Sunday, January 12, 2014

Run Of The Valkyries 2014

Time again for a favorite client's recurrent commission: the annual "Run of the Valkyries" poster + tshirt for Opera Fairbanks (see a detailed process post on last year's incarnation here and the Commercial Works on-line portfolio for other, previous variations. More process below the fold...

As per the usual process, prior to setting up a meeting I sketched out some roughs to have on hand as a visual signposts along the journey to a finished design, and some raw material to work with.

This year's concept was different in that instead of focusing on the race aspect, it was to dovetail with another overarching theme, that of "gold." The association will be promoting a very special production: a commissioned performance of an opera that involves the history of the Interior. Hence the inclusion of mining implements with the yodeling duo.

The last two concept roughs: much as I was fond of the moose, alas, it didn't make the final cut, and so will be relegated to the proverbial compost heap, to ferment for another day.

Here's a more worked-up variation on the theme, basically cut-and-pasting a quick scan of the pencil sketches so as to start figuring out the overall composition and juggling the placement of elements. Another difference between this year's design and all the previous ones was the incorporation of an oval, as opposed to the usual circular logo. A distinct challenge arose with being able to wrap the text in such a way that one could actually read all of the words ie have the letters be visible enough to be legible, and that necessitated a lot of time spent tweaking. An example being the exaggerated foreshortening of the figure's hands overlapping the oval and projecting towards the viewer , which effectively negated any attempt at wrapping verbage underneath the oval, since it rendered it too cryptic by hiding crucial letters, and shifting those around to compensate threw off the balance of the piece. In other words, lots of behind-the-scene activity to arrive at a fairly simple and straight-forward looking end result.

There are always miscellaneous parameters to observe, such as having to have the official logo present somewhere in the design, the numbers (ex: dates + lengths) and also the prominent placement of the official sponsor for the event. Funny note about that last detail: after several years we finally caught a subtle but very important typo which can be discerned comparing the two versions posted here - this is why as much as a logistical nightmare "art by committee" can be, the flip side is that it's a very useful tool to have some fresh eyeballs on the work as it progresses.

One final bit of trivia was the deliberate use of "lens flares"which for some reason became a topic of discussion in a classroom critique, and hat-tipped here as a parodied homage to the infamous overkill of JJ Abrams (spectacularly documented in it's entirety here).

Update: While the design itself may be timeless, a couple folks were curious as to details and dates (next year maybe I'll do a wall of verbage on the backside): here's a direct link to registration info, start times etc.

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