Michael Bierut’s posters for the Yale School of Architecture follow simple design parameters: one size, one color (black), all type (in hundreds of different fonts since the series began in 1998). The poster announcing the school’s fall 2012 calendar of events adds another graphic system to the mix. The poster uses only News Gothic—the one typeface that has appeared in all the school’s posters—with every word set at the same point size, 13 pt, the size that’s been used for small text on the posters since the series began nearly 15 years ago. Each event or block of content is constrained to one or more lines and fully justified. Once all the lines were set, the leading was adjusted to do the same vertically.
The result is a study in restraint, with emphasis provided only with underlines and the use of bold and light type weights. “This more or less breaks every rule I’ve ever known in poster design,” admits Bierut. “No scale, no contrast, nothing to be seen from a distance except the texture of information.” With the poster series so well established with Yale’s audience, Bierut felt the risk was worth taking.