Paula Scher Influence Design

Combining my love for graphics, color, and typography, I knew I shared a similar style to Paula Scher. With her use of multiple typefaces and vibrant colors, I instantly fell in love with her work and knew I wanted to delve into her expertise.

For four decades Paula Scher has been at the forefront of graphic design. Described as the “master conjurer of the instantly familiar,” Scher straddles the line between pop culture and fine art in her work. Iconic, smart, and accessible, her images have entered into the American vernacular.

Scher has been a partner in the New York office of Pentagram since 1991. She began her career as an art director in the 1970s and early 80s, when her eclectic approach to typography became highly influential. In the mid-1990s her landmark identity for The Public Theater fused high and low into a wholly new symbology for cultural institutions, and her recent architectural collaborations have re-imagined the urban landscape as a dynamic environment of dimensional graphic design. Her graphic identities for Citibank and Tiffany & Co. have become case studies for the contemporary regeneration of American brands.

Scher has developed identity and branding systems, promotional materials, environmental graphics, packaging and publication designs for a broad range of clients that includes, among others, Bloomberg, Microsoft, Bausch + Lomb, Coca-Cola, Shake Shack, Perry Ellis, the Museum of Modern Art, the Sundance Institute, the High Line, Jazz at Lincoln Center, the Metropolitan Opera, the New York City Ballet, the New York Philharmonic, the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, the New 42nd Street, the New York Botanical Garden, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Robin Hood foundation, and the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. In 1996 Scher’s widely imitated identity for The Public Theater won the coveted Beacon Award for integrated corporate design strategy. She has served on the board of directors of The Public Theater, and is a frequent design contributor to The New York Times, GQ and other publications. In 2006 she was named to the Public Design Commission of the City of New York.

For my design, I combined the simplicity of the bike illustration with the multiple typefaces and complimentary colors. Scher manipulates her text placement while using multiple angles, shapes, and overlapping. Overall, I feel that my design encompassed a Scher-esque feel with using all of her most common practices.

Influence Design

I chose Alan Fletcher for my graphic designer influence poster. Fletcher is often referred to as one of Britain’s most influential and famous graphic designers post-war. In fact, he was referred to by The Daily Telegraph as “the most highly regarded graphic designer of his generation.” What instantly drew me to Fletcher’s work was his use of color and dynamic line styles. His work often looks like portions of the design were painted. Rather than using clean, straight lines, he uses splotchy textures. His work is noted as “an unfailing source of wit, eloquence and inspiration.”

Fletcher’s use of color, simplicity and texture is what instantly drew me to use his works as a guide for my Little 500 poster. In several of his works, he creates lines by giving them a painted texture, rather than a typical linear structure with clean cut edges. This is what gave me inspiration to create track lines on my poster.

He uses several typefaces in his work, including serif and san serif font typefaces and occasionally a messy, handwriting style font. One of his more notable works is the “Beware of Wet Paint” design which is illustrated as if it were written with wet paint.

The design of the Little 500 poster title was inspired by his “Wallpaper” illustration. In this graphic, he uses different font sizes, textures, and background and foreground colors. It’s almost as if each individual letter was cut out from a pre-existing print publication and glued together to create a word or phrase like in an old murder mystery movie. In my opinion, it’s a piece of work that exempts a creative way to make a simple headline or title fun and energetic. What was most difficult about emulating this style was adding the correct texture source. I created the title using the Photoshop paper bag in class activity and tried to add grain textures behind the letters to make them more prominent.

After doing extended research on Fletcher, I think I would change my piece entirely. Fletcher used an off-white background in several pieces of his work and used illustrations and fonts to add color. In my piece, I did quite the opposite. I placed a red background on the whole poster and created my illustrations using more white, other than the texture squares behind the Little 500 title.

Overall, I see why Fletcher was such an inspiration of eloquence and wit in his work and I look forward to using him as an inspiration in the future.

Leonetto Cappiello Poster Project

Little 500 Poster

Please click to see a full-sized image of my poster project!

