I recently had the pleasure of collaborating with the super-talented Gail Anderson on this poster for the Bedford Barrow Commerce Street Fair (cropped screenshot here. Final proof at the end of this post.) Design by Gail. Illustrations by me.
The printer is Triangle Poster of Pittsburgh (old-school letterpress carnival posters.) So first I tried a nod to tradition with no halftones and colors like reflex blue. This draft was too stark.
Also, I don't like to use outlines. I typically start with a solid black ink drawing and use that as my template for adding color.
This brought the illustrations back closer to my usual style. The left hand image was created with spot colors, but looked too washed out. I switched to 100% CMYK, with the K replaced by Reflex Blue for interest, resulting in the right hand image.
A bit of texture was added by bitmapping a scan of some paper and then overlaying the solid body. The pink didn't contrast the yellow background enough, so I swapped in 100% cyan instead. Success. I applied this final approach to the remaining 3 illos.
A variation of the original outline version may still find a home on a t-shirt. I love how the cyan and magenta almost disappear into an illusion of everything being red/orange.
The final reference proof for the printers. Extra thanks go to the amazing Joe Santa for working his pre-press magic.
I'm looking forward to seeing the final. Although these illustrations ended up not too different from my usual style, I was amazed at how long it took me to figure out how to make that style work without all my usual Photoshop tricks. I used to prepare my work for silkscreen frequently back in the day, but it'd been years since I had to align my process to the analog world. It’s funny how used to digital you can become.
Thanks to Gail for her great enthusiasm and direction. Treat yourself to a visit: gailycurl.com
You can check out Triangle here.
The final poster will appear soon on my illustration page.
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