This page is meant to be a candid look at the extensive amount of exploration and experimentation that went into a single poster design. Over the course of a whole semester, the aim of the project was to create a poster that visually communicated a randomly assigned piece of music, in this case, Another Language by This Will Destroy You. The poster would be used to advertise a fictional event at Le Gesù, one of Montreal's most intimate theatre spaces. Below is a small selection of the project's most significant milestones.
Phase 01: Brainstorming & Sketches
The first few weeks of the project consisted mainly of sketching and making large brainstorms based on the aesthetic quality of the album. Most of the preliminary work was done in the form of small thumbnail sketches which later determined the overall direction of the poster. Recurring themes included abstract waveforms and circular hand motion, which were inspired by the prominent drum beats scattered throughout the album.
Phase 02: Conceptual Moodboard
With various directions to choose from, the next goal was to create an abstract moodboard that captures the overall feel of the album. The idea of a 16x16" inch disk felt appropriate in many ways. For one, it refers to the form of a vinyl record with grooves on the edge of the surface, while at the same time, communicates the texture present throughout the album. The swirling colors reflect the softer moments on the record, which often seem to blend into one another. The cipher is an interpretation of what the language from the title would look like, which I personally connected to the themes of sound and passing time.
Phase 03: Technique Explorations
During this project, exploration was a key factor. At this phase, mark making played a huge role in trying out tools and materials that would not otherwise be considered, such as a pool of vitriol paint. There was also an emphasis on using experimental photography and digital effects to create something happily accidental.
Phase 04: Semi-Comps
This next phase consisted of picking a few of the previous thumbnails sketches and trying to create half-size posters that captured the essence of what they represented. For instance, many of the semi-comps consisted of having themes of spiral motion, vibration, doorways, and empty space.
Phase 05: Typographic Explorations
The direction using long streaks of light with long-exposure photography was a clear winner among the various explorations as it is much more visually striking as a whole. During the PreFinal phase of the project, I used the image of a window frame as metaphor for a point of transition, as well as an homage to the album art. At this point, I was drawn to the first track of the record, called New Topia as it features most of the qualities of the overall sound of the record. The break between the dramatic intro and loud chorus is what I focused on for the rest of the project.
Phase 06: Applications
After finalizing the look of the poster itself, tickets and ads had to be made to complete a full set of assets. I had decided to use the light photography as a cropping for the front, and simply white on black for the back. This was no mistake, as there is a 50/50 divide between the empty blackness and light on the poster itself.
Phase 07: Final Poster
This poster is the result of a highly explorative process, which went through literally hundreds of steps and variations along the way. Though many practical solutions were discovered through the course of the project, this one is equally the most interesting and appropriate. In terms of the typographic treatment, Futura PT was used as a bold title, while the more classic Bodoni was used as the subheads along the left. The album's title was written in Fudoni, a decorative typeface that contains characteristics from both fonts.