How do I approach this job please?! Thousands of names on a display board...

JohnnyF71

New Member
Hi folks, I would dearly love some advice on how best to approach a task I've been given by my bosses at work. I have to design a display board for an exhibition which is 2.5m high and 4m wide which contains all 3000 names of our member organisations. My initial idea was to give each one a brick and make it like a members' wall but when I did a rough I couldn't get the text (Ingra SemiBold) to go any larger than 14pt, which for display is obviously not ideal. That was based on longest possible name length - there's a huge variety in that across all the orgs of course.

Is there an a) efficient and b) attractive way to do this kind of job? And if it is to just string the text into one giant text box with some kind of separator between each name, are there any tricks that can make that process more efficient?

Any wisdom on this most gratefully received.
 

JohnnyF71

New Member
Thanks hank...I'll have a look at that. Should have said I intend to do this in Indesign but this looks like a good way of scoping it out at the very least
 

Levi

Moderator
Staff member
Honesty I'd likely just aim at doing a monochromatic design where you have all the names 'one after another' in rows (text box, justified text full width of box) and then use the names to create a 'texture'. Think how some fashion brands do linings of their logos.

You could then try with different angles, fonts, sizes (same for all), word spacing and colours etc. Essentially the same idea as your 'brick' one but without any bricks or anything. At 2.5x4m you're not going to be able to use a large font size when it's for 3000 organisations. (quick knock up of idea attached - I just copied your opening post text lol)

I'm not sure a word cloud would be a good idea because you could end up with some organisations being annoyed at being smaller than another etc.

Untitled_1.jpg
 

JohnnyF71

New Member
Thanks for this Levi - that's really helpful. I'm afraid the text will have to be quite boringly set horizontal and in a very legible way from an accessibility point of view - which I know sounds crazy given that a larghe display board with 3000 names on it is not by default going to easily tick every accessibility box! And you're spot on about the political implications of a word cloud! But it's actually really useful to know I just have to resolve myself to the fact that there's going to be a certain amount of donkey work involved in this job. I'm going to be super-tight for time with it, but then hey...i'm a designer...we all are :)
 

hankscorpio

Moderator
Staff member
That's true Levi - some people might be annoyed if their name is slightly smaller - you can get around that saying it takes up the same percentage of space - which it would.

However I got pretty decent result here with little effort
1649340641498.png
 

hankscorpio

Moderator
Staff member
Thanks for this Levi - that's really helpful. I'm afraid the text will have to be quite boringly set horizontal and in a very legible way from an accessibility point of view - which I know sounds crazy given that a larghe display board with 3000 names on it is not by default going to easily tick every accessibility box! And you're spot on about the political implications of a word cloud! But it's actually really useful to know I just have to resolve myself to the fact that there's going to be a certain amount of donkey work involved in this job. I'm going to be super-tight for time with it, but then hey...i'm a designer...we all are :)
I wouldn't say it's that hard.

Import all the names from an excel file
so they are all on a separate line

Find and replace a space for a non-breaking space

Then find and replace a carriage return for a space


All the names will be kept together with the non-breaking space

Then justify the entire block and size until it fits


So you have list of names (found on internet)
1649340952178.png

Find what = a blank space

The character ^ is replacement for space it's non-breaking space character
1649340966805.png


Find replace return
Change to = blank space
1649341056434.png


Result
1649341087946.png


Justify and turn off hyphenation
1649341124574.png



I've done mine at 10% size - so it would be 42.5pt when blown up.

Then just style it whatever way you want
 

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hankscorpio

Moderator
Staff member
By the way I think I have 3963 names on there.

None broken over lines - as there's non-breaking spaces.
All the same size.
All in the same text frame.
 

JohnnyF71

New Member
No it doesn't look hard at all from what you've sent - for some reason this job has given me the fear though! Thanks for the info @hankscorpio - massively helpful and very much appreciated
 

hankscorpio

Moderator
Staff member
Also in the Grep search

Search for
-

and replace with
~~

That's a hyphen for a non-breaking hyphen

There might be some other weird ones I haven't thought of.


But you just have to scan the right edge to see if you have any weird breaks.
 

Levi

Moderator
Staff member
No it doesn't look hard at all from what you've sent - for some reason this job has given me the fear though! Thanks for the info @hankscorpio - massively helpful and very much appreciated
Just think yourself lucky it isn't 3000 different company logos and their respective 'rules' lol

That quick one by Hank could looks pretty nice, although I'd pick a different font and maybe even use more than one font to mix things up a little. Seems easy enough to play around with and I'd argue that you're doing a 'piece of art' so maybe check with the powers that be how 'accessible' they want to be with it and then go from there. Also I wouldn't say a 30-45 degree slant (just remember to check for cut off words) makes things less accessible either.
 

hankscorpio

Moderator
Staff member
Yes, you could change fonts easily with a GREP style or a nested style.

Nested style is easiest.

Just setup a few character styles with different fonts (no other info required)

IN the nested style (part of paragraph style)
Pick the character style - up to <insert space> -

Just loop back to the first character style in the nest when finished.
 

stuartluff

New Member
I would simply list them in columns with a ragged right edge in a no fuss typeface and let the column shapes grab peoples attention. People will then lean in to read the text. Keep some negative space across the bottom and columns slightly different heights this way the content basically becomes the design.
 
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