I decided to base my poster project off of poster designer Leonetto Cappiello. I really had no knowledge of Cappiello prior to the poster assignment, but as I began looking for influences for my project, Cappiellos work instantly jumped out to me. His artistic abilities are unparalleled, and his use of bright, vivid colors against dark backgrounds instantly beckons the viewer’s attention. Everything about his posters are vibrant, bringing life to whatever his message may be. I was also partially drawn to Cappiello’s work because his emphasis on advertising; I thoroughly enjoyed the duality of Cappiello’s art with its purpose of advertising.

Cappiello was born in 1875 in Livorno, a small port town on the coast of Tuscany, Italy. Suprisingly, Cappiello never received any formal training in art. He started his career drawing caricatures in journals such as Le Rire, Le Cri de Paris, Le Sourire, L’Assiette au Beurre, La Baionnette and Femina. His first exhibition was a group of paintings published in 1892 at the municipal museum in Florence. His first album of caricatures titled “Lanterna Magica” was made in 1986 and were published in Le Rire in 1898. In 1902, he published a 24-page book of caricatures titled “Gens du Monde” (people of high society) in the magazine L’Assiette au Beurre. He published another 38-page book the following year titled “Le Theatre de Cappiello” (the theater of Cappiello) for a special issue of Le Theatre magazine.

But Cappiello soon moved away from caricatures as he began to gain fame during the poster boom period in the early 20th century. In 1900, Cappiello began to work with printer Pierre Vercasson, who in this period acted as an agent for artists. Vercasson’s goal was to bring color to the streets of Paris, and Cappiello’s vibrant work offered an opportunity to do so. Vercasson found the clients and briefed Cappiello on the product, then Cappiello developed the sketches.

After the First World War, Cappiello signed an exclusive contract with Devambez, a Paris publishing company. It was with this company that Cappiello was able to establish widespread success. Because the company did not have its own print house, it would instead send Cappiello’s work to be printed at large printers. The agency also was able to find clients from across Europe, which spread Cappiello’s work beyond the streets of Paris. He remained with the agency until 1936.

Cappiello died in Cannes in 1942, but his legacy continues to live on today. Some of his paintings can be found on display at the Museo Civico Giovanni Fattori in Livorno, and his posters are still praised and desired for art and advertising aficionados. Cappiello was the first designer of his time to publish work that had bold and bright characters jumping out of black backgrounds, making is work extremely innovative and unique for the time period. I noticed this within Cappiello’s work, and immediately knew I needed to use a black background for my poster. I also recognized that whatever image I chose to use in the center (in the case of my final draft, a bike) had to be vibrant and attention-grabbing.

Cappiello’s work tends to jump off the page and often has a strewn, flowing quality to it. I knew I needed something beyond just a bike; I decided that a racing flag would be the best decision as it naturally tends to flow on its own. I made the flag 3D in attempts to make the flag seem to jump off the page as the objects in Cappiello’s pieces did. I decided to go with a subtle serif text as Cappiello used both serif and sans sarif typography in his posters. However, the typography was always a bold, block text. Originally, I had all the text in bright, vibrant colors, but then opted for more muted colors for the subheadings. I was hoping that in doing this, it would bring out the color in the “Little 500” text as well as in the image of the bike. I also decided to arc the text as I noticed some of Cappiello’s posters featured this technique. I was ultimately quite happy with how the text turned out.

Overall, I liked the final product of my poster. However, I think I could have done a better job of capturing the sketch-like qualities of Cappiello’s posters. Cappiello was known for using the process of pochoir, which added hand-painted color onto an image with stencils. Since I was working solely on Illustrator, it was difficult to capture this same technique. I was fairly happy with how the bike came out, but I wish I would have made it more 3D. While it was difficult for me to completely capture the style of “the father of modern advertising,” I was ultimately happy with my final project.

Little Five Poster – Peyton Crantford

Little Five poster "emulating" Swiss International Style

Click to see 11 x 17 poster.

I knew, especially after professor Layton stated that only about 15 students had attempted it in recent years, I wanted to try and create a Swiss Style poster very quickly. During class I remember seeing a poster, which I later found was created by Anton Stankowski, that involved four rectangular shapes revolving around a circle. I really liked the design, but I especially like the idea of revolving shapes around a circle, as I thought it would be a nice way to use simple geometric shapes to create a wheel-like shape.

