Western Designs

Rams head

This week I have learned a lot about design. Whether it be from reading Massimo Vignelli’s “The Vignelli Canon” or by completing the earlier assignment of creating a DesignBlitz. It has been good week about learning about the different concepts of design. After learning about these concepts, I looked at all the different western movie posters, Christian Annyas’ collection of western title stills, Georgia O’Keeffe’s drawings/paintings of the West, and Ansel Adams’ photos of the American West. From looking at these different examples of western design, I had thoughts on a couple of things.

First, that western design focuses on displaying the audience with images of nature in the background. In almost all of examples, I saw some sort of landscape background with rocks, dry lands, or a shot of large plains. Then, I noticed that most of the title stills in Annyas’ collection used a similar font for most of the movies. I don’t know specifically what kind of font it is, but it is the kind of old time western font that I’ve seen in every adaptation of western wanted posters. Another thing that I noticed was that most of movie posters did not have a minimalist design, and seemed cluttered in my opinion. There were images of cowboys with hats, explosions, other characters, and all sorts of other western images that made it seem like they were trying to design a poster that was all full. Finally, the last thing that I noticed was that Georgia O’Keeffe must have really loved skulls of rams because a lot of her western drawings were of ram skulls with a dry, warm colored background. 

These are my thoughts on what western designs are all about. It’s about images of dry land nature, rams skulls, a similar type of font, warm colors, blue skies, and an emphasis on trying to fill up the white space on a movie poster.

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