Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Logo: 2010 "Run of the Valkyries" (redux)

 "The way your head works is God's own private mystery." - Sailor Ripley

Time flies when you're busy blogging: already gone full-circle on what's turning out to be an annual gig for Opera Fairbanks. While the 2010 "Run of the Valkyrie" 8k race technically isn't until late July, the wheels are already set in motion for fundraising and promotional work, and I got the call to do another tshirt + poster. Join me after the jump for a peek at the process behind this year's design...

 Previously posted about this particular dream client: I hafta admit this year there's a slight homage to the sponsor and patron of many an artistic endeavor in this community, Thomas Gross. Over lunch he made some suggestions during the bouncing-off-ideas phase - one gaping hole I missed in preliminary doodles was a more direct visual reference to Valkyries. This was addressed later on by the inclusion of the horned helmets (not technically proper as it's more of a viking thing) which everybody sports during the actual race event itself.

Along with getting the verbage updated (date/month), and an idea about what the options would be for colors (4/5-color tshirt print + full-color poster) I wanted to pitch a shift in emphasis to the organization itself, as opposed to the event: this being accomplished by switching around the header text with the banner text i.e. putting "Opera Fairbanks" wrapped around the top of the logo, and "Run of the Valkyries" underneath. Also left it up to the client which season to pick: winter parka or autumn lumberjack.

As an accompaniment to the usual process sketches posted here, I'll elaborate a bit on the symbiotic relationship the visual arts have with music. At least as it's employed in my cabin while working on this recent batch of stuff. As of late there's been a pronounced upswing in the tunage used as "background" soundtracks to current works, in particular the scores to a few favorite films. James Horner (2005's "The New  World") and Hans Zimmer (1998's "The Thin  Red Line") - coincidentally enough both films by Terrence Malik, in the personal top three of all-time greatest directors. I'm still absorbing a great book special-ordered last month that compiles seventeen critical essays about Malick's filmography: edited by Hannah Patterson and updated/revised in 2007, "Poetic Visions of America" mulls over the influence of Heidegger's philosophy in his ambient and transcendent cinematography.

Also playing a big role on this project was "Im Abendrot" by Richard Strauss: this brief swelling of sound makes an appearance in one of the top five all-time amazing cinematic moments during David Lynch's 1990 film "Wild At Heart." While not my favorite Lynch film (that'd be The Straight Story, Elephant Man, Mulolland Drive and Eraserhead, in order), it has some highlights of sheer genius.

One of the poignant scenes between Sailor Ripley and Lula Fortune is after pulling off onto the side of the road, and a segue from thrashing to a song by speed-metal band Powermad into Strauss, which accompanies a beautiful shot while slow-panning the horizon. This earned Frederick Elmes an Academy Award for Best Cinematography, an acknowledgment of art trumping the controversial and ultraviolent weirdness woven throughout the movie. None of this has anything to do whatsoever with the purely accidental appearance of a pair of red long-johns in the Opera Fairbanks design, symbolizing the peculiar blend of class + aesthetics of practicality inherent in the Interior.

Shown here up above is a screen grab of the desktop document showing the evolution from random pieces to the keyline black & white design; the (comparatively flaccid) 5-color tshirt variation on the theme; and the final full-color version posted here below:

"This is a snakeskin jacket! And for me it's a symbol of my individuality, and my belief... in personal freedom." - Sailor Ripley

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