Pittsburgh Through The Ages


Creative Brief

Background Summary: I wanted to create a project that would allow me to show a range of visuals styles.

Overview: “Pittsburgh Through The Ages” will be a poster that illustrates the word “Pittsburgh in different styles according to each time period.

Drivers: To express my ability to create visuals in different styles, but to also bring those styles together in a single cohesive project.

Audience: The Pittsburgh area in general, and other graphic designers in particular.

Tone: Progression. Each period will also have it’s own unique tone to communicate the essence of each time period.

Message: “Pittsburgh” continues to evolve.

Visuals: Overall the poster will be minimalistic, with only the title and the word “Pittsburgh” used throughout.

Details: Standard 18×24 poster. Should offer enough styles to effectively display visual diversity.

Targeted Message: “Pittsburgh Through The Ages”


Pittsburgh Timeline

Major Periods/Events:

Styles for the time periods:

  • Colonial
    • wild, wilderness, pre-America
  • Rise of Steel
    • dirty, metal, heavy, strong
  • Pre-WWII
    • art deco
  • 80’s
    • grunge, punk, graffiti
  • High-Tech
    • robotics, computers, futurism, medical


Fort Pitt Museum’s website provided a glimpse into the colonial period of the poster.

Archival photos from the University of Pittsburgh proved to be a helpful source of inspiration.

I conducted a visual search across Google and Pinterest for posters, single word posters, styles that involved colonial, steel production, art deco, 80s, and anything high tech looking.

Concepts & Sketches

While in my mind, my initial sketch (top right on the sketch below) was my first obvious choice. However I forced myself to continue developing ideas until I couldn’t think of anything else.

TURNING POINT: When I started sketching, I began to develop how I wanted to present “Pittsburgh” throughout the ages. My first idea was to have each time period represented by a single “Pittsburgh” on one poster. However I started to like the idea of having several posters, one for each time period, with a unique background.




Skills: Graphic Design