10 steps to master the process of a gig poster design (First par)

The Graphic Design is at the same time art and science, combine art aspects like visual perceptions, balance and harmony and explore the effects that colour and composition has on emotions, psyche and peoples reaction in a scientific way all compress in a single visual frame.

Posters are a graphic design and a frequent tool of advertisers (particularly of events, musicians, and films) they evolve during the time to become more efficient and assertive to attract the public attention still today in a consistent migration to a digital environment they don’t lose its main characteristics. 

Posters include both textual and graphic elements, although a poster can be fully graphical or wholly text or a combination of both and are designed to be both eye-catching and informative. Posters may be used for many purposes further promotion and are also used for reproductions of artwork, particularly famous works, and are generally low-cost compared to the original artwork. 

The modern poster, as we know it, however, dates back to the 1840s and 1850s when the printing industry perfected colour lithography and made mass production possible.

The gig posters currently, can include pictures of the artists if they are famous or the public recognises them but generally, they are treated in a graphical way and combined with the right typography. 

What I love about a gig design work in relation to other typology of graphic design jobs is the creative challenge of transform in visual language the message of the event or what the artist wants to give to the potential audience and at the same time engage them.

In this post, I will talk about my personal gig poster design process and I will show as an example a poster made for a  Music Event Organiser Agency.

1- Brief

As this popular quote says defining our limits and our needs save us designer and commitment time and money and create a better collaborative relationship, to do that we use an important conceptual instrument the brief.

The brief is the main request about the project, we can divide into three big areas:

  • technical information
  • brand information
  • graphic information
Technical information
Are all the specifications you can give about the project like canvas size, uses online like social media platforms, websites and offline for print, small or big sizes, files extensions the mail or cloud folder where and who send the final product, the time schedule and the reviews with a ruff timing of desition if has to be checked by a team.

Brand information

Are all the specifications you can give about the project like canvas size, uses online like social media platforms, websites and offline for print, small or big sizes, files extensions the mail or cloud folder where and who send the final product, the time schedule and the reviews with a ruff timing of desition if has to be checked by a team.

Graphic information

Are all the specifications you can give about the project like canvas size, uses online like social media platforms, websites and offline for print, small or big sizes, files extensions the mail or cloud folder where and who send the final product, the time schedule and the reviews with a ruff timing of desition if has to be checked by a team.

Real timing 

In an ideal world, we have time to focus on the process with the appropriate deepness, but in the real world, we get called at the last moment when all the other details of the event are confirmed and the promotion has to be done immediately, that makes crucial to define the work since the beginning in the most efficient and clear way, we will always work under pressure.

ABSTRACT

Poster Graphic Design Brief

Technical information

  • ARTS2LIFE  www.arts2life.co.uk
  • Online poster for Social Media Marketing and website
  • Facebook event size
  • Instagram square size
  • Website vertical size
  • Report with Creative Manager David 
  • Save files on Shared Google Drive Folder

Brand information

  • Company Logo (A2L)
  • Associated Ticket Company Logo (Headfirst)
  • Company Contact
  • Company Website link
  • FB Page QR code

Graphic information

  • Event name 
  • Place, time and date
  • Type of event (Stream concert)
  • Artists names
  • Ticket costs
  • Colour Palette
  • Brainstorm on a Pinterest folder
  • Musical Style
  • Target Audience

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Graphic Design Brief Worksheet

2- Concept

Concept is what there is behind the final design vision. For conceptualizing I start from the information I have about the project focus into transform this information into an interesting visual brainstorm or in design elements.

The greatest poster convey creative, simple but clear concepts and show the personality of the artist or the music style we want to promote. The idea is to appeal the target audience and stand out from the rest of the noise.

From the event details, I focus on one key point to develop the concept: is a live streaming concert.

Artists and public will be inside there own house from this simple base I started expanding the concept to find a visual expression of that and I designed a container and from there, any artist may show there own specific individuality and personality using a kind of symbolic and mystical image.

