Archive for the ‘Concert Flyer’ Category

Process- Retro Poster

July 19, 2016



Process: Retro Robot Concert Poster

August 28, 2015

Preparing for another House Concert means creating another poster and flyer. Often I start by kicking around the words “House” and “Concert”. After a few dead ends I started thinking of “Retro Space Theme” as an idea. That didn’t go the way I had hoped, but did get me thinking about robots like the one from “Lost in Space”. Initially I thought I would make a crew of character robots to hold up and interact with the type. Since I’ve done character posters in the past, I recognized their secondary value as stickers/badges/giveaway items.

I tackled the project by research “robot-ish” components. The idea was to use the symbols palette in Illustrator to “frankenstein” a variety of figures from a collection of “bits”. I spent several hours making pieces, some of which I did not end up using, but since they are stored, maybe someday I will use them.


At this point I went back to my sketchbook since the robots I had tried to assemble were uninspired. I came up with an idea to do a “musical” robot, assembled from instruments (my first poster did something like this except with a Victorian house). I had hit on the idea of making the type for the word “house” be out of wire and the word concert out of metal. I hand-built the “concert” font after a quick sketch. Having already created a brush and 1/4″ cable symbol it was just a matter of finessing the script in order to be legible and have a flowy, cable-like personality. I went to work on the concert type and added gears and sprockets, repurposing my symbols to add that industrial touch.

Robo S


typography wireframe

After the type was assembled I jumped into Photoshop and began building and importing vector graphics as needed. I had collected some vintage paper textures and distressed paper folds. I also had researched retro swatches and constructivist motifs…kind of. My first attempt was on target and I was pleased with the robot and the comedic element he played (rather than the brooding overlord I had first envisioned). There was too much wasted space, however. The names of the performers were too small. I stepped back and took a fresh look.

First Try

I was much happier with the second attempt. “House” and :”concert” were grouped more closely and more space was given to the musicians. I added some gradients behind the main text to give it more presence. Additionally, since I was able to drop the text down, more of my background “widget” wallpaper was visible. That had been made by simply selecting a number of my Illustrator symbols and turning them into silhouettes then arranging them in a grid.

Second Attempt

Below are some details. I ended up putting a halftone pattern behind the robot to bring him out better as well as redrawing the curve of his glass dome for the same reason.

detail 1 detail 2

Process: Concert Poster

July 26, 2015

Time again for a new concert promotional poster. For this one I wanted to play around with hand-drawn lettering and some fun characters. My initial sketches were scanned, resized in photoshop, printed, and redrawn before scanning in once more to serve as vector templates.

I opted to do the main coloring inside Illustrator since I could use the “Recolor Artwork” function to rapidly visualize swatch options.

Illustrator paths were imported into Photoshop as smart objects and texture, additional type, and layer adjustments were added.

Since the formats for the two pieces are radically different, I started with the poster first then transferred layer styles and effects into the Facebook header/ handbill format.

IMG_5880 IMG_5879Screen Shot 2015-07-26 at 8.07.35 PMScreen Shot 2015-07-26 at 8.07.27 PMScreen Shot 2015-07-26 at 8.07.12 PMAug2015blurredScreen Shot 2015-07-26 at 8.07.59 PM

Soft spine Hard Cover Book

April 22, 2015

In my quest for cool, durable, easier, beautiful books, I developed a new idea for creating bookcovers. I use the sick card stock for the front and back covers but instead of creating a spine I glue the covers down onto a page of heavy craft paper (like a brown paper grocery bag), then fold the bag on top of the boards to make a “sandwich”. I finished by cutting excess paper on the sides at 45° angle’s and folding the remainder in to seal the cover.
For this particular book, I chose to use three different types of paper: card stock, printer paper, and thin brown packing paper. I’m enjoying my corner punched corners.

I actually sewed three signatures together then glued card stock and papers to attach the book block. I did a rush job of gluing the spine of book block in order to create extra stability.
Cover art is collaged from and add, a chipotle bag, and a white out pen with stencil.

March Concert Poster

February 23, 2014

With a house concert coming up on the Ides of March, I wanted to make a special poster for the host family, guest performers and some lucky fans. Once again collaborating with the inimitable Vivian Cheung, I first created a Facebook banner but then semi-started from scratch to come up with something special.

Using Vivian’s paper crane concept, I messed around with pseudo-japanese elements (origami folds, kata font, folded paper shadows, origami paper patterns, etc.) I had the opening credit visuals of Samurai Champloo in my head too.

scanned art

concert flyer

Final Poster

Vector Logo Process: From Sketch to Final

October 25, 2013

I’ve been wanting to design another logo for Homespun Royale, something fun, energetic and t-shirt/sticker worthy. Thanks to JM for giving me a prod to get it done. View the slideshow to walk through my steps. All the major steps and design decisions are represented (although there are many more color variations and tweaks).

