Research a randomly assigned local band and create a gig poster that encompasses the themes and visual language of that band.
Research a randomly assigned local band a create a gig poster that encompasses the themes and visual language of that band.
Thunderpussy is a local Seattle all female rock group. They have been active for the last 5 years. They have a passionate following in Seattle and the Northwest at large. Their music is fast, highly energetic, passionate, and fun. Visually the band uses bright bold colors and uses a lot of hand drawn elements. Thematically they use the style of vintage Americana with an emphasis on motorcycle culture.
On a personal note I was well acquainted with Thunderpussy, the lead singer being a friend and former coworker. By chance I was randomly assigned them when given this gig poster assignment.
When originally putting together a portfolio to apply to Seattle Central Creative Academy, I gave my self the assignment of making a gig poster for Thunderpussy. Unfortunately at the time my skills didn't match my ambition and I couldn't produce what I set out to do. Getting this assignment gave me another swing at it. Not only was I pleased with the out come of the final poster, but I was able to produce the concept I wasn’t able to achieve prior to school.
Thunderpussy is a local Seattle all female rock group. They have been active for the last 5 years and have a passionate following in Seattle and the Northwest at large. Their music, is fast highly energetic, passionate and fun. Visually the band uses bright bold colors and uses a lot of hand drawn elements. Thematically they use the style of vintage Americana with an emphasis on motorcycle culture.
On a personal note by chance I was well acquainted Thunderpussy, the lead singer being a friend and former coworker. When originally putting together a portfolio to apply Seattle Central Creative Academy, I gave my self the assignment of making a gig poster for Thunderpussy. Unfortunately at the time my skills didn't match my ambition and I couldn't produce what I set out to do. Getting randomly assigned Thunderpussy for my gig project gave me another swing at it. Not only was I pleased with out come of the final poster, but I was able to produce the concept I wasn’t able to achieve prior to school.
TIME FRAME: 3 WEEKS
When approaching this poster I had a pretty solid concept I wanted to achieve, but I wanted to make sure that it had some connection to the band. I did a visual research board, collecting images of their performances, previous gig posters, album covers and type examples. Accompanying that I did a general mood board showcasing a style and tone I wanted express. I was going for a visual language that drew from vintage psychedelic rock posters of the 60s and had an illustration style that expressed energy and showcased motion. This approach seemed to be different from Thunderpussy’s current visuals but tonally still fit.
After establishing the style I set out to produce the main illustrations. Working from resource images I traced, drew, and laid out the illustration of a woman on a motorcycle and a cheetah running, both in profile. I scanned and cleaned up the drawings and brushed in halftone shading. I converted both to bitmaps, using the diffusion dither option and then saved them as grey scale tiff files.
This process allowed me to open the files in Illustrator with the white background being transparent. In addition I could color the black with what ever I wanted from the swatch panel. I placed the cheetah image in a layer over the girl on the motorcycle and set the blend mode to multiply. This gave it a ghostlike transparency and mixed the colors from both illustrations.
I used the image of the girl on the bike as an outline. On an under layer I used the pen tool to block out color for the highlights, mid-tones, and shadows. Using the circle shape tool in illustrator I built the wheels. I added a textured stroke to the wheels so they’d match the hand drawn edge of the the placed tiff, covering up the stark vector edge. I repeated this for all of the motion lines as well.
Drawing inspirations for my 60’s gig poster influences I built swirling backgrounds, using the shape width tool, and the zig zag effect. I laid them out on gradients of a contrasting color to help add a sense of depth.
Having spent a good deal of time on the illustrations and background and running close to my first comp deadline I decided to just find a type face for the title. My initial thought was that this would be faster than doing hand done type. Picking a typeface turned out to be more challenging than anticipated. After many iterations I landed on Hobo, a classic 60’s inspired type face that I modified with the warp effect.
After my first round of feedback I decided to focus more the high energy and motion and less on the 60’s style influences. I also felt that the overall poster felt a little too flat. The foreground and background had too similar a color palette. The illustrations also seemed disconnected from the background and type since they had rough hand done edges and the not sharp vector ones.
I changed the color of the background to a color gradient that contrasted more with the illustrations, pushing them forward and adding lots of depth. I overlaid that with a distressed vector half tone to give it texture. I changed the abstract swirling background to one that emphasized forward movement and motion.
This time I set out to do hand done type instead of a type face. I sketched a title and scanned it. I used the sketch to build a vector version in illustrator. Using the roughen effect I added a jagged edge to the title and added a similar half tone texture to the one used on the background.
After my second round of feedback I had a few minor alterations. The 1st comp of the poster had cut the illustration of the woman on the motorcycle off. This gave a feeling that she had just entered the frame and was moving too fast to catch. The second comp had the motorcycle fully visible, which made it feel more stationary. In the 3rd comp I scaled it up to intensify that feeling of just coming into the frame. This also made the figure larger and more dramatic.
Although I was happy with title from the second comp the angle on the type was opposite from the motion of the illustrations and the background elements. I set out to redo the title so that it had a similar forward motion to the rest of the poster. I hand drew the type again but this time turned it into a bitmap greyscale tiff, like the other illustrations. This helped to unify all these elements through a matching texture. Matching the colors as well helped the pull the title forward to the same plane as the main motorcycle image.
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Willy Eddy © 2018
Willy Eddy © 2018