Monthly Archives: April 2011

Merging poster ideas

Benn and I got some great feedback from the group today. People responded really well to our lighter posters (my “unfinished” one even looked complete to them, so I guess I’ll leave it as is!). We’re going to basically merge them, based on what the others were suggesting. We’ve decided to go with a blackletter, lower-case title; the uppercase seems to proud and loud for a crackhouse, while lowercase gives more character and nuance while the blackletter forms play up the Gothic themes that are found throughout the play.

This is an uncomplete version of the poster; Benn is working on smoke manipulation at the moment and we’ll merge the two on Monday.

First draft: Hamlet posters

Here are two preliminary versions of my poster. The second one (with the red type) is a work in progess; I’m considering having a dying flower emerge from the T in HAMLET, with its wilting petals turning to drops of blood as they hit the bottom. It might be too complex for the approach we’re going for, so I’ll have to experiment and see if it works as well on screen as it does in my mind.

Also, it may just be my screen, but these JPGs look slightly blue on here. They’re not really; both are grayscale images, with the only color being the red type in the second version.

Show + Tell: Graphic theater poster

Here are two examples I found of other Hamlet posters. The first one I think is very similar to the style we want to pursue: minimalist, dark and even a little smoky. The second is in a style we want to avoid: a collage of many different elements in the film, but none of which hold much symbolism of the overall message.

Project 4: Theater poster sketches

For our final project we’re teaming up with another designer and several English students to create a theater poster for a classic Shakespeare play. Benn and I have been given the play Hamlet. The English group we’ve been paired with have reinterpreted the play by placing the entire plot in a modern-day crack house. Hamlet uses universal themes of murder, lost love, death and revenge that translate well into the world of a crack addict. Our task as designers is to create a poster that uses the original symbolism while incorporating elements of the reinterpretation. Our final poster will be hung in the library over the summer, so our biggest task is to make an effective, simple poster that uninformed passersby will easily understand. This may be easier with a classic version of the play, but the modern translation will provide a tougher obstacle in conveying the entire meaning to the reader.

Here are our initial sketches (Mine are the tiles in pencil, Benn’s in pen):

As for my drawings, I originally started playing with the biggest symbols used in the play: the skull, the dying violets, and smoke. From there my sketches got more and more intricate until they resembled movie posters (page 2), at which point I realized they were getting much too complicated and quit for awhile. When I approached it at a different time, I went back to simpler designs (page 3). I’m exploring the use of other symbols besides the skull; this play has been designed so many times, and every design I’ve ever seen uses the skull — I want to try to keep the strong imagery without using such a redundant, cliched symbol. However, as I considered further, I reconciled the fact that the smoke paired with the skull could add a different interpretation that have not yet been overdone (Benn seems to be on the same track with this thought).

Concept Narrative: Brand Identity + Package Design

Definining my brand began back in February, and has since been the foundation on which I base all my other decisions. my brand is a New England brewery that values the blue-collar, hard-working, blood-sweat-and-tears men and women of America. It produces micro-brewed beverages for those who want to sit back and enjoy a cold, flavorful drink after a hard day on the job.

This essence initially brought to mind granite and etching stone. I wanted to incorporate a Celtic element to my design, but eventually that was simplified into my logo (the loops in the B & R were inspired by a Celtic Knot). But as I thought more about the audience, I decided to go with light wood planking instead of stone. It added a warmer tone to contrast better against an all-black logo, and still made the brand look industrial and simple. This worked well in transferring the logo onto wooden kegs and a brewery gate. It also came in handy later when I began constructing the six-pack. I went with a template I found for a hexagonal pack, which I thought would work well. Roses are radial forms, so I thought a hexagon would mimic that better than a simple rectangular box. Then, when I added the wood panels, it began to look like a keg again. I think the wood was a good decision that helped solidify the identity as a whole.

I went from logo design, to how the logo looked on different-sized objects, to created a package for my brand. It was logical to make the jump from brewery to beer, so I immediately looked into six-pack cases. I created a few mock-up cases to figure out how the template looked, and then worked on resizing and printing a tiled template so that it actually fit 6 bottles comfortably (the original template only came out to be about 3 inches high). But as I looked at examples of other beer brands, I realized that I couldn’t design a case without having bottles to put in it. So I began designing labels. This gradually took precedence over the box. Before I knew it the project was due in a week and I had three distinct labels, but still no design for the case. So I spent 6 hours in Carnegie last Wednesday, going in between capstone editing work and designing/constructing the case. It went well until I had to glue the paper onto each panel; the studio tack we thought would hold, in fact, did not. It was very frustrating to get so far and only find this out when I didn’t have enough time to go buy different materials.

I definitely learned the value of multi-tasking during this project. I also learned that trusting my instincts is important (as in the wood and the color scheme for my labels — both came from decisions that I can’t really describe, but seemed inherently correct). I also learned to test materials well before they’re due.

Full identity design system

After some last-minute construction, I’ve finished what I can of my identity project. The studio tack I used was a total failure, so for the re-do before finals I intend to figure out how to make things stick better (spray adhesive?). As I said during group discussion, I’ve been spread way too thin in the last weeks to give this project the attention it deserves (my capstone just finished up last night, after a 38-consecutive-hour final editing process). For now, I’m really displeased by the six-pack (mostly because the panels won’t stay on and the die cuts don’t match up) but I’m very satisfied with the labels. I definitely want to revisit the box, and fix it up before the end of semester, but right now I think I need to take a break from this project for awhile.

Here are the final pieces (I still haven’t switched out the revised, thicker logo on the stationery, but it’s on the box):

Overall, I wish I had had more time to develop this project some more, as well as materials that worked better. I did enjoy exploring the different materials used in creating an identity, and finding out my own creative process. For example: I learned to trust my instincts on decisions. The color scheme began with me choosing three arbitrary colors and using them together (the red, cream and black used for the stout) and then staring at them until things came to mind that the colors reminded me of (brick, industry, blue-collar work…which sparked the ideas for the beer names). From there I chose two other colors with a similar feeling. I can’t really describe the reasoning, but I liked the intuition and ran with it.

I think I could really like branding design if I had the time to devote to it (which would definitely not be a problem without a senoir project taking over).

Final stretch?!

I can’t believe these are due Monday already! I need so much more time than I have this weekend. My capstone has totally taken over in these past few weeks, so I’ve had little/no time to work on this outside of class. I hoped to start designing my six-pack today, but I had to tweak some things on my label, which ended up taking WAY longer than I expected. I printed and started cutting out the bare template again so I can trace it on my poster board, but that’s as far as I got today. And I’m gone this weekend (AGAIN) so I won’t be able to finish up until Sunday night. Ugh.

Here’s one of my final labels, with all the technical stuff (surgeon general warning, barcode, brew info, etc.).

I guess I can sleep after I graduate…