COLOURlovers Interview & Giveaway with Jessica Sprague on The Art of Poster Design

COLOURlovers Interview & Giveaway with Jessica Sprague on The Art of Poster Design


Poster design is a really fun, inexpensive and unique way to explore your creative side. From the 1,000's of fonts, variety of poster sizes, and layouts, sometimes, it's difficult to know where to start!


Once you master your design techniques visit Next Day Flyers for fast poster printing at great prices.

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Today we are interviewing Jessica Sprague, design guru and owner of JessicaSprague.com. In February, Jessica is heading off a four week Poster Design course. She is also giving away not one, but TWO seats to this really awesome class! I couldn't be more excited about the class after taking Jessica's Subway Art class. I'm a busy mom, so I don't have a whole lot of time to join in a live class, which is why I love Jessica's classes- they are self-paced and available forever!

Follow Jessica: Twitter & Facebook

Can you tell us about yourself, how long have you been designing? Teaching? Do you have a job outside of JS.com?

In my former life I was a web & user interface designer for a software company, so I've been designing in some form or another for about 14 years. I started teaching digital scrapbooking, Photoshop, and graphic design in 2007 when I opened  JessicaSprague.com. Since then it is my full-time job, and I love it!

What three (or less) singular colors do you most identify with, why?

My favorite color is green - I love it in almost all of its shades from lime to olive. It's the color of growth and regeneration, of calm energy, of prosperity, learning, balance, and harmony.

If you had to describe yourself [currently] as a five color palette, what colors would they be? Could you provide me with HEX codes so I can create a JS palette for you? :)

I feel like I am a blue, two greens, and a red, coupled with a dark grey. Hex: aed835, d9ea65, 81c9c0, a90c19, a90c19

The greens I've already described. The blue is an ocean representing responsibility, stability, trustworthiness. The red represents fire and emotion, and the dark grey brings some gravity, but also represents the dark that balances the lighter, fresher colors.

Jessica_Sprague

If you could be a shape, what shape would you be? (i.e. a polygon = triangle, hexagon etc...)

I would be a 5-pointed star. :)

 

How do you approach incorporating color combinations in poster design? Where do you start on this process?

As with any design process, I always start with a theme or a concept. What is it that we're saying? What emotion do we want to evoke in the reader or viewer of this piece? Having a solid design concept, I move in to blocking shapes and choosing colors - usually designed to play on the overall theme.

Source: Jessica Bills

Personally I'm a font junkie, I'm sure you have a large collection of fonts yourself, how do you organize your collection?

I love fonts. LOVE. I collect them, drool over them, dream about them, find excuses to buy new ones. I have a lot of fonts - probably 1700 - and I use a program called Font Expert to organize my fonts. I need to get even better at organizing, when there's time! But right now I have them divided into categories. My categories include: 3d, Block, Calligraphic, Circus, Condensed, Cute, Decorative, Destroyed, Dingbats, Display, Distressed, Gothic, Handwritten, Modern, Monospaced, Ornaments, Outline, Quirky, Retro, Sans Serif, Script, Serif, Skinny, Stencil, Symbol, Typewriter, Wide, Worn.

How do you approach using fonts in poster design?

The typeface choices make a critical part of the design process - this typically comes as the style and theme of the poster is being fleshed out. I think the typography - especially in a poster where the message tends to be very brief and very LOUD, is especially important, and one of the hallmarks of a really good design vs. a less-effective one. Fonts say things in addition to the actual words they spell - they have personality and that personality needs to be respected and taken advantage of in a design.

Heavily using fonts seems quite trendy, where do you recommend a base knowledge or quick reference about font types and usage?

Mixing fonts is an art and a skill that takes time to develop - I recommend beginning to steep yourself in really good typography, such as the samples over at veer.com as a really good resource for getting a feel for the subtleties.

Source: Jessica Sprague The Art of Poster Design

How do you feel about using patterns in poster design? Something busy, but in the background? Or something simple like a chevron- those seem to be rather popular right now. What are some basic rules you follow when incorporating patterns into poster design?

I think patterns are great in limited ways in a poster - most posters rely on a one-or-two color press that doesn't allow for much multi-color pattern; but this is changing as the price for laser printing in large-scale formats continues to come down.