Anton Stankowski Weltspartag 1978

Anton Stankowski Weltspartag 1978

With the idea in mind, I sketched myself a few ideas quickly so that I wouldn’t forget the inspiration. I knew I wanted something very simple, but detailed enough to evoke the idea of a bike wheel in some manner. I love the simplicity of Swiss Style, but didn’t want my design to be too metaphorical, as it appears some Swiss designs are. For example, Stankowski did a lot of work with long, flat, rhombic shapes. Looking back, I wish I had implemented these shapes into my design, as it seems to be a reoccurring shape in his designs. I, instead, worked under the influence of his more unique works.

Once I had figured out how to make the right shape ­­– lots of the shape-builder, object grouping and clipping masks – the real tricky work began. It was at this point that another of Stankowski’s works stuck out to me. It seems to have been a poster for the 1981 Olympics, but he used a large circle as the CVI. It was his alignment of the circle, and the fact that it was a big circular object, much like mine, that drew my eye. The way he had shifted it just a few inches to the left makes the design so much more interesting. It creates space on the right side that helps make the type pop a little. I thought it was a nifty way to balance each element on the page, so I decided to play around with the idea. In earlier versions, I had my type angled as well, but decided later that it was better sitting horizontally.

Anton Stankowski Baden 1981

Anton Stankowski Baden 1981

I had also really enjoyed another design by Stankowski that he made about Berlin. It used his common rhombic shape, but what I really liked were the thin lines separating the text from the artwork. I thought it added dimensionality to the piece, as the lines acted as borders to different sections of the design. I also liked it because it subtly showed the eye how Stankowski liked to divide his works up, which was in thirds.

Having taken all these ideas and principles from Stankowski’s work, I found my job a little easier. I had made my circular shape. It is really made up of eight rectangular objects, but I put them inside a circular clipping mask, which makes them appear to be triangles with rounded outer edges. I actually decided to remove one of the eight sections though, because I liked how it created negative space that sort-of points to the text on the bottom of the page. I’m thinking now that the design would have had better readability had I shifted my circle to the right side of the page, rotated it 45 degrees clockwise, and switched the text at the bottom. Had I done this, the design would have flowed from the wheel to “little five” to the date, allowing the eye to read left-to-right, and not right-to-left.

Anton Stankowski Berlin-Layout

Anton Stankowski Berlin-Layout

However, I did find that my design looked a lot better, and was easier to organize when I added a grid underneath it. After having my work critiqued, I realized that, in order to really design well, but in order to emulate Swiss Style, a grid would be very useful. It helped me place my wheel in the upper-left third of the page. Eventually, I shifted it down just a bit to center it between the lines that I had added. I used them because I thought, like Stankowski’s work, it added some dimensionality. I also placed them underneath my wheel to help the eye piece together a grid.

Ultimately, I think my work emulates the general Swiss International Style, as opposed to Stankowski. I think the lines help, but too directly reference his work. It is because I was inspired by small details of his more unique designs that I failed to emulate his specific style in my own work. I am, however, very pleased with my design. I think anyone who looked at it would figure out the connection between the shape and the Little 500. I intentionally diverted from Stankowski’s more vibrant color schemes to help evoke an IU identity. I think there is good visual flow – though it could have been slightly better. The typeface strongly matches the Swiss treatment of text. It’s Helvetica; hard not to match that style. I wanted to spell out “five” because I thought it helped emulate Swiss treatment of text better than having “500” or “5” appear.

As usual, I only wish I’d had more time. I’m getting more used to this idea though.

Little 5 Influenced by Cassandre

Little 500 influenced by CassandreI chose A.M. Cassandre as my influence for this project. I really like graphic design styles that are clean, realistic, and easy to interpret. As a result, I wanted to choose either a plakatstil or art deco designer as both of these styles use very legible typography, primitive shapes, and simple color combinations to create designs that provide a clear message. Of all the art deco and plakatstil designers I looked into, A.M. Cassandre’s transportation posters stuck out to me most as impressive designs that could be influential as my own design style develops.

