Lesson #1: Introducing posters and the project


Students will be able to:
Compare and contrast successful posters
Describe ways that designers communicate, using posters
Recognize that some artists use image and text to convey meaning
staples & stapler, camera, chalk board/ chart paper
Paula Sher, http://hillmancurtis.com/hc_web/film_video.shtml;  Luba Lukova: Avila Weeks Dance Poster, Seat of Dreams; James Montgomery Flagg: I Want You For U.S. Army; Henri Toulouse-Lautrec: Moulin Rouge; Uncover the World advertisement for the NYC public library, http://www.summerreading.org; Russian Constructivist Posters; Olympic Posters, http://www.olympic.org
Show a poster (such as Avila Weeks' dance poster) and a painting of similar subject matter (such as a Degas painting of dancers). Ask questions such as:
  • What is the main subject of the poster? the painting?
  • What is different about them?
  • What message is being communicated by the poster? What makes you think so?
  • How is this message different from what the painting communicates?
  • What do you think is the purpose of a poster?
  • Where can you see posters?
  • What do they advertise?
  • What elements does a poster have?
  • Who designs them?
Divide the class into small teams. Hand out photocopied posters. Ask each team to select its favorite.  Each group will appoint a secretary to record the answers to these questions on chart paper:
  • Can you examine and identify the elements in the poster? (lines, text, shapes, color)
  • What message is being communicated to the viewer?
  • Why is the text/slogan memorable?
Ask one spokesperson from each group to post the chart paper with their chosen poster, and to address the question, "Which poster was the most effective and why?" Each group should address the following questions:
  • Who is the audience?
  • How does the choice of font relate to the message?
  • How does the image enhance the message?
  • How does color add meaning to the message?
  • How do these posters persuade, inform, or motivate the viewer?
We are going to be a design firm. We're going to design posters for an awareness campaign about Planet Earth.
  • What do you think people should know about our planet?
  • What would you want to make them aware of? ( chart responses)
  • What are some of the problems our planet is facing?
  • How can artists address these issues?
Many designers work with their peers to brainstorm ideas.
  • What is meant by "brainstorming"?
  • How can we do this in class?
Display a group of posters. There are so many ways artists communicate messages. Let's review and compare these posters using the Venn Diagram.
  • How are they the same?
  • How are they different?
Look for examples of posters in magazines, on the internet, or in the environment. Bring in at least one printout, sketch, or page from a magazine with the poster. Explain what the designer is trying to communicate, and what he has done to make you feel that way.