vislang. jazz poster. process.

In starting out with the matrix, i had to work on the concepts of rhetoric and had to tackle 10 concepts. Personification, hyperbole, pun, antithesis. irony, metaphor, metonymy, synecdoche, allegory, and parody. Some concepts were harder than others to say the least. From the matrix, I picked three directions. I picked pun, personification, and metaphor. 

FIRST DIRECTION: PERSONIFICATION: The first concept was about integrating 'Earl Klugh Quartet' in with the guitar. It's a very simple concept, but with a gorgeous rendering method it could have been quite a nice poster. Below are the five sketches that grew from this concept.
I ended up not going with direction simply because the concept behind it was very lacking, and simple, and rather shallow. The other two concepts were much better than this one.

SECOND DIRECTION: PERSONIFICATION: My second of the three concepts was a personification of the guitar as Earl Klugh's bright smile(he's a very happy man). I used the hole of the guitar as the place to put the smiling mouth. Below are the five iterations of where personification went. Of the three concepts, this was also not my final direction for the poster.
I ended up not going with direction because through the critique of them, they came across as too cartoony in the drawings. However I attempted to draw some with a more realistic mouth and it was just way too creepy and odd looking.

THIRD DIRECTION: PERSONIFICATION: My third concept was metaphor, taking the strings of the guitar and portraying them as wind to represent his light-hearted, airy, smooth jazz. This was the direction that I ended up going with for my final poster. Below, again, are the five sketches for this concept.
Of the three concepts, this was the most solid. It had the depth a poster of this size needed, while not being too cartoony or too boring. From here we explored rendering methods for this concept.

This first concept was about taking that idea of fluidity and smoothness in his music and apply it to the rendering method through a very fluid drawing style. I really like this idea but it really would have taken too much work to refine it to the point of it working successfully. Not to mention the colors would have to be spot on for you to see everything just right.

This second concept was a computer based idea that dealt with simplification of objects and a layering method of transparencies. I also thought about using a cursive-type hand rendered type for the poster. This idea didn't really go with my concept or artist, so it as well got scrapped.

This concept was taking analogue and digital and combining it together. I was working with building the poster in the computer but creating textures with watercolor to fill it in. I used this concept of digital and analogue together in the final poster, but just not in this way. I also thought about doing hand lettering of more slender style to echo the guitar neck.

This rendering method started getting me in the right direction. This was was a mainly analogue, watercolor only, idea that also involved vines rather than wind. I liked the water color but not the vine concept.

Now this rendering method topped the cake. This integrated the watercolor nicely with the digital, and it did it in a really nice way with the water color as part of the lines giving off a blue glow from the strings to echo wind/water and give them a second level of meaning. This is also the style of lettering i ended up going with, a more condensed lettering style(i ended up using univers in the end). From here we then went into building the actual poster in full scale.

This is the very first fully put together poster, and it's definitely rough. Everything was either watercolor or vector. Everything is also the same size, the text, the leaves, the strings, everything is competing horribly. The text was too digital feeling, and the leaves were wayy too big. For the guitar i watercolored a texture and built the guitar in the computer and put the texture into the shape. This guitar, however, doesn't even read guitar at all, it reads more vase than anything else really. The composition is even off in this poster. The guitar is perfectly vertical and doesn't interact with the foreground at all. The strongs are also too contained within the frame of the poster. There were so many good things i got out of this first round.

This was the next poster in the process. The guitar is now a photograph that has been put with watercolor background and watercolor leaves with vector type and vector lines on top of the watercolored strings. The type is now much more refined and now out in Univers. The issues with this was the guitar looking too dark, the text being too small, the color of the leaves, and the watercolored lines. The green wasn't working for the leaves and the blue watercolor on the lines were too dark and not big enough to see it. We also wanted to be able to see the hole of the guitar.

This was the poster that I had up on the wall for the Folly to see. The guitar looks much better now, it's a much better photograph, the strings of the guitar have finally all been removed from the photo. The text is much better and interacting with the strings much more successfully. However, it is suggested to me to add the bad back on the 'H' of KLUGH so they read it as an H and not as two I's. The leaves, however, are still not working as red, they suggest that I work with an unnatural color. The watercolor is working much better with these lines, but maybe still a bit too dark.

The judging happened and we found out who they picked, mine was not picked, but we got feedback from what they thought. The biggest issue was that the strings didn't come across well enough with the competing leaves. The way to fix this was to pull back the watercolor of the strings and either change the color of the leaves or just change the leaf to something completely different.
I first tried the leaf a different color, but leaf still overpowered the composition too much. From here I tried two other concepts, snowflakes, and wind swirls.
The wind swirls, I feel, are simple and nice and understated, but inevitably it simplified the composition down too much.

The snowflakes worked much better than both the leaves and the swirls. It gets the idea of wind across better while still being less obtrusive than the leaves but more complex than the swirls. I ended up pulling back the watercolor from the strings a bit so they weren't too overpowering and this is the final poster idea.

No, my poster didn't win, but i still stand by my poster and feel it is a very strong and well done poster. I also love Joseph's poster, I think it is a gorgeously simple and elegant poster that will represent the concert amazingly well. Yeah it sucked to not be chosen, but this was such a great learning experience that it really doesn't bother me at all. The final poster they chose was a gorgeous one.

Here are the corresponding black and white ads that goes with the poster.

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