At this point is time to find inspiration in other artists posters, is good to follow your favourite visual artists if you like their own unique graphic style on Instagram or the artist’s blogs to see how they develop their ideas, in any case, is good to go deep in research as a key designer habit.

ABSTRACT

Graphic Design Concept

With the most relevant chosen information, I can develop the poster concept and start a research process that can be the inspiration  for my art work.

Information

  • Streaming event
  • Artist and public will stay at home
  • Any artist has all different musical styles
  • The artists are fresh and with an original aesthetic

3- Research

The research is a state of mind, if we develop a certenain mindset we will apply this to any aspect of the life, for a graphic designer have this attention to the visual aspects is a crucial aspect of a designer skillset.

The research in first place about being curious and receptive and in secondary make an efficient use of information, so we can simplify in this steps:

  • explore
  • collect
  • select
  • analise
  • organise
  • utilise 

Today one of the most powerful instruments we use is a search engine like Google and the company firs focus is in to evolve the algorithm to be always more efficient  and organise better the information founded. 

Google has the image search that can be a first quick approach to a visual research but is not the best option for designers or people that works with images.

My Pinterest collection board with open and private folders

Another powerful tool that any designer use and is the most efficient visual search engine is Pinterest but is not only that because allow us to organise our research in a personal way and in exchange of that the algorithm learns from us how to catalogue images and relate words and attributes with them optimising constantly itself in a reciprocal human-machine process.

A visual search engine like Pinterest is fundamental to explore other designers visual solutions, collect inspirational designs, organise our ideas like a visual brainstorm and share it with the commitment or our designer team if we develop a collaborative designing process.

To move forward to the design process our research has to be lead by the result we want to achieve with our poster that’s why is important to define the concept of the project before to start the research to save time and being more efficient.

ABSTRACT

Research Process

1- Explore: with the concept in mind search inspiring designs.

2- Collect: chose what inspires you and set a general folder with the appropriate name.

3- Select: make a secondary folder with specific title and relevant elements.

4- Analyse: check the interesting elements and see if they fit with the concept.

5- Organise: make a final subfolder with the most indicated deisgns

6- Utilise: with all this inspirational design we are ready to pass to the sketching process.

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4- Sketching

Once you develop a simple concept and get the inspiration with deep and extensive research you can be ready to start a quick sketch, transfer on paper the first intuition, drawing elements or exploring possibilities.

The art of sketching on paper in this modern times is underestimated, for a visual artist is more than trying to draw, are a personal language and a visual dialogue with yourself.

Sketching is for me an immediate translation from my vision in the brain to the paper, manipulate the pen, perceive the paper texture and all the process impressions I feel like a form of meditation. 

When I’m finally satisfied with the elements I explore I can pass to the next stage that is moving these elements to digital and pass to the more proper poster creation process.

The concept materialise in a hand draw a quick sketch

ABSTRACT

Sketching

  • Use the research inspiration design
  • Brainstorm with the chosen elements
  • Define the interesting designs
  • Chose the design to digitalise. 

5- Sempliphy the colour palette

Because of the traditional printing method, the large scale posters use to be manufactured with a few colours with a maximum of four. Today with most of the posters circulating online or printed digitally we can theoretically include as many colours as we want but anyway would advise against this.

We need to remember that the readability of our poster can be compromised by visual noise that an excess of colour can create, is true that initially, a technical limit has conditionate the styles and aesthetic process but artists exceed those limitations defining the modern rules of poster design and production that are still valid on the digital environment. 

Finally, if I want to catch the eye of the public and being assertive I need the minimum colour palette, for that reason, I will use three colours with the next technical arrangement: one background vibe colour one contrast colour and one support neutral colour. With this shrewdness, I can cohere with the poster tradition and create a great impact even on the social media environment.

ABSTRACT

The next five points will continue on the next blog post

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