A.M. Cassandre was born in Ukraine in 1901 as Adolphe Mouron, but moved to Paris in 1915 where he developed his own design style. He trained at classical schools including École des Beaux-Arts and l’Académie Julian. He initially wanted to be a painter, but he started designing posters in the late 1910’s under the name Cassandre as a way to make money faster. Eventually, he decided he liked graphic design more than traditional fine arts because he enjoyed working with the communication aspect of design. This is reflected in the care he took in working with typography within his posters.

Normandie by CassandreAs a graphic designer in the 1920s and 30s, he was heavily influenced by the art deco style, which orginated out of Paris’s Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs in 1925. Art Deco features heavy use of lines, angles, and primitive shapes as well as bold, legible type. Cassandre’s style, especially in his transportation posters, uses extreme versions of all of these elements. He uses angles, strong lines, and large shapes to create dramatic perspectives of cruise ships and trains in his Normandie and Nord Express posters, respectively. Cassandre also felt strongly that typography should be complementary to the entire design of the poster. He felt that it should be very legible, get the entire message of the poster across, and look like it belonged within the design rather than detracting from it. I think that his belief in typography is most apparent in both versions of his Nord Express posters and his Statendam poster

Statendam by Cassandre

I wanted to try to emulate both of these attributes of his style in my own work by slightly skewing the lines of a bike frame to give it a sense of perspective and movement. Additionally, I wanted to replicate Cassandre’s belief that typography should work within a design by thinking about the color of the type I used and the way I blended type against the dark track and the lighter background. Additionally, I looked for a typeface that reflected characteristics of the typefaces Cassandre designed and used, including Peignot. In doing this, I looked for tall fonts with high crossbars.


Nord Express by Cassandre

Finally, there were more specific aspects of Cassandre’s style, which set him apart from other art deco designers that I wanted to incorporate into my own design. These included his use of contrasting colors and white highlights. He used contrastingcolors to draw even more attention to the central elements of these posters. White highlights were used to give definition to certain parts of the central elements, such as the wheels on the train in Nord Express. It also makes those elements seem newer and more powerful. Due to his use of perspective and angles, Cassandre never shows the entirety of the central elements of his design. He showed the most dramatic or interesting parts. For Normandie, this was the front of the cruise line and for Nord Express, this was the side of the train. I wanted to channel this in my design by using the iconic red, Schwinn Little 500 bikes. I liked that the red would contrast with the light blue sky, which I also thought was reminiscent of Little 5 since the race is only held on nice days. I decided to focus on the back wheel and gears of the bike since this part of the bike would provide the most interesting opportunity to play with how light hit the chain, frame, and gears.Horizontal Nord Express by Cassandre

Overall, I am proud of the poster I was able to design. I think I channeled elements of Cassandre’s style well while not completely copying one of his posters. I think I reflected the most obvious characteristics of his style in my poster, but I probably could have refined some of the more specific elements of his style. Had I had a little more time to refine my poster, I could have worked more on the bike wheel to give it a more three dimensional, realistic effect. I think I also could have added a bit more detail or texture to the background of the poster to give it a life like feel. All in all though, I think my poster was successful in showing both my design style and the influence of A.M. Cassandre’s style.

Influence: Wes Wilson

I love attending music festivals of all scales and genres. There are times when I wish I could go back in time and see what the original inspirations for these concerts were like. I have always been in awe of the psychedelic posters that went along with the events and decided to draw my inspiration from them. Specifically, I really liked the work of Wes Wilson. Known as the father of the 60’s rock poster, his designs have stood the test of time even if they were only in the spotlight for a brief moment.

Wes Wilson was born in Sacramento, California on July 15, 1937. He studied forestry and horticulture in college, eventually leading him to make a switch to philosophy. These studies are reflected in much of his work, taking inspiration from nature and the outdoors. At the age of 28 he self published his first poster which featured typography asking “Are We Next?”. This was a protest of the American involvement in the Vietnam war and spoke of Wilson’s political views at the time.

