La Petite Mort + Print

La Petite Mort subverts typographic norms through Figure-Ground manipulation, encouraging a richer exploration of their semantic meaning.
Graphic Poster for La Petite Mort

Pushing the Limits of Legibility

I concentrated my design experiments on challenging legibility limits, giving priority to readability through text transformations and the Gestalt Principle of Closure. I aimed to explore the extent to which typographic elements could be pushed before reaching complete abstraction. Moreover, I sought a more intentional approach to color.

Aligning Aspirations with Execution

In my early lateral experiments, I discovered a disparity between my graphic aspirations and my actual execution capabilities. As the Lead Graphic Designer, I revisited the team's grouping exercise, selecting images that I believed captured both our design goals and what we could realistically produce.

Utilizing Mood-Board as a Visual Tool

The mood-board aimed to convey my art direction, highlighting deconstructed text, dynamic Figure-Ground relationships, and bold interactions with color. The typographic content is deliberately deconstructed, challenging frames to evoke feelings of both expansion and containment simultaneously. Higher contrast forms create ambiguous Figure-Ground associations, making the background an active part of the composition. A vibrant, highly-saturated color palette communicates a cheery aesthetic. I intended to use color continuity to unite and relate offset clusters of typography.
Mood-Board for La Petite Mort

Art Direction

I initially designed the poster with a sole emphasis on deconstructing typographic elements, using monochrome forms. Once satisfied with the initial design, I opted to introduce color to establish hierarchy within the composition.
Semantic Dissonance
I opted for a buoyantly optimistic color palette, intentionally contrasting the semantic association of "La Mort" or death. The dissonance between the vibrant colors and the concept of death is deliberately unsettling, urging viewers to engage more profoundly. Furthermore, the chartreuse color creates a bold contrast with ultramarine, serving to visually reunite the scattered occurrences of the word "Mort" throughout the composition.
Color Palette for La Petite Mort
Deconstructed Typography
I deconstructed the letter forms and disassociated the complete title of La Petite Mort to leverage the interplay between significance and abstraction. By permitting abstract Figure-Ground relationships, I aimed to engage the viewer and guide their gaze within and around the composition. The gradual abstraction of typographic elements enables meaning to gradually emerge at various points.
Deconstructed Letter "T" and Separated O in "Mort"
Nested Framing
I applied a substantial margin to direct attention to the inner compositions, offering the necessary structure to contain numerous small typographic segments. Internally, I used slim frames to create the illusion of larger typography within the mini vignettes, as if the elements were bursting out of their confines. Deliberately, typographic elements touch the frames, conveying the impression that they are pressing against them, seeking to reunite with their corresponding words.
Framings in La Petite Mort
Typographic Compartmentalization
An asymmetrical grid was surfaced to support a dynamic composition, simultaneously instilling visual order into the abstract deconstructed typography. I fragmented the field of view to distill intricate and irregular sensory inputs into more digestible segments. This typographic compartmentalization not only imparts structure but also renders the composition visually digestible.
Compartmentalization of Typographic Elements to 5 Partitions

Graphic Assets

Following the finalization of the poster, I proceeded to address its additional assets as needed.
Advertising Flag
The primary challenge in designing the flag was the perceived tightness of gridlines and typography, causing an imbalance in the adjacent whitespace. To address this, I alleviated the issue by allocating more white space to the typographic elements and lowering the grid lines to enhance the overall flow and balance within the composition.
Advertising Flag for La Petite Mort
Performance Ticket
The initial design lacked a discernible grid and did not align with the cohesion of other assets. Expressive elements vied for attention with essential information on the back. This prompted continuous iterations. The final design incorporated a compartmentalized grid for both consistency and aesthetic equilibrium. Additionally, I prioritized placing functional information on the ticket's reverse side to facilitate easier navigation for the ticket-holders.
Front Side of the Performance Ticket
Back Side of the Performance Ticket


La Petite Mort emphasizes the importance of maintaining a balance between functional and expressive. For an impactful design, essential information must be communicated in an aesthetically pleasing manner. A successful design doesn't favor one aspect over the other. Therefore, I consistently and impartially consider both aspects in my design approach.
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