Ellen Roe’s Little 500 Influence Poster

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In researching the artwork by Jamie Reid, my influence, I found a lot of diversity throughout his pieces. Reid is known for being a part of the Situationalists – avant-garde revolutionary artists – and founding punk rock design, which is found throughout his artwork. He created very controversial posters in distorting the queen and representing the Sex Pistols. I enjoyed browsing through his work, however, I found it a tad bit difficult to figure out how to create something similar for a Little 500 poster. Having a clear message while also incorporating some of his designs was challenging, but ultimately I was pleased with the end result.

I chose Jamie Reid because his work had not been used as an influence before and I thought I would give myself a challenge to somehow translate his work into my own. I immediately knew I wanted to incorporate a checkered flag into my design as it is an aspect/symbol of the race that can be easily forgotten when coming up with a design. I chose to use a checkered flag as the background because I found an image online that I loved and it worked well when I started placing text over it. I of course also wanted to incorporate an aspect of the bike as well so my go to was a bike wheel. I played around with bike wheels for awhile as I didn’t want to take away from my typography but in looking at Jamie Reid’s designs, he used a lot of overlapping shapes or patterns. Ultimately, I used two wheels as I didn’t like the look of more than the two and I felt it kept my design more balanced.

In selecting my typography I found the perfect font on dafont.com that was completely inspired by Jamie Reid. I used this for ‘The Little 500’, however, I didn’t like the look of it all over the poster for the details of the race. I also knew I wanted to incorporate a little more black into my design since Reid’s designs have a lot of black-out aspects. So, I found this sort of typewriter looking typeface on something a label maker would print out and I thought it was perfect to incorporate more black along with something more unique in addition to the different-sized and style of letters for the other typeface. I am a very minimalistic designer so having to pull inspiration from a kind of ‘messy’ designer was difficult and I believe I blended the two well. Again, having the typography mainly on the left side and the wheels on the right the design still looks well balanced and clear.

As far as an evaluation of my own work and process in designing my poster I was very pleased. Looking back at the images I used as inspiration I see my poster tying in similar elements very well. The typography really gives it all away because it is so distinct, but in using more distressed design it all reflects Jamie Reid’s work. I do wish I had more time as I was a little crunched having to work on it during midterms but once I thought of my main ideas and threw together some sketches, it pieced together quite easily. A big question that I kept asking myself was how to incorporate color, but it never looked the way I wanted it too when I started adding it to the poster. I felt it took away from the more vintage look and even the checkered flag. Being on the Indiana University Student Foundation Steering Committee, I’ve seen a lot of bike posters and have pulled a lot of inspiration in my design work from the race but I was pleased with my poster as I feel it is extremely unique and a different take on the Little 500.