I'm making this poster:

SVG file

Even though I find it's quite a good design, my lack of formal education in graphic design makes me unable to explain why it is a good one. Especially on the text. For example, here are some of my questions:

  • The typeface is Book Antiqua. Why does it look fit in here? Does the italic title fit the air that the background creates for the viewers? Why? If you need to change the typefaces, what can them be?
  • Are the line spacing and the size harmony? How do I know if they are?

In this design I have center-align the text, use white color for grey background.

Background source: The Transient Landscape | Cai Guo-Qiang

  • "Fit" as in good? Sorry slang evolves.. :) I know fit means good in slang for some parts of the world, but it's not used in the same manner in the US. Just making certain.
    – Scott
    Commented Sep 3, 2022 at 17:59
  • @Scott - it means good looking in UK slang, but only really works for people, - "a fit bird", "a fit bloke", etc. Stumped me as well. Not sure what is being asked here TBH.
    – Billy Kerr
    Commented Sep 3, 2022 at 18:09
  • Ahh. thanks @BillyKerr I've heard it used in reference to people on UK tv shows... I wasn't sure if it worked as a "general" positive. And "does type fit" works as well as "does type look good".
    – Scott
    Commented Sep 3, 2022 at 18:11
  • It has sexual connotations . . . so no, definitely not general. LOL. Perhaps lost in google translation?
    – Billy Kerr
    Commented Sep 3, 2022 at 18:21
  • 1
    Let Stack's proven algorithms determine what is or is not related.
    – Scott
    Commented Sep 3, 2022 at 19:11

1 Answer 1


Line-for-line centering is often a lazy choice. That is not to say it's always bad. Centering tends to work adequately much of the time and can often be a "quick-fix" in terms of design. Often, designs which are far more interesting visually won't use line centering. Whether it works or not is really more preference than anything.

The line centering works well with this particular image because of the image itself. Essentially the photographer has done 80% of the work for you. The image creates an "hourglass" visual shape. The top is pushing the eye downward, the bottom is pushing the eye upward....

enter image description here

The visual upside down triangle created by the type simply enforces the push upward.... then the birds/bats shape pushes the eye downward. In addition, the triangle shape subtly continues the eye movement of the birds at the top. Bringing the top shape - the triangle created by the birds - down to the base of the piece. So you've got somewhat juxtaposing movement.

In this case, the line centering actually balances the visuals a bit more. The top of the image is much "heavier" than the bottom without the type. The type is assisting on overall balance rather than working against it or appearing superfluous.

enter image description here

What's really balancing the overall image is that white logo at the bottom. It's directly counteracting the heavy black at the top of the image. That logo is visually as strong as the black at the top. Without that logo, the piece would not work as well.

This juxtaposition help keep the eye on the page and "dancing" so to speak. This makes for an intriguing image. It psychologically causes the viewer to keep looking as if there's more to see, when there really isn't.

As for the italics, changing typefaces, and all that.. that's all merely preference. There are no right or wrong answers to any of that. The only real key here is that the type centering is probably one of the better layout choices here. And that logo placement is critical due to the background image. The other choice with be to try and reverse that type triangle so the point is at the top. This may work better, or not. One would have to test it.

I do think the spacing you have between the text lines are well done. They seem equidistant and don't create too much or too little white space. Lines are easily tracked visually and prominence is conveyed well without being overpowering.

Lastly, I hope you are aware that that photograph is copyrighted and using it without permission from the photographer, for something like a book cover or event flier, is an infringement.

  • 1
    Thanks for the analysis. As for the license, yes I'm aware of that, and has already contacted the artist as well as the museum for permission. I know that until I have a permission then I'm not allowed to do so. While I don't mean this as an excuse, I do see that there is a movement to reject the right for this. I'll need to research more
    – Ooker
    Commented Sep 3, 2022 at 19:11

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