I’ve always loved Hatch Print’s show posters, popularized in Nashville and eventually made for venues all over the United States. So, I decided to analyze one of them, from a Johnny Cash poster in Minneapolis.
I hope it’s not considered taking the ‘easy route’, but since these posters were made using a screen printer, the colors are limited, and the layout can only be as perfect as the person’s attention to detail who is printing it.
The grid doesn’t have a whole lot of rhyme or reason, besides the conscious vertical split down the center, separating Mr. Cash from the text. The text basically FILLS the rest of the poster. I’ve added grid lines to show which parts of the text are emphasized. The details to emphasize make sense: the headline artist, the venue, and at least the block showing the supporting artists, if not each artist by themselves.
As this has been screen printed, a different screen had to be applied for each color. So, for this poster (and most of Hatch’s designs) they used two colors; black and red. It’s all the poster really needs, and it’s used quite effectively.
The text is two fonts, with the artists in a slab serif style font called Stymie, and all other show details in a geometric sans font. This is effective in separating the two types of information, but also, as it’s a country show, it really gives a ‘southern feel’ to the artists. The Stymie font has slight variances in thickness just for emphasis and width.
Since there’s information everywhere on this poster, there isn’t a lot of negative space. I made it black and white and turned up the contrast to show the whitespace, and I inverted the image just to see the negative space in a couple of ways. A surprisingly large part of the poster is whitespace, but because information is spread everywhere on the screen, it feels very busy and it’s not the best layout to attract a viewers to a particular location.