The Hero Within Us All 
— Publication & Branding
Assignment: Parsons School of Design
Designer: Abbie Gepner 
December 2019 – January 2020

Publication created for an exhibition featuring the posters for the films of Akira Kurosawa.

This project features a publication and corresponding assets designed to accompany a gallery exhibition of the graphically dynamic posters that have advertised acclaimed director Akira Kurosawa’s films over the decades. It features a minimalistic, typographically driven approach that helps accentuate the design of the posters.

Project Goals

The layout of the book needed to emphasize the graphic nature and bold colors featured in the posters, while not overwhelming or distracting from them. The pacing and layout would be determined to reflect Kurosawa’s style as a director, while vertical typography would be incorporated as a nod to the native language of the films.

Sketches that explore layout possibilities combining vertical and horizontal typography.

Showing the usage of horizontal typography throughout the posters and guidebook.

Design Process

The chosen color palette features a bold slightly rusted red that is evocative of the shade that recurs in the title typography on many of the posters. It also appears in the flag of Kurosawa’s native country, the history of which is the subject of the vast majority of his work. In addition to this, the typographic texture was designed to echo the vertical typographic texture of the Japanese language on the posters featured in the publication.

Final Result

The final result was a visual palette that draws on the featured posters for visual messaging, while, evoking key thematic material in Kurosawa’s work. The typographically-driven design in the publication is also easily transferable as a recognizable visual identity across other assets for the exhibition, where they maintain the function of highlighting the work on display.

© Copyright Abbie Gepner, March 2021.