Wilson moved to San Francisco in 1965 and used the emerging alternative scene as his muse. With a natural talent for art he began working for Contact Printing. The owner of the production business, Bob Carr, was very involved in the local music scene. They designed handbills for artists and festivals, honing in many skills. Before long Wilson was doing the posters for more established artists. Inspired by Van Gogh and Alfred Roller Wilson used a Roller style for his lettering. His innovative typography was like nothing the music world has ever seen. Working with prominent artists such as The Grateful Dead, The Mothers, Steve Miller Band and Chuck Berry he defined the psychedelic movement with his unique approach.

After looking through Wes Wilson’s designs and talking to professor Layton I knew their were several aspects of his designs I would need to incorporate into my poster. Wilson’s posters feature vibrant and contrasting colors, typically ranging from 3-4 variations. I was very drawn to his warm color choices and decided I wanted to use a shock of pink. The eggshell color seemed to be an appropriate choice for a secondary color as I thought it muted the hot pink. Wilson used gradients occasionally throughout his work and I liked the way the deep plum played with the other two colors.

Next I had to find a type that mirrored the rolling style of Wilson’s. Illustrator did not provide any options that seemed suitable so I googled trippy fonts. Looking back I know I could have found his exact typeface and regret not searching harder. Regardless, I really like the lettering of my choice and think it is the next best option. Wilson’s type and graphics fill the page so my sketches included the words Little 500 filling a fourth of the page.

The spacing of the lettering took me a really long time (my hand began to cramp from clicking so much). I warped each line by arching up and down and really all around. I also decreased the space between each word as to Wilson tended to do. This may not have been the most efficient way to distort the text but it was the way I knew how to. While Wilson’s designs typically feature a face or female figure I decided a gear would be more appropriate for the Little 500 theme. I used professor Layton’s chain tutorial to draw a brush stroke and made the actual gear with the star tool. I saw eyes and peace signs incorporated in Wilson’s poster and thought they worked really well with the gear symbol.

I like my poster a lot. I am proud of it. My influence Wes Wilson truly emulates a style that I wish to incorporate into my own. Music festivals are a big hobby of mine and it was really a cool experience to honor those that came before. I love the color choices I made and I know the font curves still makes the text readable. My only critique now is not wrapping the text around the gear. I think that is something that Wilson would’ve done and I think I might alter it in my free time. I recently went to the MOMA after I submitted my design and was surprised to see a whole exhibit dedicated to psychedelic posters. I saw Wilsons original work and was happy knowing mine absolutely reflected it.

A Psychedelic Little 5

Alexa's influence proj

Click here to see a full-size image of my poster

Alexa's influence proj

Click here to see a full-size image of my poster










While brainstorming potential influences for my upcoming Graphic Design II project, I began with the notion that I wanted to choose a famous designer whose general stylistic choices match up with some of mine.

I wanted to be able to produce an end product that contained both the distinctive influence of a designer other than myself as well as stylistic traits of my own design aesthetic – something that was still uniquely mine while clearly being influenced by someone else.

This is why, upon flipping through the pages of previous designer’s styles in a book provided to the class, Milton Glaser’s work stuck out to me. I noticed bright colors, whimsical swirls and block lettering. I decided to Google him and see what more I could dig up on his graphic design styles and influences.

Milton Glaser is a versatile designer; this much became clear to me very quickly. The same man whose simplistic style shone through in his infamous “I <3 NY” design — maybe one of the most popular and replicated designs, ever — put out some extremely colorful and psychedelic-looking work in his earlier years.

His Bob Dylan poster especially stood out to me as something that I thought would mesh well with my own design aesthetic. I liked the colors and the simplicity, the flatness of it. I don’t particularly enjoy designers that go out of their way to add depth to every little thing — to me, doing so can seem too cluttered. I always prefer to keep it simple. So I liked how his design aesthetic seemed to mesh simplicity with intricacy — the shapes were kept more basic, but the coloring and patterns he used added needed detail to the design. Compositionally, his Dylan poster reflected these observations of mine.

Upon further research, I learned that Glaser worked with other designers to help found Push Pin Studios — a place that emphasized “eccentric eclecticism.” Glaser’s style was described in an article on as being “playful” and “lively,” with psychedelic colors.

