I was directed recently to design a so-called ÂteaserÂ flyer for an upcoming multi-entity training symposium (weÂve been pulled into a lot of private/public events in recent years, most of them involved with coordinating regional responses to hypothetical crises and catastrophes). They didnÂt have a catchy name for the event, which posits a major earthquake along CaliforniaÂs nervous-making Hayward Fault, followed by extended power outages.
ÂDark TemblorÂ was no great shakes (heh, heh), I readily admit, but I liked my graphic treatment, which consisted of a semi-transparent state silhouette overlaid, as though paint-stenciled, upon a substantially cracked concrete surface, with the placeholder event title, the date in March, the exhortation ÂSave the Date!Â and, running along the stateÂs diagonal eastern boundary, ÂEarthquake on the Hayward Fault.Â My cutout here sent it to the rest of her committee. Word came back. They love it. Just a few changes.
You already know where this is going of course. ÂDark TemblorÂ was deemed insufficiently descriptive. The new event title is quite amply descriptive, and in only fourteen words, four of which are twelve characters apiece. We need to include the logos of the major sponsors, and oh, what a merry time was had by all in determining the exact placement and the relative sizes of these chops! WeÂd better include the address of the event (the utility company is very proud of its state-of-the-art auditorium, paid for with money they saved by skimping on gas pipeline inspections). Oh, and a calendar! We need a picture of a calendar showing the month of March with the date circled in red! Work that in somewhere. And of course weÂll want a list showing the six featured panels, some of which have unnecessarily descriptive names, along with the names, titles and professional affiliations of the moderators.
Needless to say, had these elements figured in my original brief, I would have gone with a different approach (no, they love it! How do you come up with this stuff? —ItÂs the drugs). A formerly slick treatment is now cluttered with far more information than it was intended to bear. The eye is granted no respite, no repose. This isnÂt a teaser, itÂs a slut. I do so dislike working with committees.