The Art of Poster Design: The 2016 Olympic Games | Adam Johnson | Skillshare

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The Art of Poster Design: The 2016 Olympic Games

teacher avatar Adam Johnson, Designer by trade, Explorer at heart.

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

7 Lessons (14m)
    • 1. Introduction About Me

    • 2. Typography

    • 3. Historical Style

    • 4. Sketches and Ideation

    • 5. Digitizing Your Design

    • 6. Layout and Composition

    • 7. Adding Color

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About This Class

Chose a country and design a poster for the 2016 Rio Olympics reflective of a specific graphic design style, past or present, in that country. Students are encouraged to design their poster in a graphic style associated with the country of choice, or design it with the locale of Rio in mind and research the styles of that region. 

Helpful Links:

Olympic Posters from the Past
Olympic Typography

Free fonts available for personal and commercial use:

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Adam Johnson

Designer by trade, Explorer at heart.


Born and raised in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Asheville, North Carolina. Adam was influenced by art at a very early age. Many of his younger years were spent with brush-clasped hands trying his luck on a Little Tykes easel. Later on in High School he would be encouraged by art teachers and friends to pursue a creative career. Through the influence of his vibrant hometown and the support of friends and family, Adam attended the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) and graduated in 2013.

While at SCAD, Adam developed a passion for graphic design. Fascinated by typography and layout, much of his time outside of class was spent nurturing client relationships and building a successful freelance network. He couldn't put the pen tool down so to speak. After graduating form SCAD, ... See full profile

