Romeo & Juliet Posters

Defining Client Needs was the second course in my Media Design Masters Program, and the class project was to develop three posters for a fictitious performance of William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. The goal was to successfully design for different target audiences while staying familiar and clearly conveying the show information.

Bleeding Heart
The style for the Bleeding Heart poster is heavily influenced by legendary designer Saul Bass. I used jagged edges and chunky shapes to abstract the ideas of the dagger and heart into simple forms. The imagery is meant to clearly convey the concepts of violence, heartbreak, and death.

The loose and unstable quality of the composition, with a slight camber given to the title and body text at opposing angles, is symbolic of the chaotic and tragic nature of the play.

The typefaces used are Copal Std Solid for the title, a stout and chunky font appropriate for the Saul Bass style, and Futura in Bold and Light weights for the body text, a clean and geometric typeface that allows the abstract nature of the composition to shine unhindered. 
Fallen Swords
In the Falling Swords poster, the intent was to evoke a very dramatic and serious tone using, again, simple shapes to convey deeper meaning. The jagged black and white layers are meant to indicate tearing, such as the tearing up of a message containing bad news, or the tearing of flesh with sword or dagger, both ideas found in the play.

The bloodied swords are symbolic of the strife between the two families - both swords are blood-stained, indicating the great losses each side faces in this feud.

The typeface chosen for this poster was Trajan Pro 3 in regular and bold weights. The imagery looked strikingly Roman to me, and the all-caps serif appeal of Trajan conveys the dire nature of the plays subject matter.
Spilled Poison
In Spilled Poison, the color and imagery change direction. Poison is oft forgotten device in Romeo and Juliet, likely because hearts, daggers, and roses lend themselves to quick and easy visual appeal, especially considering that romance is constantly the theme explored for this particular play. By choosing poison for a motif, I wanted to stay away from the standard red themes associated with the play.

Image searches for old bottles of poison quickly revealed a pervasive use of blue glass. "Colors like cobalt blue... ensured [bottles of poison] were easily recognizable." (Poison, 2017). The skull imagery on the bottle of poison works perfectly with the themes of mortality in the play. I chose to use blue as the sole color both because its use in the bottle and its connotation of depression and sadness. 

The title was hand drawn to emulate the spilling of liquid from the bottle, also indicative of blood. The body type is Superclarendon, a more robust contemporary variation of the classic Clarendon font with a wider array of weights and styles. The thick serifs of Superclarendon add weight and clear legibility to an otherwise open and flowing composition.
Initial sketches, exploring ideas with heartdagger, and blood themes.
Composition and value study thumbnails.
More detailed sketches defining space and layout.
First digital comps. Blocking out of shapes and color.
Resources

Poison Bottles. (n.d.). Retrieved January 15, 2017, from http://www.collectorsweekly.com/bottles/poison-bottles
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