Frank Thomas Poster Developments


To begin this project off I started by drawing up very quick and rough sketches. By researching Spanish Civil War posters I noticed that the majority of posters were portrait therefore I wanted my posters to be portrait.

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Within the Frank Thomas reading material there were two photos of Frank Thomas. One of him in the war with a gun and another after the war with his nationalist army cap on. I wanted to use both of these images in the posters to represent his idea’s before the war and after. I have recently got a Wacom tablet and never used one before so I wanted to use this in the process of making the poster. I traced the photo’s of Frank Thomas creating an outline of the images. I found it difficult to use at first but once I had gotten the hang of how to use the tablet I was surprised at how quick it was to use therefore I decided to sketch the rest of my poster designs in this way.

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These are the first collection of designs for my first poster of Frank Thomas before the war. I like the way that Thomas is shooting and the gun is multiplied which creates strong shapes drawing you eye up the piece. The way that I have filled in  between the guns with red and yellow along with the Spanish symbols represents the Spanish flag which is patriotic which I like. The hands reaching up at the bottom suggest the Natzi salute highlighting the fascist views by some of the nationalists which is the side Frank Thomas was fighting for as he didn’t want a communist Spain. I don’t think that the text stands out very well and I don’t think the positioning of the text looks right. So I took my design to Ellie, Dan, Naomi and Beki to ask for their thoughts on the poster. They all said that they really liked the design but they think that there are too many colours.

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From this feedback I went back to my poster and started to think about how I would improve the colour scheme. I really liked the red and the yellow but thought I should limit the colour palette and make it slightly darker. Although I had an idea of adding a lion as they represent power, strength, fearlessness which are all elements that the nationalists thought they were so I wanted to communicate this through the poster. I have put the lion in red and yellow to anchor the Spanish colours at the top of the piece balancing the poster. The way that the lion is looking in the same direction as the guns and the way Frank Thomas is facing created enigmas in the poster engaging the audience. By altering the colour scheme of Frank Thomas and the guns to grey and black I think that this makes the piece look a bit darker which works well with the context of his narrative. The dark green background simplifies the colour scheme which I think looks stronger than the previous poster and I think that the grunge effect on the hands creates depth of field in the piece. I have cut down the text as in the previous poster it didn’t look visually appealing and I think that “Vamos Espana!” which means “Go Spain!” engages the audience more as it is shorter and more powerful. The text is aligned flush left as the top left was quite plain so with the text there it balanced out the layout of the piece more.

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My second poster represents Frank Thomas’s contrasting idea on war since he has experienced it first hand. I wanted to use the same colour scheme and style so they visually look like a pair although needed to communicate a contrasting view on war. The red and yellow stripes and grey crosses represents all the deaths in the war. The red and yellow ground visually anchors the Spanish flag in the first poster although the graves creates more of a negative ideology of war.The aeroplanes that are flying towards the middle of the piece make which reinforces Frank Thomas is the focal point as he is positioned central of the poster which is striking. I like the way that “La Guerra no es” (War is neither) is in the light grey as it stands out well against the dark green background, and the “romantica ni gloriosa!” (Romantic nor glorious) is black as it stands out against the red and yellow. I think that the way the text is at the top and bottom looks graphically striking and visually aesthetic.

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I am happy with the two posters that I have created as I think they work well together because of the similar colour scheme and style. But they also communicate the contrasting ideology of war, the way that Frank Thomas wanted to go to war for the adventure and glory and to be a hero. Although after he went he was disillusioned with the idea of war and he got little recognition so feels resentful about his experience.


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