Page 1: The original sketch scanned. I think I will do a full type-set logo eventually. Maybe a future post.

HR 1

Page 2: Scanned and taken into Photoshop, I tweaked and played around in pixel-land. The ability to quickly copy/paste/warp/erase/fill/etc. make this part of the design process ideal for the digital realm. I could do it on paper, but it wouldn’t be as efficient.


Page 3: Selections and refinements. I had a strong direction now. The “plank” H vertical strokes were an attempt to get across the “Homespun/home-made/family band” aspects of the logo. I abandoned earlier attempts at “weaving” the “R” swoosh through the uprights. By this stage the overall shape of the logo was coming into focus. I let that guide me as exemplified with the crown above the “R”. Initially I thought the crown should flow in the same direction as the “H” strokes. As the logo tightened up, I wanted to balance the diagonal motion on the left side with a matching visual motion on the right. The drop shadow was by now design element that would be in the final design. There was an amusement park/baseball team vibe that I found appealing.


Page 4: I printed out the top two designs from Page 3 and mixed and matches some elements using tracing paper and pencil. I put the ol’ french curves to use and used blue pencil and a ruler to work out some stronger direction and size relationships.


Page 5: With the pencil art scanned into Adobe Illustrator, I got to work building shapes. I also used the precision of the vector tools to check and tweak a few relationships. For example, I wanted the 3 downstrokes to get thinner in an ordered way. Well designed logos take spacing relationships into consideration and the ” distribute object “functions can simplify that process.


Page 6: The finish built logo. I still did some tweaking, notably on the right side swoosh of the “R”.


Page 7: After dummying up the drop shadow, I noticed that the crown drop shadow was making a distracting tangent. I next tried the idea of creating a “3-D” drop shadow effect, something fairly common on sports jerseys. The red arrow shows the addition of an outline to add an additional degree of separation/dimensionality. I still wanted a way to make the logo say “homemade”. The woodgrain pattern (created in Illustrator) was first applied to the foreground shape. I later applied it to the background shape only which seemed to work better since it doesn’t decrease the readability of the logo.


Page 8: I’m still playing around with the colors –looking at carnival, circus and vintage crate art palettes to find colors that are odd but complimentary. The name and logo are all about contrasts, finding a balance between them.


Work in process – Concert Flyer animated gif

July 3, 2013

july concert flyer process

A little animated GIF showing the various stages from scan to current state. I still have some more things to add (text) and tweak. It’s usually a good idea to come back to a design after a break in order to have fresh eyes to evaluate the relative success of the composition. The GIF doesn’t capture the full range of colors that the final JPG will, but hopefully the process is clear enough. Of course, this is very simplified. There are many steps that I am not showing for purposes of time and to minimize boredom.

Once again, beautiful base watercolors provided by Vivian Cheung.

June Concert Flyer

June 12, 2013

Here is the latest collaboration with Vivian Cheung. The trick with these banner flyers is to:

  1. work within the limits of the format
  2. supply the relevant info in an appealing and clear way
  3. visually match the artwork


Poster collaboration

April 26, 2013

Previously, I have created posters for the various house concerts that Homespun Royale has played. I enjoy the process immensely. The last several shows however, I have collaborated with the intensely talented Vivian Cheung whose watercolor illustrations are breath-takingly whimsical and heart-breakingly beautiful. Our other collaborations are posted on Vivian’s blog.

It is a different kind of challenge to consider how to best utilize the artwork Vivian provides, placing text  and other elements in a way that clearly communicates without diminishing from the illustrations. I hope I have been successful in this endeavor.

The photo gallery below shows the “before” illustration and the “after” poster. The type has to be harmonious without becoming invisible or unclear. Whenever I can, I try to preserve space within the illustration to prevent things from getting too crowded and claustrophobic for the viewer. When necessary I will add visual elements, intensify coloration, change the angle of the image, “add” space between painted elements, or move elements to preserve my interpretation of the artists “intent” while meeting the communication needs of the poster.

Whistler’s Sasquatch

January 18, 2013

Abigail and I did this together as a spin-off piece for the January 2013 House Concert. Based on the artwork provided by my talented friend Sarah B, Abigail sketched out a composition which I lightboxed in pencil. Finally we inked (Micron brush pen) it and added watercolor and colored pencil flourishes. I think I may have brushed on some tea or coffee as well…

Scan 7