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1. Introduction About Me: Hey, guys. Thanks for signing up in taking my course on school share. This is my first project, and I'm excited to have you on board. My name is Adam Johnson, and I graduated from the Savannah College of Art, Designed three years ago. Since then, I've been working at Under Armour as a graphic designer in this project, we're gonna be designing a poster for the Children. 16 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. I'm gonna take you through. Resource is key concepts and the tools you need to design a successful poster. So if you're ready, let's get started. 2. Typography: in the next couple of videos, I'm gonna be going over key concepts. These concepts include typography and historical style. Two elements that I think you're crucial to the success of a poster. I'm gonna design a poster for the Netherlands and specifically, the poster is gonna be centered around cycling one of the events they're competing in in the chills and 16 Rio de Janeiro Olympics. I'll begin by getting on Google. Trying to understand trends have been done in the past. Looking at examples, this is an excellent website. I'm gonna post this on the project page. Be sure to check out that way. Look, a typographical figures. We'll get type from the country. You may choose to try to be inspired by things have been done And think about how the applied your project. Specifically, I'm gonna look at him. Craughwell. He's a Dutch typographer. I've always been very excited about his work and it's really cool stuff. So I think I want to use some of his work as inspiration in my project. 3. Historical Style: you know, historical style is really just to give you an understanding of what kind of designs have been done in the past. I'm going to simply look up Olympic posters. What kind of look out for inspiration? What can I learn about designs others have created? There's always cool examples of past things, you know, going way, way, way back. And there is also very current posters. Designs, you'll see. It's great to look at color. Look, a typography again. Look at the dates on these posters. You know, this one's from 1928 which is pretty cool. I'm gonna say this my inspiration folder, and I suggest that you have ah designated folder for this project as well. So in the Netherlands, a very big moving that happened was told you still, you don't have to take a movement. I'm picking this still, you know, very loosely. My poster will not look like to. Still, when I'm finished, I'm pretty sure, but it's a good place to start. It's a great jumping off point, and the same goes for people that had an impact in those in those movements. Here I am looking at your oven Joesbury significant figure in that still movement. It's good, just tohave, you know, respect for where design has been and where it is today. And a lot of it does have to do with these influential people. So it's great to, you know, if nothing else, get a little history lesson out of it and enlighten yourself on area of design you may not have known about. 4. Sketches and Ideation: starting out. I like to grab my sketchbook in a pin open up to a blank page, and I'll just start sketching out ideas almost always this where I began regardless of what I'm doing, whether I'm designing a T shirted under armour, where this poster I'm gonna just draw, you know, quick rectangle and start sketching inside that start conceptualizing what I want to do with elements how things are gonna work together, Start putting in typography, developing hierarchy a little bit here. You know, it's never too early to begin exploring how your types gonna interact with elements, you know, here I've drawn a little map for the Netherlands. Consider the hierarchy of your poster early on. Definitely will help you in the end, and it will make your project a lot stronger. Go to the computer is pretty simple. I've been using an app called Scannable for me. It's great because it will snap a photo, it'll adjust it for you. And then I can't say what ever know just good for me? A store things, but it's also linked up to Dropbox and your camera roll. So whatever works for you, it's a great app. Highly recommend it. Try and develop your concept as much as you can at this stage sketching and aviation. Part of this is extremely important to the success of your poster in the end. 5. Digitizing Your Design: Oh, gonna be pulling this in a design. Could open up a new document. Now I'm gonna walk you through a couple of steps. How we're gonna set this up. Good gesture. Were using inches. Sorry. Here in the metric system. Gonna do a 24 inch poster by 36 inches. Pretty standard. And I'm gonna do this. Very cool. So, a portrait for you to do a landscape as well and bleed I'm gonna go a 0.1 to 5 or eight. Manage. Can pretty industry standard click? OK, all right, now we're in. All right, So let's go ahead and place that sketched file that we've just brought in. I use scannable. Whatever you've used should be fine. And again, you don't have to do it digitally. Could bring it in and just have a laying on the bed beside you on your table or whatever. And just reference that way for me. I like to bring it in. No, I'm gonna do some stuff with this sketch where I'm gonna draw around on top of it. So good to have it in there. And now we can start working on type, so I want to just lay things out and get get some words on the page thing about the hierarchy of your type. Small piper, large headers. The smell of things that I used in a past project on what I want to do is bring those, and and it's a great way to save myself time. If you've got a pass product you worked on, definitely try to use elements and maybe they weren't used. This is a great opportunity. I'm gonna just start drawing on top of my sketch. I turned down the opacity pretty far, and I've actually locked the layer. And that's gonna be command Teoh or Control, too. And what that's gonna allow me to do is not move that shape, not move that sketch underneath and I can describe in tool. Start working right over top. Actually, I've spent this up now working this fast. I'm not not to that level just yet. Maybe someday. See, I'm just gonna mask this in. I think this is something that we use in the background track surface could be really cool to reference cycling again. This is like a little bit more of a digital sketch. It's all work in progress. until you're happy with it. And until you think you've found a great solution for it, so that's digitizing your design. You have any questions, feel free comment. 6. Layout and Composition: Once you've developed a couple elements and started working with type, it's time to start considering the layout and the composition of your poster. Must've been a pull a file from previous projects that sort of a catch, all for different shapes and different little designs that I've created. It's good for me to have this stored on my computer. I can access it whenever I need to. Here I have a map of the Netherlands of Windmill on a bike. So these are gonna be perfect for the poster again. Like I said, really start focusing on hierarchy. It's really important that your type starts to work together and start considering those little details gonna just this background track image I'm gonna use and I'm gonna play set into my file copied straight from illustrator engine design. That's great deal import as a GPS, and actually your points are still edible. Just pretty cool. Make your file size a little bit bigger, but I'm not gonna be adding a lot of them, so I'm not too concerned with that. Something else I really like to do is w key, and what that will do is a troubled preview menu So it'll hide Oliver guides and your edges of the elements in your poster. This could be one of the most time consuming part of the project, but in the end, it's gonna make your poster a lot stronger. So take your time and create elements, and we're gonna design that you're after it. Here. Is that bike out pulled from that file. I'm gonna start moving it around and trying to get an idea where one police that in the again layout composition is all about how the elements are gonna work together significantly sped this up just so you could get an idea of how much interaction I'm actually having with all these elements that typography, the icons I've created and everything in the design, it really is just all about playing around and getting a feel for what you like. What, you don't like coming up a design that you're happy with again. Layla composition could be one of the more time consuming parts of the project, but it's really important. And in the end, it's gonna be the ultimate structure of your poster. I think I'm repeating myself multiple times, but focus on hierarchy, consider your type choices and work with icons and elements that are gonna make your poster design stronger 7. Adding Color: Let's look at color. In my poster for the Netherlands, I'm using red, white and blue the colors of the Dutch black. I'm also using the color orange, which is traditionally worn by Dutch, sort of set up a hierarchy power one color to be so just beginning, messing around color in your design, seeing how it's gonna affect other elements. Just experience like black and white design a lot. So sometimes this is a challenge for me. Maybe it's a challenge for you as well. You know, sometimes things air accident old but working out really well. That's pretty much it. You've added color and their additional things you can do, like add texture, but I'm not gonna go into killing, not in this school share. Final step is, of course, just to save your project, then exported out as a PdF for any other file types. You like PDFs your ideal for printing. So if you're gonna take it to a print shop, that's what I'd recommend. Yeah, that's really all there is. Thanks for taking my course. Instead, I'm excited You guys were part of my class, and I can't wait to see the projects that you come up with. I hope you've enjoyed this and you'll be able to get something useful out of it. Ideally, you take some of these tools and tricks I've taught you into other areas of design. Please don't hesitate to reach out to me by sending anymore commenting on the project page . Can't wait to hear from you guys. Good luck with the project.