Visual Hierarchy: Irish Music Livestream

  • Contrast — thick to thin, sans serif vs. serif, value
  • Proximity — distinguish groups of content, group together similar content
  • Alignment — to guide the reader’s eyes
  • Scale — large = important, small = not as important
  • Color — bold, color contrasts



Getting to Know about the Event

My notebook spread of information from the Pittsburgh Irish Festival (PIF) website:

Initial Exercises

Ones that I though were interesting/good first attempts:

Exercises 1–3
Exercise 4 | Focus: fewer levels of hierarchy (left) and days of the week (right)
  • highlighting the location of the performances which is their Facebook page. It is at the very bottom so it can be overlooked if it is grouped with the dates/names of the performers.
  • For stroke weight, I wasn’t sure if I should be prioritizing the dates or the names of the performers. Both pieces of information seem important, but I think bolding the names of the acts would highlight the content rather than the logistics of the event.
  • I wasn’t sure if the name of the event should be on the same level of hierarchy as the “presented by” section. Sometimes I didn’t differentiate the two because of the restrictions I had.
  1. preserve and promote Irish culture + support Irish musicians
  2. OR resilience of Irish spirit again the pandemic (and two years ago against a flood of the festival venue)





New Inspiration!

Because I worked at the Miller ICA last year, I got an email from the coordinator about the current exhibit which coincidentally is an exhibition about posters! Specifically, it’s posters designed by female AIGA members about the 2020 vote. This is a link to their online archive:

  1. “Voting Issues” by Fearn di Vicq — This piece was a lot better seen in person, but the variations of blue popping against the black background really speaked to me. Size stayed the same while color took the role of creating hierarchy.
  2. “Fix the Math” by Sara Gephart — I first thought this poster was boring, but the more I look at it, I really like its simplicity. I especially like the only use of color on the small text.
  3. “Votes for Women: 100 Years” by Kendra Lebo — I like the toned down complementary colors and the image overlay over the main text.



Three Different Solutions

After doing research, I was pretty overwhelmed with the amount of information I had. After having a zoom call with Vicki, I decided to just try different ideas for the image of the poster and see which one I gravitated more towards.

Musician Poster

The people from the design center seem to like the idea of the “backlit musician with a lively audience”. I personally wanted to try something that wasn’t overtly related to music, but I wanted to try out photography before I move on to vectors and illustrations. These photos were of performers from the roster: The Screaming Orphans and Scythian.

musician iterations

Celtic Knot Poster

I then moved on to the idea of Celtic knots. I focused on the shield knot because of its pull-apart shapes and the message of protection against difficult times.

Completed Celtic knot poster I showed during Tuesday’s peer critique.

Irish Hare Poster

My final and most thematically risky idea was one based off of animal symbolism. I saw in the design center reoccurring images of stags, serpents, and Irish hares. I thought hares were light on their feet which reflected the liveliness and movement of the music performances, having multiple animals will add the idea of living beings and a sense of bonding/community, and this idea can also add to Irish culture’s connection with nature. I used this chance to also illustrate for the poster because I thought it was more difficult to find a photograph of hares that I would like.

Completed poster I showed during Tuesday’s peer critique.
  • overall consensus that the hare poster is more appealing than the Celtic knot poster
  • mixed opinions of the white hare — Joseph really liked how it followed the path of the typography while others thought it’s light value was too distracting
  • better organization of of the typography such as moving the times/dates and having a more even vertical gap between the performer names
  • simultaneous contrast between the orange typography and the green background
  • he understood why my peers and I would prefer the hare poster
  • suggested that I can try bring the more organic swirls to the Celtic knot poster, but I ended up spending most of my time refining my hare poster



What the hare poster looked like before I showed Jaclyn
  • The type on the top vs. the bottom seem to be fighting. Maybe making the “The Live Stream Irish Music Series” part pure white will increase its hierarchy.
  • Jaclyn thought the use of light and dark colors of the type, especially at the top, was pretty successfully done, where both light and dark type are readable from the green background.
  • “Killing the darling”/the hare idea because it didn’t relate to Irish culture
  • the illustration overpowers the typography for a project about visual/typographic hierarchy
  • lsdjflksdjflk
  • my use of image was weak because the colors didn’t allow the readability of the hare shapes
  • Bret thought I was doing something different with the flat illustrations and the swirls, but different doesn’t mean the best/most accurate portrayal of the music event
  • suggests a darker green background to reflect August rather than spring
  • try using yellow to bridge a gap between different hues
  • head of the second largest hare is a strange shape and a bit unrecognizable (something that I agreed with but I was prioritizing color adjustments)
  • watch out for the dark brown type that is too similar in value with the green background

Final Poster



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