Another article on, an online design magazine, again emphasizes Glaser’s love for “ornament,” or decorative designs, such as the psychedelic swirls common in come of his works. Colorful circular shapes with surreal, multicolored patterns are also prevalent in his poster of Mahalia Jackson, from 1967. His style seems very reflective of other images one would associate with the 60s.

In creating my poster, I wanted to add art that would reflect the whimsical, psychedelic nature of Bob Dylan’s hair in Milton’s poster. I didn’t want to copy Milton’s aesthetic too much, though, which I why I decided to attempt to imitate a similar pattern in a bike wheel rather than in another human being.

I made the shape abstract and simple so the viewer could tell it was a bike, still, but it didn’t look too detailed. I added some whimsical curled lines within the bike and decided to attempt to imitate a pattern similar to that which made up Dylan’s hair within the 0s of the ‘500.’ I chose a block font similar to the one used in many of Glaser’s more 60s-style designs. I also decided to leave the bike as a plain silhouette to make reference to the simplicity of Dylan and Jackson’s silhouettes in their posters.

In retrospect, I’m happy with my poster(s). I kept the pink outline one as an alternative design, but ultimately I think I like the one with the yellow background best. I think I did well at choosing aspects of Glaser’s style to incorporate, and doing so in a way that both paid homage to the designer while also respecting my own personal style. The swirled patterns in the bike and in the ‘500’ were enough of a reference to the ornate patterns Glaser sometimes created, like the one in Dylan’s hair, without being too much of a direct copy.

I’m glad I simplified my design more from its original, which had a swirl-patterned background. This would’ve been too intricate, and not very representative of Glaser’s aesthetic. I do wish I had paired down my color scheme a bit more, though the end product’s colors were simpler than some of my earlier versions. I wish the background was somehow subtler, or I’d been able to make better use of the silhouette theme. Overall, though, I’m proud of the finished product.

Little 500 Meets Yayoi Kusama


Click the image to see the full version

Yayoi Kusama is the influence on my Little 500 poster. I was not familiar with any special artists or designers before, so I did a lot of research on finding a designer who has a very special art style that I can use it in my poster. I did find many great graphic designers, but I could not clearly describe their styles; in other words, it was hard for me to be influenced by their styles. However, although Kusama is not a graphic designer, her art style is very special, and it is very easy to distinguish. Thus, I choose her style as my influence for this project, and I also think her style is very interesting to help represent the concept of Little 500.



Yayoi Kusama is a Japanese artist. She was born in Japan and moved to the US to complete her art dream. Her art style is very special. Tons of dots in different sizes are the main elements in her art works. One of her famous painting is a pumpkin. The pumpkin is combined by plenty of black dots. The different size of dots is to make the pumpkin look more three-dimensional. For example, because each pumpkin petal is curved, the center of every petal is close to audience, so she uses large dots. Then, she gradually decreases the size of dots but enlarges the gap between each two dots, so more background color exists. This trick makes audiences feel the border of each petal is fall behind the center of each petal, which makes the pumpkin three-dimensional. Then, the second specialty in her art work is that she loves to use bright color to be the background, which is a high contrast to those dots, which always be black. In some of her 3D work or fashion photos, bright yellow or pink is her main background color. Those color really attracts audience’s eyes. The third feature is that there is only one object in most of her paintings. For instance, there is only pumpkin, or only one pair of high heels. The last characteristic I find is that the object is kind of faded in the background, namely, the color of the object is the same as background, or somewhat darker than the background, but it is still the same color. However, since she is an artist instead of a graphic designer, there are no text in her work. Those features form Kusama’s art work, and I try to apply those specialties in my poster.

