For the purpose of this case study the area that I will be looking at is the film industry, specifically, the importance of design when conceptualising and releasing promotional material such as posters and film artwork. To achieve this effectively the discussion will be presented in the form of a formal presentation – the basis of which can be seen in the short preliminary outline below.


When exploring the importance of design using concepts already explored – and with regards to the chosen industry – we need look no further for examples than the promotional material from Spielberg’s classic Jurassic Park (1993) seen below.


Promotional material of any sort is a niche market but particularly for the film industry, given the need to attract the largest possible audience in order to maximize profit,  all designs should be carefully scrutinised with the flexibility-usability tradeoff to ensure that they achieve maximum impact.

Lidwell (2010, p. 102) explains that; “When an audience has a poor understanding of its needs, favor flexible designs to address the broadest possible set of future applications. When designing multiple generations of products, consider the general shift toward specialization as audience needs become more defined.”

Given that the target audience for a film is the general public who may or may not have heard of the product a simple yet engaging design, like the above, does much in the way of flexibility to address the broadest possible set of future applications – but without failing it’s overall usability as a poster.

Similarly this usability can be seen to match the heirachy of needs (Lidwell 2010) on all levels as follows;

Functionality – The design gives a very broad overview of the film

Reliability –  The design is consistent between what is on the poster and what is in the film

Usability –  The design is easy to interpret and engage the audience in a short space of time, reinforcing the lower level functionality.

Proficiency –  The design, through the caption beneath the main image empowers the audience to go on an adventure.

Creativity –  The design work on this piece is simple, but has aged timelessly, and has become so engrained in popular culture that it can be still be seen today – some 23 years later. Perfectly capturing the highest level of the hierarchy of needs.


Lidwell, W Holden, K & Butler, J 2010, Universal principles of design: 125 ways to enhance usability, influence perception, increase appeal, make better design decisions, and teach through design, Rockport Publishers, Beverly, MA.

Jurassic Park Poster, n.d., image,, viewed November 20th 2016 <;

3 thoughts on “Design Development Case Study – Part 1

  1. Hey William, thoroughly enjoyed reading your first blog entry and your analysis of the Jurassic Park movie poster. It’s interesting to see how such a simple design can be so timeless and effective. I’m looking forward to seeing your presentation take shape and can’t wait to see what promotional material you end up designing! Cheers, Izzy 🙂


  2. Excellent application of the Hierarchy of needs principle and useability-flexibility tradeoff, William – well done! 🙂
    How did these principles been applied to your own concept – your presentation design above? See if you can articulate this. We’re looking for both a brief explanation of how the weekly concepts to date have applied to both your concept and your media artefact (a film poster in this case). Great job on the latter. The form is missing.

    Have you given some thought to what the content will be about? You mention a formal presentation. What kind of presentation? What kind of presentation software are you thinking of using? Powerpoint is the least engaging, especially when you’re discussing design in relation to film promotions. Who is your target audience of industry professionals? What mediums would best engage them? Is there something you can add to your presentation that extends the engagement? Something to think about as you develop your concept for your next blog post.

    Lastly, a referencing note. When you’re citing the Lidwell text in-text, please you all the authors, especially for the first citation. So should be (Lidwell, Holden and Butler, 2010). When you cite that reference again, in-text, you can us et al. eg (Lidwell et al, 2010), but only after you’ve cited all the authors above first.

    Good start William. I look forward to seeing how you develop your idea 🙂

    Cheers, Narelle


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s