How would you describe your style when creating posters? Do you like to use big fonts? Do you tend to use the same fonts over and over?

The style of a poster is always dictated by the message and the style called for - but in general I like big bold fonts, large graphics, brushwork, and great details.

Source: Janet Carr, a student from Jessica Sprague's Subway Art class.

What do you think are the most common mistakes people make when designing a poster?

I think the most common mistake is that people are afraid to really fill the space in a poster - I see things centered with plenty of whitespace around the text, no color (even black on white can be a color if used well!), and just general blandness. A poster's purpose is to deliver a message in 10 seconds or less - boldness is the name of the game.

Where are you most likely to find inspiration when you're stuck in the mud?

I have Pinterest. I also have a few books, including The New Masters of Poster Design, which is excellent eye candy for all styles of posters.

How long is the filming process for the poster class from start to finish, including editing?

There will be about 12 hours of finished video for this class, which takes about three weeks to record and edit.

Since I've taken several of your classes, I know throughout the videos you give direction for both Photoshop and Elements users, do you prefer one program over the other?

Great question! In my own work I use Photoshop CS5, but I prefer teaching Photoshop Elements, because I love and adore the Project Bin! LOL. 

Source: Sunday Grennan of itsmesunday.

The Giveaway: Two Lucky COLOURlovers Will Win!

As mentioned above, Jessica has generously offered two seats in the class, a value of $63.99 per class! The giveaway starts today, January 30th, 2012 and ends next Monday, February 6th, 2012.

To Enter: 

Leave a comment telling us what your favorite font is and what theme you would use the font for when creating a poster or project.

The Art of Poster Design starts February 13th and ends March 11th. Jessica Sprague will be leading the class with step-by-step video instruction. This is considered an intermediate class. You can sign-up or get more detailed information here.

I've recently created a digital crafting group on COLOURlovers, feel free to join, and share your works of art, palettes, patterns, and chat with people who have the same interests! 


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108 Comments
Showing 1 - 30 of 108 Comments
Team
Here is an example of what I would put in for the contest (of course, I can't win):

I LOVE CaroHand (available here at DaFont).

I think it's the perfect font for just about anything, it's nice and bold. Clean and clear! Would look great on a variety of posters, I would use it to create a birthday poster for my husband's 30th!

I would create a birthday poster using this palette:
(You're not required to share a palette, however, it makes it more fun!)

Dirty_30
My name is Gina and I have a problem: I'm a Font Addict.
Totally loving the bespoke posters I've been hunting on the web. Since I can't get into Pintrest (waiting for invite), I've resorted to an old school OneNote Page in MS Office to gather favorite examples.

It's way harder than it looks...JS Class would be awesome! I've sampled a few of her freebies and vids. Great Teacher! Thanks for the article!
Ok. Favorite font: Century Gothic. New Favorite Font: Arriere Garde Font--love mixing upper and lower cases...

Poster I would create:Something indulgent: Something for myself--that's a first. I'm always giving my artwork away.

Crossing all ten fingers and ten toes!
Bondoni Poster is a font that I recently rediscovered and I love it for posters!

I feel like Bodoni poster can go in several directions, but I mostly like it for its bold structure with elegant curves and an overall modern appeal. I'm thinking of using it is rich black on white, or against bright solids like "Tango Tangarine" , lime green or teal. I've been wanting to do my own graphic/typography/print heavy calendar/poster just to keep my skills sharp. And because my apartment walls could use some artwork.
Team
Right now my favorite font is League Gothic. I do a lot of poster design for my job and have found it to be flexible enough for any kind of feeling, whether retro or modern.
Team
Gina, send me a message with your email address, and I'll shoot you a pinterest invite! :)

Off to check out your font, Arriere Garde! Thanks for sharing!

VacantField42 wrote:
My name is Gina and I have a problem: I'm a Font Addict.
Totally loving the bespoke posters I've been hunting on the web. Since I can't get into Pintrest (waiting for invite), I've resorted to an old school OneNote Page in MS Office to gather favorite examples.

It's way harder than it looks...JS Class would be awesome! I've sampled a few of her freebies and vids. Great Teacher! Thanks for the article!
Ok. Favorite font: Century Gothic. New Favorite Font: Arriere Garde Font--love mixing upper and lower cases...

