Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Theatre Posters

I have been a bit MIA for a while but I've decided to get back on with the blogging. I had a project at the beginning of the year designing theatre posters for a Youth Theatre group.

Jesus Christ Superstar
Blood Brothers
Into the Woods

Initially hated Jesus Christ Superstar. It took me ages to come up with any kind of idea, then I couldn't communicate this idea for the longest time. Then I had a presentation looming and I sat down one evening refusing to sleep until I had something worthy (2am incase you were wondering which isn't actually too bad). This is possibly a new working technique for me, because in said presentation, this piece was definitely my strongest and most complete.

I used the quote from the play "Look at your blank faces, my name will mean nothing" and spent days and days drawing people with no faces and various other things that just didn't work. The only thing I had done that I really liked was the "my name will mean nothing" running down the page (a bit like blood, Jesus blood) that I really liked, so I decided to do the whole piece typographically. I portrayed the idea of "blankness" but creating a cut out idea, this being blank... I set the type on illustrator then created the imagery on photoshop. I think the piece works well to represent the play; giving Jesus Christ name the focal point which is evident in the play. The people in the play are interested in him for his name and what he can do for them, not for him... It represents typical biblical themes, type almost representing a crucifix and the use of colour, but applied in a modern fresh way that would appeal to the youths of Youth Theatre.

Cabaret was the piece that I felt was my strongest throughout the project. Again I selected an important quote from the play "Leave your troubles outside" and decided to do this again typographically. I created the title itself out of swatsikas literally illustrating the troubles being on the outside.

I also wanted the piece to portray the idea of night life, neon sign, thus the colour choice. I thought these colours worked well to express the characters emotions too, red passion and anger, blue; sadness, pink; excitement... The piece looks quite simply but has quite a lot of meaning to it which I think works really well.

The next piece I completed was Blood Brothers and though I felt I had this one cracked early on it has effectively become the one I've struggled with most, and like the least. After the presentation I liked that a lot of peoples posters worked as a series so I wanted mine to do this to. Having already done two pieces that appear quite different I needed to decide how to do this. 1. They were both type focal so I wanted this for Blood Brothers. 2. I needed to put the information onto the pieces so I set up a page with the details at the bottom in white which seems to work with all the pieces and ties them all nightly together.

The piece I showed in the presentation included an illustration of these characters placed on a wall to represent the theme of nature vs nurture but no-one really got this. This was the most important point of my poster so I thought about a better way to portray this. Money. I used a pound and a penny to demonstrate this, showing opposite end of the coin worth, plus I could use the Queens face to show them almost looking at each other, facing, fighting. I did a few piece which included a globe to represent coming from opposite worlds but I felt this A. looked too much like a sci-fi play which it is not and B. distracted from the money idea. I wanted the type to be the focal point so I found this one that I feel represents the story, the type wearing away, breaking down, like the characters. I then worked the imagery in and around this.

My final poster was Into the Woods. I had an idea for this early doors and ended up leaving it and working on the others more. It kind of got left behind and ended up being one of the weaker pieces in the presentation when intially it was my strongest. I started with a cut out of a tree which I placed into a woodland environment to represent the title itself, into the woods. But I simply used white paper and it didn't really have a reason for this so I looked at my use of material. In the end I used a photograph of fairy tale book placed in the woods and photoshop my tree and the title into this. I'd spent a lot of time editing a type face to give it a swirled look, fairy tale feel and used this as the heading for my poster. I wouldn't say the piece was bad but it just wasn't as strong as the others. I looked at it again and picked out what I thought worked the best. I liked the use of photography and placeing something literally in the woods and I thought the type (though it wasn't particularly good) worked well with the environment. So I put the two together.

I took the swirly type idea and hand drew one myself. I then made this out of card and took it into the garden and placed it in these leaves the photographed it. I got a nice crisp picture showing the leaves crossing and overlapping and working together, almost like the characters and they type itself working into the environment, into the woods. I used white card which was the main problem I encountered early on but I thought as the type is so prominently fairly tale type that it worked fine in white, almost as the papers from the book itself.

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