Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Abigails Party part 4

Overnight I've made minor changes to my poster idea
I think the orange and brown colour scheme is more 1970s and I have modified the 3 tone colouring as I felt the green wasn't adding anything. The mixed orange colour for the background helps to make the lettering standout and makes it more interesting.
Flyer front
Flyer back
Newspaper advert
Does this work? By moving to a more typical 1970s typeface I've lost some of the legibility should I have kept it plain brown?

flyer back (unchanged)
newspaper advert

I think this is better. Even after reworking I don't think I've hit the spot with this assignment. I always struggle with final assignments (this is my third level one course and I did Art and Design and Drawing in Colour years ago before that) I think it's the pressure to do something amazing that stifles me. I'm much happier with the work I did for the French Hen.

I wondered whether I've spoilt the idea by overcomplicating things, it's something I have a tendency to do although I always prefer clean simple design. Going back to the Saul Bass influence I think the background could work better in plan white
I also experimented with Impact as my second font. I'm starting to suspect that Hobo is too busy for this design. If I had access to it I would prefer to use Univers, Microgramma, Futura or Optima. Looking back at the 1970s fonts there are a lot with a horizontal crossbars on the lowercase letter e and letter a. Impact isn't quite right so I've changed to Century Gothic which I think is the nearest font that I have access to.
I've also changed Abigails Party to orange and applied Occams Razor to take out any unnecessary information.
Flyer front and back

Newspaper advert.
 I've kept most of the text black so that it is easy to read when printed on poor quality paper and put a plain black box around it to try and make it stand out on a busy page.
Does it feel more 1970s? I think I'm too close to it to be sure but I prefer this simpler design,

Monday, 4 August 2014

Abigails Party part 3

I've had some feedback from my tutor so here I am again!

He feels that I haven't properly explained my understanding of the play which is true, probably because I don't feel I do really understand it. Having watched it and read various reviews I agree with the reviewer who said: "Abigail's Party still ranks as the most painful hundred minutes in British comedy-drama." The play is a satire about middle class aspirations and the main character Beverly is the vehicle for conveying this. She appears to me to be showing off but she is domineering and very insensitive to her guests. Some commentators have said that she was forcing food, drink and opinions on her guests to distract them from the failure of her party and her marriage so maybe we should be sympathetic rather than judgemental. I loved Mike Leigh's "Another Year" which is gentle and thoughtful but I find this harsh and unkind. Poking fun and laughing at the characters trapped in a miserable party. It has been suggested that the play was a metaphor for Britain in the 1970's putting a brave front on a miserable situation and maybe this is why it has been so popular.
For me the 1970's feel is about the exaggerated lettering in the top design. The middle 2 designs are in the muted colours of the era this site suggests that this was a response to the Vietnam war but I wonder if it was just a reaction to the wild psychedelic colours of the 1960's This site has room designs which also reflect the muted earthy colours. The Toyota poster looks too busy to my 21st Century taste so although the poster is supposed to have a 1970's feel I think it would be off putting to a modern audience. The bottom poster is solidly in the era but probably not the theme we think of when considering Abigails Party even though they were in the same year. Probably more suited to the young Abigail having her party next door, than the screen party.
This site has a number of 1970's posters which are quite diverse, not easy to see a common theme here but maybe these were collected to show the diversity of the era. (This site has some more typeface information.)

So I want muted colours but an eye catching design to attract an audience to the play.

There is a predominance of orange and brown colours in the posters I have collected. I like the idea of the cocktail stick with the cheese on in that it is simple and makes for an uncluttered poster but it is difficult to see the origin of the idea unless you know the play and are aware of the popularity of cheese and pineapple in the 1970's. I think simplicity works best with posters look at these Royal Mail posters advising on appropriate dress, or this advert for the 1975 Expo in Japan

or the work of the wonderful Saul Bass
I still like the wine glass image, 5 guests, all drinking, one (Beverly's husband Laurence) falls down. The typeface is the problem here and I thought the colours were too bright for the era but they're not that dissimilar to the ones Saul Bass used.
When I looked before I couldn't find any free fonts. Obviously I wasn't looking too well. Using "Bell Bottom Laser" and my original design with a slightly muted orange you get this
maybe the green was a mistake?
The brown is more 1970's?
Then I went a bit wild and tried this
I'm not sure it really works so I'm going to think on the ideas a bit and decide which to use for the full range of designs