Deborah B.

I have recently been interested in old travel posters and used some of those images for this assignment.


I think the train travel poster is an example of bi-lateral symmetrical balance.

The right and left sides are similar, but not exactly the same.  The picture is centered with strong vertical lines and a person and chairs on each side of the table, but the more I look at it the more I see.  The dark of the man’s suit is offset by his white table napkin, while the lady’s dark suit is offset by more skin showing and a light hat. 

The whole picture is also divided in the middle horizontally by the strong colors.  The darks are on the bottom and the lights on the top, but at the very bottom and very top is contrasting lettering in proportion to the color it is offsetting.


I see in the Parisian Drinks poster (bi-lateral?) symmetrical balance as well as asymmetrical balance with the bright red contrasting the mostly gray and black picture.  

Divided down the middle of the lady with the red jacket (the biggest pop of color in the picture) there are two woman on the same bar stools on either side.  On the left they face away from each other, on the right they face towards each other, but in both cases their bodies seem to form a figure 8.


When I thought back to this poster in my mind’s eye, I remembered being drawn in to the water in the center and at first thought to look for some kind of radial balance.  But looking at it again, I see an asymmetrical balance as the picture is really divided into roughly one third boat and two thirds water.  The boat has the strong lines, hard edges, and the biggest blocks of color, which contrast the hazy atmosphere and wavy blurry lines of the water in the rest of the picture.

The strong curving and contrasting line of the side of the boat against the soft waves brings my eye in and holds “hard” on one side and “soft” on the other.  Perhaps what I remembered about that strong pull in made me think of radial balance.

I like the tiny bit of yellow and red from the boat on the left thrown into the sky and water on the right, tying everything together.


I love how simple this poster is yet I can feel what Spain must be like.  I see several examples of asymmetrical balance.  Not only is the overall color scheme balanced with the lights of the sky and background with the darks of the buildings and people, but the buildings are balanced among and within themselves.  

The smaller red building has a bit of yellow from the yellow building as well as a touch of black for a window and door.  The larger yellow building has a touch of red and a slightly larger black window.  Its door, however, is more subtly rendered.  Maybe if it, too, were pitch black, it would have thrown the picture off.


I think the asymmetrical balance here is created by having the relatively simple umbrellas balancing and separating the complicated image of the crowd on the pavement and the leaves of the tree above.


This is from my first foray into paper pattern piecing.  I made a bunch of cup blocks for practice and decided to put them all together and hang it up.  Could this be a sort of crystallographic composition?