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Design notes: the 2014 Fellowship poster

Thursday, 13 February 2014

In 1997, Shepley Bulfinch established a ten-week Summer Design Fellowship, which is open to all students who are, at date of submission, enrolled in an accredited professional degree program in the field of architecture. As part of our promotion of the annual fellowship, posters are mailed to accredited architecture schools across North America.

For the past five years we have worked to elevate the quality and exposure of the Summer Design Fellowship, and the poster has been an instrumental part of that. Since 2010, we have posed compelling questions for applicants to answer and have commissioned posters by noted graphic designers including Michael Bierut of Pentagram; Experimental Jetset; Non-Format; and Build.

The 2014 poster was designed by Toronto graphic design firm Underline Studio. Their design responds to the question posed to this year’s candidates: “You’re having breakfast and hear a large buzzing sound. What’s going on?”

From Fidel Pena of Underline Studio:
As a starting point we decided to focus on the fellowships submission requirement of responding to a sound on an 8 x 8 inch square. We placed the square dead centre to make it the main focus of the poster, and for it to occupy the central point when folded. Surrounding that square, and radiating out from it, are graphics inspired by sound. With these we intended to abstractly create visuals that represent sound. We liked how this focus on the white square created intrigue, but also required some thinking and space for the viewer to ask themselves what the buzzing is.

We deliberately designed the type to step back as a secondary element, to place emphasize on the central illustration. The typeface selected is Calibre, a geometric neo-grotesque designed in 2011. Geometric typefaces are sans serif faces constructed from simple geometric shapes, circles and/or rectangles which aligned well to the forms in the illustration.

2014 02 13 sbsdf graphic sm

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