Exercise: Too much or not enough information

Look around locally and identify a coming event – it could be a jumble sale, a local gig, concert or play, an exhibition or sporting fixture – and design two posters to promote it.


For this task I’ve decided to choose some event from the world of arts to have an opportunity to study it during the making of the poster.  That’s why I didn’t choose a sport event. I’ve chosen an exhibition, which took place in the museum of Hermitage, “Dada and surrialism”. There were no posters for this exhibition, it was advertised in Internet only. And for the Internet advertising they just used some works participating in exhibition.

I’ve started with small research to get a general impression of how posters in dada style looked like.


0a298637e7304efb294a45957fda3a4d    3978e41326e22fe1193929949019d0fc     5df205f6dadfabf2c214d773ffde348f

59b7f27d771697b66fdc4aa500cd61d9      56616c9d004619fbfa994c63b90d8ee9      f832ff07dd524d49082f0d94f568e80e


Sketched few ideas about a general idea of the poster.


American artist Man Ray was a tireless experimenter of Dada and later Surrealistic movement. I thought that I could use some elements from one of his most famous works “Ingres’s Violin”


Another idea is based on the genesis of the term “Dada” – which some say means “hobby horse” in French and others feel is just baby talk. I thought that I could use hobby horse as a main image on the poster.



I was also quite impressed by the collages by Kurt Schwitters. And I thought that it would be nice to make an interesting poster inspired by his works.

1     2     3


And the last idea is based on the quote by Lotreamon, french poet and novelist of the 19th century: “As beautiful as the chance encounter of a sewing machine and an umbrella on an operating table”. This phrase was a true motto of surrialists and inspired lots of artists to expiriment. For example, Max Ernst described Lautreamont’s “chance meeting of a sewing machine and an umbrella on an operating table” as a well-known, almost classic, example of the phenomenon discovered by the Surrealists, which involved bringing two or more seemingly incompatible objects on an incompatible surface. This could provoke ” the most powerful poetic detonations”.




I’ve stopped on the version with the sewing machine and an umbrella. I’ve started to work this idea further and on some point understood that I’m getting somewhere I don’t want to get. I spent too much time thinking about the visual part of the poster, forgetting that it’s not what is needed. The main reason of all this exercise is to work with information. So I’ve decided that the visual part should be plain and simple, that’s my poster is black and white. And it’s only a siluette left from the sewing machine and umbrella. I think it’s enough to make poster visually strong, while not spending too much time for the visual part.

My poster targets people who are already familiar with the dadaism and surrialism.


So, this is the first poster, which contains more information than needed.


In my original version poster doesn’t contain the black frame, but it doesn’t look good on the web without it, so I’ve added it.

Working with the second poster, which should contain minimum information, I’ve started with deciding what is the primary information. When? Where? How much? I think that the man interested in attending some exhibition thinks about these things first. It’s the minimum information I’ve left on the second poster.

I’ve changed the background from white to black so the poster wouldn’t look empty without walls of text.






With the third poster I’ve tryed to catch the golden mean. I think the names of the artists participating in the exhibition are important. The list of the world-known artists is quite formiddable and it should catch people’s attention. It also helps to understand what the exhibition will be like.





Here are all three posters for comparison.

poster1-01      poster2-01      poster33-01-01-01-01



So, I’ve finished the main part. But now I have an idea how to make a poster truly minimalistic. I’ve decided to use one of the works of Man Ray.


 The Enigma of Isidore Ducasse (1920)

A usual man would see something packed. A mistery. A knowing man would suspect that under the sacking is probably an sewing machine. His knowledge also puts an umbrella there. But he is not sure. A mistery stays. Dada and surrialism loved that kind of things.

May Ray’s sewing machine wrapped in an army blanket and tied with string. The inspiration and title derive from a famous line by Lautréamont in Les Chants de Maldoror 1869, evoking ‘the chance meeting on a dissecting-table of a sewing-machine and an umbrella’. This poster contains the same umbrella and a sewing machine just as previous three. But we don’t know for sure. It gives an information to think about.



Categories: exercises, Graphic Design, Portfolio