Poster I would create:Something indulgent: Something for myself--that's a first. I'm always giving my artwork away.

Crossing all ten fingers and ten toes!
Just checked out League. Fabulous--big and thick! Also sprawled on that open source website for fonts. Very gracious for your post...it led to more discoveries (and downloads).
gina
Oh geez how do I pick? I keep going to matchstick right now for thinner type and I almost always go back to bebas for a bold type. Though that league one looks fab. I've been needing to create a poster about sunshine so maybe I'll try out league on that!
Team
Yes, sunshine is much needed right now! Especially in the difficult time of winter! Off to check out Matchstick! I LOVE new fonts!

ruffledsunshine wrote:
Oh geez how do I pick? I keep going to matchstick right now for thinner type and I almost always go back to bebas for a bold type. Though that league one looks fab. I've been needing to create a poster about sunshine so maybe I'll try out league on that!
This is going to be an increadible class!! Im so looking foward to it!! Jessica a super amazing instructor!!
I love Jessica's classes and have taken almost all of them. My current favorite font is CAC Champagne - I love its softness on my scrapbooking pages though probably not best suited for poster work. I was recently introduced (probably by jessica) to Bebas and it is a fun bold font.
I would make a poster for my daughters upcoming graduation party - something to celebrate her awesomeness.
Pammie-Yes on CAC Champagne. Have you seen Porcelain?

Ruffled-Matchstick is very elegant and refined...but not stuffy.
love porcelein - but had forgotten about it - just had my harddrive replaced and had not reloaded all of my fonts - thank you for the reminder!
Team
Ohhh, check these out!

Art.Post: http://www.dafont.com/art-post.font

Adele: http://www.dafont.com/adele.font

I think we need a font group here on CL... http://www.colourlovers.com/group/Fonts_Anonymous
I know this may sound boring - but I've used Harrington as a branding font for a singer-songwriter I've done posters for. As her name (in this font) is front and centre it really works - like a true poster font. It also carries over nicely to other applications like CD's, etc. as it can be used "more delicately.
Team
Not boring at all! I love that font, and, if it's the font I'm thinking, I even have that font in a die cut, so I can cut paper with it! Really smart to use a font that can carry over!

linktrap wrote:
I know this may sound boring - but I've used Harrington as a branding font for a singer-songwriter I've done posters for. As her name (in this font) is front and centre it really works - like a true poster font. It also carries over nicely to other applications like CD's, etc. as it can be used "more delicately.
Team
Lovely idea for a poster, and perfect font too!! You've clearly taken a few of Jessica's classes given your "awesomeness" yourself! ;)

pammie~k wrote:
I love Jessica's classes and have taken almost all of them. My current favorite font is CAC Champagne - I love its softness on my scrapbooking pages though probably not best suited for poster work. I was recently introduced (probably by jessica) to Bebas and it is a fun bold font.
I would make a poster for my daughters upcoming graduation party - something to celebrate her awesomeness.
Team
I just posted over in the new, Fonts Anonymous Group! lol I couldn't help myself because I recently used this font and bought it. I think having a source area in the group would be fun. I jumped the gun on it. I'll upload a picture in how I used it in a bit.

But here's the group and a first discussion. Good idea Jessica.

http://www.colourlovers.com/group/Fonts_Anonymous
Team
I am so very HONORED to have a piece of my work featured in this article on Jessica Sprague!! Thank you so VERY MUCH to Jessica Griffin, ColourLovers and Jessica Sprague! This class is sure to be a FABULOUS one!! I can't WAIT!!
I have always loved Futura. Love the clean lines, the boldness without being too bold if you know what I mean! I've been wanting to take this class and had forgotten about this site. Glad to reconnect with fellow lovers of color like myself!
Team
good~!
تصميم الاعلانات موضوع رائع تعلمنا عليه حصص في ايام الدراسة وهو موضوع ممتع جداويشغل الفكر جدا اذا كنت من المهتمين بالوصول الى المرتبة مهمة في هذا المجال ....رائع ان يكون هناك تغطية لمثل هذه الموضيع
I don't think I can choose one font! I really love sans serif fonts I love the clean lines and simplicity. I think my current favorite is caviar dreams. I like the little details in the font. I have used it for invitation designs, but I'm not sure what kind of poster I would make.
Team

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