Adrienne Luk
7 min readFeb 20, 2023


project 2: fundamentals of visual communication


The event that I chose was Row House Cinema.

Row House Cinema is a single screen movie theater that shows classic and contemporary films.

Row House Cinema

From this, my initial intentions with the poster was to utilize aspects of the cinema and the design of the theater in my design as well. I pivoted to focusing more on the content of the poster instead in my later iterations instead.

Below are a few examples of some of the initial exercises practicing proximity, alignment, and contrast.

Exercises 1–6

given context
samples of proximity exercise
samples of contrast exercise
samples of alignment exercise
samples of contrast and proximity exercise

Some design decisions I made were based on what I felt the significant information was and needed to be highlighted. I also did spacings based on chunking of information. For example, movie titles and the respective information regarding the film.

Some observations I made were that it was actually very helpful to be limited to making small moves for each iteration. I found that when I was given more freedom to combine and utilize multiple methods of incorporating hierarchy it became more challenging to make decisions. I think that this will definitely help in my development of work for exercises 7 and 8 in terms of choosing what information is important and how I want to convey them in the most effective way possible without overwhelming the space.

Exercise 7 — Scale

scale exercise (in-class)
scale exercise (digital)

In this exercise, I had some challenges in balancing the text and negative space. I also had to rethink my decisions in terms of what information I want to highlight and think that would draw a viewer in. I first had consistently immediately presumed that the location “Row House Cinema” was the most important information, but I decided that the theme of the movies and dates would be more important. Making “Row House Cinema” secondary made more sense. I also thought that because most people only glance at posters and tend to look more thoroughly at information on their phones, that the website link would also be an important piece of information to highlight.

Exercise 8

color exercise

I drew my color palette from the Row House Cinema facade and exterior. The building is made of brick, with blue detailing and the name is decorated in bulb lights. I chose to focus on using red, yellow, and blue, but in the above iterations, experimented with just red and yellow for now. I chose to use a yellow circle to represent the light-bulbs that are representative of the cinema.

Exercise 9

image exercise

For these iterations, incorporating imagery really helped in my design and the overall characteristic that I wanted the poster to show. I think it really helped me to think about how I wanted to express and emphasize the idea of classical political thrillers and how that can be represented through image and use of color. I chose to experiment with three varying styles, to explore the range of how the same emotion of betrayal, mystery, and intrigue can be conveyed. They all share a similar feeling of being ominous. The blank white screen contrasted with the black background seems to express mystery and aims to intrigue the viewer. The second poster aims to be minimal, and the imagery is meant to intrigue the viewer in that what the picture actually is, is unclear to the viewer but enough is shown to pique one’s interest to wonder what it is. Lastly, I felt the bold colors and large eyes of the third poster draws attention to the poster, while not straying for the idea of a classical political film.

poster iterations

In the above posters, I experimented with the imagery and focusing in on what would convey the ideas of mystery and intrigue to best represent the movie series. On the left poster, I played more with the catchphrase text and aligned them with the directionality of the image in terms of the way the fingers and scissors are guiding our eyes across the page. I also used a different color for the separated texts so that even though they are separate they are read as one. In the poster on the right, I chose a more mysterious imagery with a striking background which allowed me more negative space to work with. I felt this image really draws the attention of the viewer but the use of a single color distracts from what information is actually most important since they all seem to be fighting to be read.


In the refinement process, I chose to iterate on my last poster since it was most successful during the development. I originally followed a column grid for all my initial and previous poster designs but with the direction that I was going in with the iterations, it was suggested that utilizing the Fibonacci grid would benefit the visual composition of the poster.

refinement of blue text color, old(L) new(R)
poster iterations
poster iterations utilizing Fibonacci ratio grid
final poster options

In these iterations, the use of the golden ratio helped in the directionality and placement of text on the page. It was very helpful in guiding the eye through the page subtly. I felt that the image in the background did not really take away from the swirl even though it has a strong sense of verticality to it. I felt that the wrench was also helpful in guiding the viewer’s eye across the page.

Final Iterations

Some comments I received in class suggested that I lower the black in the blue text since the contrast between the text and black background was not high enough, making it hard to read the text. It was also mentioned that I should space “Classic Political Thrillers” more equally. This was interesting since the text was technically equally spaced on my computer, but it appeared that there was a larger gap between political and thrillers than classic and political. I adjusted these two aspects respectively for my final poster iteration.

refinement of blue text
final poster iteration + mobile

Mobile Iteration

For the mobile version, I changed a few things around. I organized the text on the page based on significance of information. I placed the title at the top along with “Row House Cinema” since that is the first thing a viewer would see if they opened it on their phone. Moving down, I had the dates, then the quote. The blue text is much darker than it is on the poster because the contrast against the red background with the original brighter blue was not visually working well. Lastly, I just placed the movie titles and information as they were from the poster at the bottom. I felt that off-setting the image so that the leg was going off the page was helpful in guiding the viewer to scroll down due to the vertical nature of the imagery. The negative space allowed for me to place text on the left.