This image has been taken from a series of posters that US based designer, Raf Rennie designed to promote screenings of Satoshi Kon’s anime works.

The design is an example of a structured, modernist approach to typography. However, it is also an exercise in using mess and chaos in the design to break free from the banality of structure.

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The basic grid being used, as highlighted with the blue guides, is an expression of simple, rational design principles typically associated with modernist design. The modernist sense of structure is developed through the use of geometric shapes. The lower half of the poster is dominated by a large oval and an implicit rectangle implied from the small, violet rectangles.

The title text is center aligned, using a retro, minimal sans-serif type that eschews curves for blocky approximations. Hierarchy is established through the weight of the text and tangled, khaki ‘scribble highlight’.

The artist text holds the next position in the hierarchy, with a finer and more elegent serif with tight letter spacing. This secondary place in the hierarchy is ‘carved out’ by the negative space in the oval.

The details text is very small, serif type. It’s size and subtle weight secure its position at the lowest point in the hierarchy.

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Rennie, work is typically minimal or monochromatic in its use of colour. For these posters he uses a simple colour system of white, off-white and gentle pastels.

Design formalities are presented with respect, and careful understanding but broken and warped by Rennie. The violet elements referencing the typographical grid are sloppily drawn or truncated. The Khaki lines that represent the reflection line and the title text background, are rough and chaotically hand drawn. Rennie uses ‘controller mess’ with traditional design language to create something novel.