Project 2 — WT Summer Camp Rocks!

My final poster and mobile iterations for P2. Read on to learn more about the process!

Week 5 (3/2–3/4)

This week, we kicked off Project 2. I had experienced a similar type of project in Communications Design Fundamentals a few years back, but it’s been a while since I’d taken that course, so I was looking forward to diving back into the world of typographic hierarchy.

Exercises 1–4

The first 4 sets revolved around working with individual type characteristics. It was hard to resist the urge to adjust multiple characteristics at a time, but I did appreciate how the exercises forced me to adjust slowly. As I would soon learn, the 4 individual breakdowns would better help me approach the later exercises. Here, I’ve chosen to break down two of my produced outcomes:

Stroke Weights, v2
  1. I had originally only used 1 degree of stroke weight separation (55 to 65), but I learned that when holding all else constant (including font size), it’s important to have 2 degrees of separation to improve visual contrast.
  2. I was encouraged to rethink what the focuses of my poster should be. Originally, I had thought the organization and camp names should be the primary emphases, but I wound up reconsidering this when hearing feedback about my next version…
Horizontal shift, v2
  1. Focus more on the dates of the camps; find a way to keep them high priority alongside the camp names.
  2. Reconsider how large I want my indents to be. It’s okay to make my indent as large as I want (as long as it’s consistent throughout), but it’s important to find a balance between too small (where you can’t visually tell a difference) and too large (where the different text elements begin to look really disjointed).

Exercises 5–7

The next exercises began combining different elements (weight + spacing, etc). It was very liberating to be let out of the single-element constraints, but I still didn’t want to go too off-the-rails with my designs just yet. I’ll show two more examples below, one being mobile view and the other print.

Stroke weight + spacing (v3)
My original interpretation of “scale” (L) and my revised version (R).
  1. Too much scale can muddy info, so don’t create excessive amounts of scale variation on a single page.
  2. Scale, when used correctly, can help guide the viewer’s eye all over the page.

Week 6 (3/9–3/11)

This was the week where, as Vicki put it, “the wheels came off.” It was a lot of fun exploring with color; as someone who has historically been fairly conservative with color choices (I really like monochromatic color schemes), I wanted to find a way to take risks while still achieving the feelings I was trying to convey.

These were the two color palettes I primarily worked with for the initial color exercises.
Left: a bad example of a “kitchy” photo I had originally chosen. Right: a better (but still imperfect) example of a photo I chose the second time around.
I wound up with two versions of my poster (+images) that I liked best going into my individual meeting with Vicki. The one on the left is the tabloid/print view of V1, and the one on the right is the mobile view of V2.
The original image I wound up cropping and using for the iteration on the top right.
  1. The kite photo is interesting, but it doesn’t quite convey the sense of imagination and originality that parents want to see their kids attaining. It’s almost a little too… subdued? Static?
  2. The dates are important, yes, but so are the camp names! With the way I have them right now, the dates stand out way too much. It’s fine to have them in orange as a highlight color, and it’s also fine to have them bigger to emphasize them through scale… but not both! Together, it’s too much. Find a way to tone it down and emphasize the other elements on the page.
  3. My designs are still a little too adherent to a 2-column grid structure. Find a way to break the grid! Play with expanding the scale of the title, or camp names, or something else!
  4. Don’t overemphasize the word “Rocks” in the title; with the way I had it both in all caps and in orange, it almost seems as though “Rocks” is the most important thing on the page. But it’s not—it should read as a statement (“WT Summer Camp Rocks!”), not as a weird ode to rocks.
  5. Think about the way text takes up space on the page if it’s broken into different lines (e.g. the title being one big word per line); make sure line spacing still lends itself to high readability, but try playing around with different scales and ways of breaking up text.

Week 7 (3/16–3/18)

The final week! My iterations had already come so far since exercise 1, but I knew I still had ample changes to make. I started by identifying the new images I wanted to try. Vicki had helped me realize that summer camps should convey a feeling of imaginative exploration, and although my other photos were visually soothing, they didn’t really get people excited about what their child would be able to do at camp. After a good 30 minutes of Google searching (and trying very random keywords like “kid + imagination +cardboard box”), I located a few more images that I wanted to test out:

All three of these images involved a child exploring their full imaginative fantasies with the help of goggles, a cap, and some variation of cardboard boxes or self-defined aircraft.
Left: the image with the 8-bit camp, Center: the image of a child in a box, Right: the image of the child pointing to the sky as an imaginary pilot.
  1. Scaling the name of the camp waaaay up to try and break the grid I had inadvertently confined myself to in past iterations.
  2. Scaling the camp names and dates down so that they wouldn’t conflict with/distract from the main title. I wanted there to be sufficient negative space on the page still.
  3. Toning down the font size of the dates, but keeping the orange color, so that they don’t completely dominate the page.
  4. Adjusting “Rocks!” so that the title reads as a cohesive statement.
  5. Turning the hyphens between the dates into en dashes to better separate the numbers.
My next iterations for the two options I chose to pursue.
To infinity, and beyond!

Final refinements

Left: my restructured version after combining elements from the 8-bit and flying child versions, Right: my final print poster after a few more hours of refinements!

A brief recap of my mobile explorations

My final mobile iteration! (Sorry for poor quality; had to screenshot it because the original JPG was too large. See the final PDF for details!)
  1. If users were looking at a mobile poster, they likely already found their way to the website, so the URL didn’t really need to be up top. So, I moved it to the bottom.
  2. If scrolling on a phone, users will likely want to see the title of the poster first; it’d be confusing to see the title at the bottom once done scrolling.
  3. I placed the Zoom info at the top of the mobile view, once again taking advantage of the nice pocket of negative space between “WT” and “Summer.” I put a thin pale line between the price and other info to separate them.
  4. When scrolling downwards, it’s nice to see the info you want to identify on top so that it shows up first when the page moves; so, I chose to keep camp names on top of the dates for mobile because that way, users would be able to read camp name, date, then instructor, in that order.
  5. I chose to keep one camp name for each line so that as the user scrolled, they saw one new camp name at a time.
  6. I had to make sure I kept a little bit of the child in the original frame so that the user would be compelled to keep scrolling and see the whole image, which influenced how I cropped the image.

Post-Crit Reflections

I was delighted and relieved when during the final crit, Emily and Brett were both really complimentary of my poster’s use of the blue/orange color palette, image choice, hierarchy, and readability. One design choice that was validated was my decision to go with the blue overlay; Brett specifically pointed out how even though I used a really visually engaging image, it wasn’t too glaring on the page because it was “tucked” behind the overlay. That way, the eye still goes to the poster title first before moving over to the young child’s face of delight, at which point it follows his outstretched arm up to the rest of the poster’s information. Emily was really kind when she said that she “would sign her kid up for the summer camp right now!”, a sentiment that made me really proud of all the work that I had put into this project.

It’s crazy to see how far the final version came from Exercise 1!

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