Sunday, June 14, 2015

Banner Day 2015

Banner Day 2015 is here!

In honor of Casey Stengel, who was born 125 years ago this summer, this is the "Stengelese Dictionary". If you don't know who Casey Stengel was look him up, or if you don't know what "Stengelese" is, look it up in a dictionary. {laughs}

So basically, "Stengelese" was its own language, and that warrants it having its own dictionary to define these weird words that Casey Stengel would use. My first thought was "placard", a word he used to describe the banners at the old Polo Grounds, which became the genesis of Banner Day over 50 years ago. So define "placard" in the context of Casey Stengel. Then in the design, I saw that I needed to fill out some more room on the banner, so I added a few more words.

I tried to keep it true to a dictionary in that the words are alphabetically close to one another and listed in alphabetical order, and it worked out when the other words I came up with were directly related to Casey Stengel - "Perfesser" (the Ol' Perfesser) and "Stengelese" - and close to "placard". I also tried to keep the design true to what a dictionary looked like (I used a layout similar to because it didn't try to compact many words on a single page, which I didn't want to try to do). That layout looked better when trying to view the words from a distance. The cover was modeled after a Merriam-Webster Dictionary cover that I found online. It worked better than some of the others I found since I realized that I had to have the cover take up as much space as the dictionary page itself.

Sizing of everything was a challenge. I was somewhat constrained by the physical sizes of the posterboards I could find at Staples, and I knew there wouldn't be a lot of content. I went with a 20x30 foam posterboard where the 30 inch side was split into the dictionary cover and the dictionary page. Any larger size would just make it seem too big and/or require more content. But I wanted a size where the judges could judge from a distance of several feet away. I also didn't want to put too much on there for them to have to look at in such a short time.

Now, I did have dreams for something more elaborate using this design and content, but was advised that it would be too much for the judges to judge. I wanted to have a folding cover with an open/close mechanism, which would essentially double the amount of space to fill (there was a front cover and there would have been a back cover; there was a single page of defined words and there would have been a second). I also wanted to have the page(es) look like the pages of an open book where it would look like this was one page of many that the book was open to. I didn't do these things beause they would have been doing too much.

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