In my poster, I think I do my best to apply all of her features. Since the theme of this project is Little 500, the main object in my poster is a person riding a bike just passing the finish line. For the person’s T-shirt and shorts, I drew dots following Kusama’s style. Since my person’s body had dynamic, so the middle part of his body is protruding and I used large black dots to present. Similarly, the person’s left leg is higher than his right leg, so I also used large dots on left shorts leg to make it give a closer feeling to audience. Then, I gradually used small dots to show the sleeves and right shorts leg of the person. For the shoes and helmet, I also used dots, which could separate from the person’s skin. For the skin, I made a circle pattern for them. ­All arms and legs had two layers, one for the pattern, and the other one is a pure orange background, because in the pattern, the color between each circle is transparent. However, I did not use dots on the bike and glasses, because these two objects had small area, so it was hard to apply dots on them. For the color, I used bright pink and black dots. Pink is main color of background, and I used black dots to represent Kusama’s specialty. I also applied it on the background of T-shirt and shoes, and the dots on pants and helmet. The color of dots and background on shorts and T-shirt was reversed, because it could help me separate the border of shorts and T-shirt. However, I did not use bright color on bike and glasses, which is different from Kusama’s feature. I thought dark blue was a good contrast from bright pink, so dark blue on small area could help distinguish the bike and glasses from the big background. In my poster, the person riding bike was the main object, but I also drew a finish line to convey the theme of Little 500, which was a little bit different from Kusama. Finally, since my object was much complex than a pumpkin or a pair of high heels, it was hard to fade it into background, but I still tried to do it. I darkened the pink on his clothes, but the contrast of the skin and background was too big, which was hard to modify. Since Kusama does not have text in her work, it is free for me to choose typeface. I chose a sans serif typeface, which was futura. I used bold on “Little 500”, but condensed medium for the rest, because the website was too long to use bold to fit in the page. I thought futura was very clear in this messy background, because readability was very important, and futura solved this problem.

Overall, I am happy with my poster. Since I had two versions for the project and the first version did not really apply Kusama’s features, the second one was much better than before. The technique for this poster was not very hard, but I spent too much time on arranging each dots on his clothes. I struggled on clarifying Kusama’s features and tried to be influenced by those features. Since Kusama is not a graphic designer, many of her works are hard to be showed on a piece of flat paper. What I can improve is to find a better shape to apply those dots, because a person does not really feel like pumpkin in her work, which is a little bit more abstract than a person. I really try my best on drawing the clothes, and I improve a lot from my first version project. I think I do fairly well on the project.

More works of Kusama


This assignment is to design a poster for little 500 at Indiana University Bloomington. I was so excited to get involved designing a new poster for this famous competition, even though it is just for my class project. In the beginning, we have to find our influence as an idea of designing our own poster. I browsed online to search many various influential designers and looked at their projects and design works. I was very lucky to find out my favorite designer and his works.



His name is Alan Fletcher who is a British graphic designer. He also was described by The Daily Telegraph as “the most highly regarded graphic designer of his generation, and probably one of the most prolific.”  He founded a design firm called ‘Fletcher/Forbes/Gill’ with Colin Forbes and Bob Gill in 1962.



From this design project designed by him, I get the idea of using the 3 different colors of the same image to build a sample style poster. From this poster, people can see the color blue overlaps the color pink.  Meanwhile, there is an intersection color, dark blue, between those two colors. However, I think and also follow the idea- simplicity is everything.

I got attractive by the idea of overlapping because it looks very clean and interesting to me. That’s why I used the same kind of design idea to design my influence poster.

I applied this concept to my little 500 influence poster because I had an idea in my mind that making 3 different colors bike to represent many teams getting involved in this competition. Because The little 500 is the bicycle competition, I want to draw a bike with a rider. It looks like they are in the competition and trying to chase each other. As you can see from my poster, there are three layers of the bikes, which I drew with the pen tool. Each layer has the different colors. The first layer is the color red, the second layer is the color blue and the last layer is the color gray. The reason why I use the color red as the first layer is first, the color red is very attractive and obvious, which can grab attention from the public. Meanwhile, the color red works perfect with the color black and the color white.

