“Hiroshima: Panels by Iri Maruki and Toshiko Akamatsu” Is a poster which was designed in 1957, by Wim Crouwel for the Stedelijk Museum in the Netherlands. The poster was for a museum exhibition on specific works of art related to the Hiroshima bombing in 1945. Being a museum exhibition poster, it would have been mass produced for many locations and environments, so it would have used offset printing in A3 or A2 sizes.
The poster uses a portrait format, which is common for posters intended to inform as it is a more natural reading orientation. It contains a vivid red background with bold, thinly spaced, Black lettering across the centre. Laid horizontally below the lettering is a brief description of the exhibition in white text. The same style and alignment of text is used at the top of the page to show the museum presenting the exhibition. Two compact, rectangular pieces of white text to the right of centre are laid above and below the main lettering, to deliver the times and dates of the exhibition.
The design is highly abstract, and almost exclusively makes use of type to build the design, forgoing shapes or images. The typography of the design is therefore the main focus, which draws similarities with movements during the era towards modern, abstract design.
The typography of the exhibition poster is used to effectively abstract the meaning of the exhibition itself, while remaining eye-catching and legible. The thinly spaced, bold type of the title serves the function of drawing attention, while the body text is a humanist sans-serif typeface. This use of type helps to keep the design clean while also improving readability. While many of the elements ar...
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...o each element in turn, from the exhibit title, to the date, times and location. The white trim at the bottom is in stark contrast to the other elements of the design, which helps to draw the sys down to the date before moving upwards to the other information.
Overall I feel that the poster clearly serves its purpose of drawing attention to, then informing the viewer about a topical, provocative museum exhibition. It effectively communicates the purpose of the design, by cleverly balancing the eye-catching title text with the unorthodox yet highly legible body text. Wim Crouwel has clearly forged a signature style with this piece alongside the other museum exhibition posters, which both combines and influences the modernist and International Typographic Style movements, by abstracting the characteristics of the exhibit into distinct typographic elements (Bos, n.d.).
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