It’s done! Well, at least the poster is. Here is the final design with all the fine details hashed out and a subtle texture added to the background to soften the harshness of the graphic against the backdrop.
My basic concept for this poster was to do a visual pun based on the shape of a bird’s eye view of a grand piano and how it resembles a mitten. I’m a huge fan of clean geometric and minimal designs, so I definitely incorporated that into the overall appearance of the main graphic. Even though the poster was for a performance that was a tribute to Charlie Brown (henceforth referred to as CB), I still wanted to convey the music and jazz aspect of it because David Benoit is such a prominent jazz pianist (and I have a soft spot for anything music related) and I didn’t want it to just be about CB. The way that I tackled this task was by incorporating a well known visual from CB (his cute little zig zag pattern shirt) into the silhouette of the piano.
Alright, at this point… We’ve got the jazz! We’ve got the Charlie Brown!
… but we’re missing the Christmas. Don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas as much as the next Buddhist person who celebrates a holiday centered around a Christian figure. (Haha, seriously though. I do adore Christmas and the warm spirit and charitable qualities of the holiday since I’m a huge fan of giving gifts to people.) But the colors are just so… traditional. And I tend to be anything but that. So I wanted to give off this modern Christmas vibe by tapping into the cooler color palette of a Christmas night, while playing off that warm golden tone of a cozy fireplace. To top it off, I made a Christmas sweater style pattern inside the silhouette. Instead of having it just be this purely minimal zigzag, I spiced it up by turning it into a knit sweater pattern and included a few Christmas trees in the pattern as well!
When I spoke to Merrick (one of my instructors), we were trying to figure out a way in which we could soften up the stark qualities of the background so I fiddled with the pattern some more and brought it into the background itself with a transparent overlay and dropped the opacity so it was subtle but effective.
The biggest problem for me was figuring out how to handle the type and give 100% billing to both artists while still including all the necessary tidbits of information in a style that fits the poster and allows room for breathing space around the graphic. In the end, I decided to stack the date into the main block of text with the Artists’ names and event information (instead of having it float off in space by itself like I had originally done).
It’s so crazy to think how it looks completely different from the initial sketches. If you read my previous blog posts about this particular project, you can definitely tell that I was in the middle of a creative block and having major difficulties with this project. I wasn’t quite understanding the initial brainstorming process that we were instructed to do (those matrixes) and I took it too literal before realizing that it’s just a general term to consider. I definitely could see the usefulness in how this brainstorming process could help me in the future now that I actually understand how it works. But when I was being so literal initially, it was kind of hindering my thoughts in terms of thinking outside the box and more creatively/abstract. Halfway through the process, while looking back through my sketches and trying to figure out how to execute one of the iterations… I spotted an image/form that really stood out to me (along with K. Ludwig’s help, of course) and the neurons finally started firing off in my head. And that is how this project came to be what it is now.
The final print was 34″ x 50″ and here’s a pic of it hanging up! WHOOOOO!!!! (sorry for the inaccurate color and lack of clarity in the photograph… my iPhone’s been sucky recently).
Unfortunately, it was not the selected design for use by the theater this season. I had some pretty stiff competition though, Kristen Ashton made a really cool design and we both went for two different styles, so I feel like personal aesthetic was a big factor in the decision as well. Regardless, I had a lot of fun working on this and still intend to include it in my portfolio. A fellow designer friend from the school also suggested that I should submit it to AIGA’s biennial student competition so that’s a possibility. I’ll see what cool things I create before the deadline in January and figure out what I want to submit.