The background of my influence poster has two different parts, which I get the idea from this poster designed byAlan Fletcher. Based on this design concept, I made the upper side of my influence poster as like the typical competition sign, which is the black squares and the white squares. I think whenever or wherever people see this sign, they will get an idea that this is about a competition. And, it can grab more attention from the public. On the upper side of my influence poster, I added the words”Little 500″ because I think that it is the right place to put it. When people look at the competition sign, they will definitely see the word “little 500”. Meanwhile, the colors I utilized for the “Little 500” are red, white and black. These three colors are the major color of this poster so that it can make this poster looks like a unit. The other side of the poster, I utilized the color bright yellow because I get this idea from the poster designed by Alan Fletcher. In the end, I found out the sand texture and changed its transparence. Because I think the place for the little 500 competition is on the sands ground.

Overall, I really love designing because it can express the idea in my mind to the reality. I think I put many efforts on draw the bike and the rider. I learned a lot from this project, such as using fluently by the pen, correctly choosing the colors, etc. I am happy with my design and love how I designed. I really struggled that how I arrange the riders in different color and positions. Finally, I found the best solution for my poster. I think I’ve been improved since the last project and I’ll keep working hard for the rest of projects.

Stanton Influence Poster

Little 500 poster

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For my Little 500 influence poster, I went with the design style of Paul Rand as an influence. I think it is fair to say that Rand is one of the most influential designers in modern history. His works stand out to me as exemplars of simplistic, yet effective design and it was an exciting process trying to emulate that.

Paul Rand (born Peretz Rosenbaum) was an American Designer who was responsible for a huge amount of work that is still prevalent to this day. He designed brand logos for huge companies like IBM, ABC, UPS, Cummins, NeXT and even Enron. His simple yet effective design is evident in these designs.

While most notable for his logos, Rand also designed posters, like his famous “Eye Bee M” poster for IBM. This poster highly influenced my poster in his use of bold primary colors against a black background.

Rand notably said regarding logos that they “cannot survive unless it is designed with the utmost simplicity and restraint.” I believe this is true of much of design as minimalist approaches do not date themselves in much the same way more detailed work does.

The reason I chose Paul Rand for my influence is because I wanted to see how I could make something as lively and dynamic as a bike race fit into the styling of a trade that deals largely in the static. Since logo and minimalist design is usually not associated with such a dynamic subject, I felt it would be a worthy challenge.

For my approach, I wanted to go with a large central icon, the bike wheel. Since it is easily identifiable, I feel as though it will draw the eye of the viewer right away. The bike wheel is also reminiscent of the wheel on the Little 500 logo. The icon is important here because it is where all of the limited detail lies. Like Rand’s “Bee” the icon has to invoke a phisical object without stepping out too much into realism.

Trailing the wheel are four stripes of bright color. I chose primary colors because of Rand’s interest in colors in his logo works like with Enron and NeXT. The colors echo a kind of simplicity that is found all over his work. They draw the eye directly up to the wheel and give the poster its upward motion. The colors I used are from the flags surrounding the bike wheel on the Little 500 Logo. Primary colors have always stood out to me for their bold way of standing out on the page and contrasting with the black background.

I chose to have an upward motion on my wheel in contrast to my original idea of a horizontal wheel and stripes combo. The reason was to give the poster a more dynamic and exciting look. This was a response to the challenge of making a poster such as this appear more dynamic. Rand’s work rarely deals with moving objects so I had to ask myself, how would he illustrate this? My end result was bold primary stripes in an upward, exiting orientation

Something that comes out in much of Rand’s work is his use of negative space. Many of his designs rely on font and logos coming directly in contrast with the background, forming objects using the viewers brain and having them connect the shapes. This can be seen in Rand’s Bee as well as in the black of the tire on my wheel. Since a bike wheel is a familiar object, the viewer connects the object in their brain.








As you can see in most of Rand’s works, there is very little in the way of font on the page. often in his designs he chose to use simple, bold, sans-serif typeface and I tried to honor that by using Futura bold for the typeface . I think Futura accurately conveys the simple and elegant design that Rand created. In fact you can find Futura in many of his works. In my use of lettering, I strove to convey the style of Rand’s iconic ABC logo. By having simple white on black, I feel that I have come close.

Ultimately I feel that I have used his influence in a way that emulates, without copying or parodying his work. It would be easy to parody Paul Rand’s work due to its saturation in the market, but doing that would be a disservice to his incredible influence on design.