No Life Without Drama

Carol Poster 2

Our school has a fantastic drama program. My daughter is most often the stage manager for the productions. I offered to help create the collateral for the performances which includes posters, playbill covers, t-shirt designs and anything else they decide to brand.

Whenever I have a chance to work on a complete set of materials, I really enjoy it. I like the challenge of working through from concept to finished pieces while managing the various ways the design will be used.

I always start with the largest piece and work my way down. If I get to design several different pieces within a larger framework, I will start with concept work and then add refinements and details to the individual pieces once I am happy with the overall look of the set.

For this project I decided to tie all the plays together with a style: high contrast, 3-4  saturated colors, bold and monochromatic images.

In each case I will have to abide by the requirements of the performance license regarding use of the title logos and the information that must be included on marketing materials.

For The Lion King Jr. I posterized Mufasa to two colors and created a vector version of the resulting image. The color palette is from the required logo colors.

For A Christmas Carol I borrowed a line drawing of people celebrating behind a stoic Ebenezer Scrooge and created a two color vector of the silhouettes. Filling Scrooge with a red and the people with white all against a green background gives a Christmas sort of vibe, but clearly communicates that Scrooge is not connected to the people. The logo is a common standard for the production set in a lighter green.

For Into The Woods I used the hood and cape of Red Riding Hood to create the nose of the Wolf. Again, Disney requires their logos and information to be displayed in very specific ways. This play didn’t make the cut, so I won’t be developing this concept any further.

Into the Woods got replaced by Some Enchanted Evening, a review of Rogers and Hammerstein songs about love. I chose a large posterized moon in two colors of blue against a dark blue background to set the romantic tone for the piece. Cutting across the moon are two hands in silhouette, a woman extending her hand and a man taking it. Are they going to dance? Will they simply hold hands and gaze at the moon? Will they kiss? We do not know, but we sense they are in love.

Last, but not least, Some Enchanted Evening got replaced by Cinderella, the new musical, ironically by Rogers and Hammerstein. We are required to NOT use the glass slipper as that image is being used for the traveling Broadway show. I also really liked the balance of the Some Enchanted Evening concept and decided to work with that. I turned the moon into a clock with the hour hand almost at midnight. I made the hand silhouette hold a wand and placed the wand a few minutes before the witching hour. The addition of some swirl and stars in white gives the illusion of a spell being cast.

In each case I will develop the rest of the collateral based on these concepts.