A blast from the past—a vintage poster we designed long ago. Fond memories of a favorite project surfaced when I found old photo negatives* of a concert while I was searching for something else.
Creative challenge: Design a commemorative poster to welcome musicians Flora Purim and Airto Moreira, who were doing a concert to benefit the Sheldon Art Galleries and The Hispanic Arts Council of St. Louis. The event was sponsored by Anheuser-Busch
Design strategies: I knew little about Flora Purim, although I did know she was a jazz musician. Searching for inspiration, I found an intriguing stock illustration of a woman singing. A dramatic shadow on the woman’s face covered her eyes and focused on her mouth as she sang.
Execution and solution: I used black for the background, a perfect color for jazz. After the first design was completed, my client, Bob, wanted to change the title to include Airto and add another graphic element to represent him. Airto was the band’s drummer and Flora’s husband. I found a drum illustration that blended with the woman and positioned it in the corner. I placed the headline font on an angle to create a sense of movement.
- We printed on uncoated paper (not glossy), that made it easy for both musicians to sign the posters. Another advantage to using uncoated paper was that there was no glare when the posters were photographed with people. (The posters were framed with glass after the event.) Gold metallic ink pens were used to autograph each poster.
- A limited number of posters were printed—a small quantity just for the musicians and for public relations opportunities.
The posters were a hit! In hindsight, Bob said he wished we had printed a larger quantity to sell at the concert.
We were fortunate to attend this wonderful concert. Best of all, after the show, we had an opportunity to go backstage to meet Flora and Airto. They loved the poster and gave me a hug! Wow. That was a special moment I’ll never forget! I have their autographed poster in my living room as a treasured memento.
*P.S. After I found the old negatives, I wondered if I could retrieve the original file. I fired up our old Mac computer, used Retrospect (archive software), and plugged in an old zip disk to transfer the file. Whew—it worked! Fortunately, there was a PDF in the folder that opened with no problem.
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