When I was first challenged to create a gig poster for a fictitious band, I knew I would first need to have a perfect visual of the sound, look, and overall vibe of the band if my poster was going to speak for itself. I threw all of my thoughts on paper, flooding it with lists of words that I felt matched the light, singer-songwriter, folksy feel I landed on.
I defined the band by a couple additional characteristics: vintage, and feel-good. As I began my sketching process, it was important that each element somehow emulated these traits.
It was also important to me to know who this gig poster would be seen by - in other words, where was the gig? I chose Arizona and sketched objects that I felt had good crossover between the iconic symbols of the state and the vibe I was aiming to evoke. Then I began my drafts.
My mind went to the classic vintage produce advertisements. A signature layout with a centralized fruit or vegetable. I wanted to mimic that style, but with my band's character. The initial drafts were extremely simplified as I was mainly trying out different concepts from my sketches.
Many vintage produce ads were characterized by radial layouts, and I found that I could incorporate this into my design by incorporating the Arizona state flag. I made sure each of the 13 original colonies was represented by a ray of sun as well as the Colorado river with the blue bottom half.
I sought out critique, and with some tweaking of line widths, contrasting values, texture, and typography, I landed on my final design which hit each of the essential traits I had listed. The finished poster is a capsulation of feel-good elements and Arizona symbolism arranged in a vintage-inspired layout.