Poster for Alex Steinweiss

It took a while to choose my hero.

  • delicate designs and use of color
  • prolific
  • reasons for designing coincide with the changes happening during their time period
  1. El Lizzitsky — Russian Bauhaus, delicate compositions — delicate but bare

Who is Alex Steinweiss?

The library was my best resource.

big — Alex Steinweiss: The Inventor of the Modern Album Cover by Kevin Reagan / small — For the Record: the Life and Work of Alex Steinweiss by Jennifer Mcknight-Trontz

Alex’s typefaces + colors really reflected the 1940s.

Alex had some re-occurring motifs.

left: abstract shapes + thin lines / right: Alex’s gouache thumbnails + 4 by 4 grid + repeatedly placing text on a diagonal
left: what record packaging looked like before Alex / right: shape of the record
Alex’s printing process using engraved plates

I wanted to brainstorm as many ideas as possible.

Thumbnail Critique (on final 10 thumbnails)

  • Brett and peers gravitate more towards the first column because the prominent circles grab people’s attention.
  • I personally wanted to explore the last column more because they capture more of Alex’s surrealism that I really enjoyed when looking at his work. They also seem to give me the most freedom in where to place text + image. The bottom left corner one seemed too grid-like and compact.

I then moved into the digital workspace.

Playing with different colors, seeing how I can use the grid to create different sections, starting to place in some of Alex’s illustrations
The surrealism thumbnail didn’t have a strong grid, and it was hard deciding where to place certain elements.
I also tried using perspective lines, but there was still a lot of ambiguous, empty space. Too much white space.
  • I did all the painted background and cropping on Photoshop
  • did the typesetting and image placement following a specific grid on InDesign
  • transferred what I did on InDesign into Photoshop.

Thursday Poster Critique

  • Most people preferred the composition on the left because there’s a clear flow and the portrait is well-incorporated.
  • The red and green combo reminds people of Christmas.
  • Like the onyx “Alex Steinweiss”. Feels sophisticated.
  • Text treatment for the right two seems too random. Quote seems too long.
  • Body text of left poster is illegible because black on blue is hard to read.

I was unsatisfied with my lack of explorations.

Time for refining.

  1. I realized that the illustrations I cropped from online photos were pixelated too, so I scanned the books I had instead to get clearer photos.
  2. I had trouble placing the quote and the body text where it didn’t look slapped on but it also was readable. I tried some different ways before going back to what I originally had.
old vs. new



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