Graphic Design / Interactive Design / Fine & Applied Arts / Parkland College

GDS 108 Design Media and Principles
Project 3: Parkland Library Read Poster

Instructor: Liza Wynette & Paul Young


To learn design principles through exploration and experimentation. To learn visual organization by making unified compositions. To practice thumbnail sketching. To apply design principles to real-world visual communication problems.

Secondary objectives

To utilize Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign as layout and production tools.


"Read" is an ongoing national campaign designed to raise awareness of and encourage the use of our library systems for both public and educational purposes. Parkland Library has obtained permission to produce their own "Read" posters and has been doing so every year since 2005.

Using a client-provided photograph as the center piece to your design, you will create a new poster in this series that highlights both the featured "celebrity" and the book.

The poster size is 24 x 36 inches and it will be printed in color. Your poster design must visually relate to the existing series. One design will be chosen to be printed and framed by the client.

Per our syllabus, you may ONLY use the standard "core" fonts installed in D019 for your assignments unless you obtain prior approval from the instructor (see Parkland's Core Fonts Specimen Sheet ). Please talk to your instructor if you need to use a non-standard font from the Adobe Font Folio collection.

Your design must show an understanding of unity, emphasis and balance. Your design can also employ visual qualities such as rhythm and depth. Your design must also give careful consideration to how color harmony can enhance the communication of the subject matter.

Note: Although the client has provided a photo of the subject, additional imagery for the background might be a viable option. High resolution stock photos and illustrations are available from Photospin. Contact your instructor for more information.


1. RESEARCH FOR INSPIRATION: Find examples of clean, modern, minimalist posters for reference. Pay particular attention to the font choices of your favorite posters. Make note of how designers unify the visual elements. Study how designers make use of color theory for harmony or contrast. Share links to your best research on your Process Page. Also research the Celebrity Read Posters in the American Library Association's Online Store for reference. Download your favorite poster design and publish it on your Process Page. Also print select research samples for your Process Book.

2. PROOF: Using Adobe Illustrator, begin to conceptualize layouts for this project. Make at least three studies of possible directions you might take this project. Publish each study as a separate PDF (smallest file size) linked from your Process Page for critique. Be prepared to talk about what design principles are utilized in your design. Also print color proofs on 11x17 paper for your Process Book (reduced to fit printable area).

3. FINAL CRITIQUE: Based on the critique of the above, revise your design (if needed), then print a final proof on 11x17 paper for critique. Prepare a presentation to justify your design decisions for final critique. Also add a revised high quality PDF to your personal Process Page.

4. GRADING: Based on the critique above, refine your design (if needed). Submit two copies of your final proof with your name on the back for grading. One proof will be returned to you after grading. File the graded proof in your Process Book for individual review along with your research and preliminary proofs. Also submit a high quality PDF via Cobra's dropbox. You will not receive full credit for this project if any of the above elements are missing.

5. PORTFOLIO PREPARATION: If you are happy with the results of this project, consider including it in your portfolio. If necessary, continue to make refinements until you are 100% satisfied with the project. Be sure to save all your files for future editing.

6. EXTRA CREDIT: Submit your project into the annual student show by printing an art gallery quality proof and mounting it on foam board. Also prepare an archival quality JPEG (1000px wide, no larger than 200K) and submit your project using the online entry form at Your project may win a cash prize and be published in a showcase of student work on Parkland's website.

Last updated: 12/7/17 ■ Webmaster: Paul Young