I’ve been on the team for the local production of the musical “Death Takes A Holiday” at First Unitarian in Rochester, and I’ve been going pretty much all out on their publicity designs. Check out my process work for the first of their two requests, a cover photo for their Facebook page, and coming soon, a poster design that they can use for other publicity stuff.
The cover photo…
I did a bunch of style research for the general look of both pieces and ran it by the Artistic Director for the show. We settled on a 1920’s travel poster style – this combines the bright and lively feel she wants to bring to the show, with a period-appropriate visual style, since the show is set in Italy in the 20’s. These are probably the two I referred to most while doing the art, although I sent her a set of style references that were actually period, rather than modern reinterpretations like these: Reference 1, Reference 2. I then did research into photos of Tuscan landscapes and settled on doing a line drawing based on one of those to start with.
Blocking out the composition with some vague color and shape to the art, to get it sized appropriately to the space.
Things are looking a bit crunched with the white bar at the bottom and all the text, so things get reconsidered a bit and start to look a bit more travel postery… More gradients, more defined shapes, and this is when I came up with the idea to have the little Death character on the road, to make it more than just a simple landscape.
Refining gradients and details, then off to the team for tweaks and checks:
There was a bunch of discussion with the various directors of the show, and some changes to the text and placement so it would fit better with the Facebook Cover Photo format. We also added a little silhouette in the window to represent the female love interest in the show, Grazia, and to bring a little more life to the building.
We just about had it approved when the team had some change requests about placement of things, since they wanted it used on individual’s pages in addition to their own page.
From Mary Lyubomirsky, the show’s Artistic Director:
“Ellen, I can’t thank you enough for how beautiful and on target this is! We’ve never had such a wonderful rendering for any of our shows!”
Coming soon, poster art! If you want to use the the final image to help us publicize the show, you can download it for your own cover photo. Please do not edit or crop the image, it is specifically for publicizing the FirstLight Players production of Death Takes A Holiday.