Monday, July 7, 2014

Underground Images: School of Visual Arts Subway Posters

When SVA Executive Vice President Anthony Rhodes asked me to create a poster for the show which he curated: Underground Images: School of Visual Arts Subway Posters, 1947 to the Present, I was excited.

But when I started to think about the poster I was less excited and more concerned. I needed to design a poster for a show that include 60+ posters, by the 29 most famous American designers. How to create a poster celebrating other posters and not overwhelm them with your own design/ego? I started to think about three elements that needed to appear on the poster, and that are actually part of the the title: Underground/subway, posters, and School of Visual Arts. Because of his recent departure the poster of Tony Palladino (1930-2014) “It’s Not the Light at the End of The Tunnel, It’s the Light Within” came to my mind.

I decided, as an homage to Palladino, to also create a tunnel (subway tunnel), using only posters and the SVA logo. All three elements from the title are there. To avoid any politics, whose poster is bigger, whose poster is more important, I decided to arrange them from lightest to darkest, and that way create walls and the effect of light coming from the end of the tunnel.

I used those two images as a texture map to create a tunnel and then I added the SVA logo which already looked to me like a cartoon-like light.

All I needed to do afterwards was to darken up the top and the bottom of the poster to make the text more legible, considering it will be adjusted for various languages and venues. This is the first variation of the poster and it is going to be used for the SVA show in Marseille at Villa Mediterranee as a part of The Graphic Design Encounters festival.


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