Class of 2017, listen up!

If you're a senior in high school this fall,  you're probably tired of every adult asking on repeat since last August: "Where are you applying for college?" and "What do you want to do with your life?" I dreaded those questions and can confirm it's just a compulsion that sneaks up on us adults, because we have no idea how to relate to you or know what you're really interested in.... but this blog post isn't about adults, it's about you. 

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Process: Chef Conf Poster

Digital sketch with Photoshop and my Cintiq

Digital sketch with Photoshop and my Cintiq

Final digital rendering in Adobe Illustrator

Final digital rendering in Adobe Illustrator

A few weeks ago I was contacted by the guys at Chef Conf to create a 3-color, 18x24" poster for their attendees. The timeline was condensed—but the team gave me all the copy and the band lineup for their farewell party at the end of the conference, everything else was free reign. 

I wanted a poster that was related to music, unique to Austin, and was edgy enough for the venue (Empire control room), bands (a mix of punk/rock/"sexy time" music groups and DJs) and the attendees (overwhelmingly guys). What's more Austin than some Mexican-free tail bats playing a guitar and flying around with a taco? Making it "edgy" would come to play in the execution.

For a screen printed poster, I like to start with a digital sketch rather than a traditional sketch in order to figure out a rough color palette before I make everything. There was also a lot of type for the lineup (and it was requested I make some parts of the type larger than others) so I wanted to have the flexibility working in digital to move things around as I sketched everything. 

After a few attempts to render the bats digitally, I wasn't quite getting the look I imagined. Below is a quick sketch of the bat overall and a closeup of the face that I scanned in. 

From the digital sketch to the final I changed the type on the moon and amp to make it stand out against the background, and I also nixed the second bat, and added some bat silhouettes.   

I was also asked to convert the design into 1-color for a t shirt design that would be screen printed live by the lovely Fine Southern Gentlemen. The only change I made was editing the opacity so that there was more contrast.

I was one of four designers and illustrators to create a poster. All copies of the poster went quickly so I don't have any photographs of the final poster, but someone on twitter was kind enough to take a photos of the full lineup. Sidetone: I'm a fan of Carlos Hernandez's work so I was very happy to create a poster alongside him!