Elephant and Piggie! Here is the behind-the-scenes look into all the design for the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center musical, Elephant and Piggie's "We Are In A Play!"
It's very rare that I get a design job that is cute and cuddly, so it was great fun when the art director let me take the lead on all the posters for the musical. The logo headline was designed by Serena Wolford.
Since these were posters for an illustrated book, I was tasked to find an illustrated style that communicated Elephant and Piggie without copying the style of the books. Time for a designer's best friends, the copic markers and Sharpies!
I often make two or three different design ideas, and quite often I'll make versions of at least one of them (like the two above, with varying color and composition choices).
I also like to make a rough design that deviates from the norm, that breaks expectations and explores other possibilities. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. In this case, the rough below explored the idea of the characters 'coming to life' and so I used my own photos of an elephant and pig. And since the play is written to appeal to adults as well as children, this poster was an appeal to adults as well with a style that wasn't entirely kiddie. My boss and I loved this one, but the above rough was the pick of our art director and client.
Which brings me to my tip to graphic design students: never show your client a rough you wouldn't put into your portfolio. I loved the photo-realistic rough, but I also loved the selected design. I would feel equally proud to put any of these roughs in my portfolio. If you feel the same about your work, you will always sleep at night after client meetings! If you don't love it, leave it at home (because odds usually are, that's the one the client will pick).