Bonding over poster design

By Julia Frenkle

Last week, Ellery and I attended a poster design exhibition at MassArt in Boston. “Graphic Advocacy: International Posters for the Digital Age 2001–2012” was curated by Liz Resnick, MassArt Professor and Chair of the Graphic Design department, and displayed posters discussing social messages. Posters commented 911, the environment, Haiti, the political challenges of Europe, Japan, violence and many other subjects.

My favorite poster was the “Break New Ground” poster from the “Victory Garden of Tomorrow” project by Joe Wirtheim. As a gardener and chicken owner I obviously have a tendency to like this poster, because of its message. But as a graphic designer, I see the message, composition, typography, point of view and craft working together to make it an exceptional piece. I love how the point of view adds a lot of drama which is supported by the bold typography.

Our designer eyes scanned the artwork and identified a few inch marks where there should have been quotation marks and some mistakes with hanging punctuation. We gossiped about anecdotes from our design education when professors critiqued us for those mistakes:) Ellery and I graduated from MassArt 8 years apart but walking through the show together with similar design minds was a very bonding experience and made us proud to have received the same excellent training from this exceptional art school.