©2020 Built with love by Nick Howland.

TYPE II / Lecture Poster / Final Statements

TYPE II / Lecture Poster / Final Statements
April 5, 2013 nick howland



Transparency, overlap, CMYK, process. Process. These are all some of the most important elements that form Martens’ methods. Through extensive research (I’ve stared at this man’s work for hours and hours and drool may have been involved), I came to the conclusion that the process is the most important element within Marten’s design ideology. But at the same time, it doesn’t. Or at least he doesn’t let his focus on process. I’ll explain.

There is a scene in an interview I watched with Karel Martens where the two were in Marten’s studio. Martens was meticulously working on a series of prints while the interview took place. He stands and charges each roll as he layers ink on the geometric shapes he intends to print. He measures each movement as to not disrupt the prints as he preps the stamp and then carries it across the room, where the viewer assumes a well cleaned and incredibly well tuned press will exist. But it doesn’t. Martens carries his stamps over to a table. He places a layer of paper on top of the stamps. Then he grabs a giant stack of heavy books and drops it on top of the waiting print and walks off.

The process is everything. But then it has to be created. I think this scene within the interview really described everything about Martens’ philosophy to me. There has to be a strong process and concept in place throughout the design. It’s important to pay attention to little details, some of which are entirely purposeful where as others come through accident or through pushing interaction that doesn’t normally occur. Experimentation.

To finally sum it up, this poster project really flipped things around for me (makes turning motion of hands that Marty made when I first asked her why she chose Martens for me). Or at least it has begun to. I feel like I’m more process orientated. I’m more aware of the search for beautiful moments caused by interactions that don’t purposefully occur. I’m addicted to transparencies. And I’m long winded. Please check out my process below and I will stop talking.


This is where it all actually started. I wanted to have the focus of the design be on the type, so I made the image black and white as well as half-toned it.



This design was another concept during the first set of designs. For this one, I wanted to focus on the interaction of letterforms and imagery as well as push transparency. Overlap is my friend.



This is where my design really started to take shape. I somewhat integrated the first two designs, pushed the interplay between  the layered objects further and experimented with text overlay in a new way. This is where I began to experiment some with text as image.


The next two designs really show where the poster fully started to form. I inverted the designer’s title and filled it with a dot pattern, which allowed it to further play with the image at the bottom- this part is still my favorite moment within the poster. I also began to experiment with the previously boring and stagnant body copy, introducing more hierarchy and displaying it in an interesting way. From here, I jumped on into the final design and tweaked it until it seemed about right.