right).
On an informational level, the date of the performance, something a prospective audience member would probably like to know, has been reduced to a subscript. And on the design front, well… there are many, many things wrong. Look at the jaunty angle both the “The View” and the competition info have been placed. It adds a bit of interest but the different angles the two pieces of text have been placed at, falling into weasal words, feels wrong. I can almost believe that the designer may have had some training, as the circle provides some focal point to the piece, but that idea is destroyed as soon as you look at how poorly it intersects the text.
Over Christmas I read Grid Systems by Kimberly Elam (which I highly recommend) and this seemed like a good small project to try using the ideas from the book. I wanted to limit myself to the copy and colours used in the original advert. I ended up making two deviations: I used white to change the importance of a couple of pieces of text, and changed the competition copy for a reason I’ll explain later.
The grid is based on the the width of advert, so that there are three columns across the page. This is less obvious at the angle I’ve placed it at, but still helps maintain a relationship between the two.
I thought that “The View”, and especially “View” was getting lost in the location text, and so I broke one of my rules here to separate it by changing the colour to white, and in the process made it more important by making it brighter than the rest of the page.
The date has been made bigger as one of the important pieces on information.
I lost “You could be there” as it added no information to the page, didn’t really fit into the design, and frankly, is an ugly cliché.
Another change I made was the wording of the competition title. I felt the original copy was too long, and I also wanted to use another trick: I wanted the words “win” and “tickets” both at the end of the line so that they would be, possibly subconsciously, linked. This also works well with the 30° angle, as they lie on a straight line down the page.
I had the most trouble with the circle, as I couldn’t get it to lie on the grid without disappearing off the page, and this would ruin its attractiveness as a perfectly round shape against the rectangles of text. In the end I decided to place it on the original non rotated grid to maintain some uniformity. If there’s one thing I’m unhappy about, it’s this.