A Case of Less is More

Sometimes more research results in a simpler design. Such was the case for a piece I started working on last night. Given the movie title “Drought 1980: The Return”, I tasked myself with the idea of developing a movie poster that would fit the title.

My preliminary concept, drawn off the cuff, is shown below. It’s a pretty general movie poster with some interesting elements in it – but it was coming across as fairly formulaic.


The next morning, I went back and created a mind map. I can’t emphasize making mind maps enough. They are incredibly useful tools in brainstorming your design. The mind map allowed me to go beyond the usual and branch out my thoughts to areas I hadn’t considered before.


Below is the result after using a mind map. There is more of a theme. Having really liked the cow skull inside a gas mask from the initial concept, I brought it back in for the revised version. Adding the Soviet sickle immediately gives the image context while the bright, saturated colors give the image an uncomfortably warm feeling, while also harkening back to the color scheme used in Soviet propaganda posters.


More of my full process work (including a slew of visual and written notes) is available for you to check out on my Instagram feed.