„Describe a poster/flyer that would be adequate for the given purpose. Write its text and describe its layout (e.g. size/colour/headings/illustrations. Give reasons for you decisions.“
[Source. last access: 23 February 2014]
As indicated by the example above (taken from the A-level exams 2010), developing the concept for a flyer as well as one’s justification of the chosen content and artistic elements is a typical creative-writing assignment in today’s English exams and has to be practised in class. The section below presents a flyer designed by Ngoc, one of our students in grade 11, together with her justification of the layout. Her flyer advertises a shortie that has been analysed and discussed in class and supposedly won an award at the fictitious „Lichtenberg Short Film Festival“
Description and justification of the flyer for „A Thousand Words“
This advertisement flyer for the movie premiere of „A Thousand Words“ has the format A5 and runs horizontally, which is typical of many photos and pictures. As this movie does not make use of linguistic means or any language at all, the viewer only gets to see pictures.
The front of the flyer is kept in white, only consisting of „A Thousand Words“ in the center area of the flyer in capitalized, bold letters. The letters are filled with different shots from the movie – this again emphasizes the missing language use and thus, underlines the variety of pictures seen in the movie. Besides, this draws the reader’s attention to the flyer to have a closer look at the font. Another thing to mention is that the disuse of colors draws parallels between flyer and movie: „A Thousand Words“ is kept completely in black and white.
The back of the flyer is dominated by a big picture on the right, covering up about half of the page. As already mentioned above, the mutiple use of pictures emphasizes the message of this story: A picture is worth a thousand words. The picture depicts an extreme close-up shot from the movie: The protagonist is holding a camera in his hands, zooming in the building that plays a significant role. By using a picture of an important part of the story, the flyer brings up a small preview of the movie. Moreover, the camera is a symbol of modern and urban life, which is reflected in „A Thousand Words“.
On the left side of the flyer all information is given. Firstly, three quotations are listed at the top of the page. All texts are written in capitalized letters because in the movie mostly block letters were used (e.g. opening credits, label of parcel containing the camera). The quotations are written without any font effects except all caps; their authors, e.g. New York Times or LIFE Magazine, are Italic and have smaller font sizes than the quotations themselves, as they are not as important. In the center area of the text side of the flyer the most important message of the movie is given: A picture is worth a thousand words. This sentence is embedded in quotation marks as it is a quote by an unknown author, which has turned to a proverb nowadays. Due to its significance, this quote is written in the biggest font size used on this page and surrounded by two short lines separating it from the rest of the text. The lower third of the written part of the back page gives all information concerning the movie premiere. This part of the flyer is introduced by the phrase „Experience urban simplicity!“, which, again, gives a small preview of the movie. This sentence is Italic and has a small to medium font size. Below, the words „Movie premiere“ can be seen in relatively big and bold letters. As this is a flyer advertising for the movie premiere of the movie „A Thousand Words“, these words need to be outstanding. The next line gives the name of the movie theatre showing the movie – this information is also very important and thus, written in Italic, bold and medium sized letters. The following information (address, date, tickets) are medium sized too; only the date and the time are Italic. At the bottom of the page a link for more information is given in medium sized, Italic letters.
In addition, the font Helvetica was consistently used, which is known as a very modern, clean and easy font and thus, I consider this to be an appropriate one.
In contrast to the the title of the movie, the flyer is kept very minimalistic and simple, as the movie is itself, emphasizing the contradictory disuse of language. The color white, which acts as the background color of front and back, symbolizes calmness and silence, cleanliness and simplicity, but can also be bold and dominant. In my opinion this perfectly describes the movie: Although it is made with simple means, such as black and white, it is still special and some kind of unique.