Most illustrators and designers love working on gig posters. I think it's because the goal and message is simple — "Come to this show". Generally, these projects provide creative freedom, coupled with interesting restrictions which tests one's creativity. They are an opportunity to create a great piece.
When Belle Plaine asked me to develop a poster for her Two for the Road tour, I was thrilled. I love her music, had seen her play live, and had recently met her at a little workshop I gave at Creative City Centre.
Belle came with a loose concept: show the slightly chaotic experience of a cross-Canada tour. Belle and her bass player, Elizabeth, fill a car with instruments (including a double bass), gear, and suitcases. With barely enough room for themselves, they hit the road.
As I started sketching and thinking about the design and concept, rather than drawing the car, I thought the poster could represent the vehicle. Filled with stuff, but also looking outward; experiencing all the things we see and do when travelling cross-country — wildlife, coffee, radio, greasy diners, the foliage, weather, etc.
Because this poster will be used at different venues across the country, we needed to have a way to either plug in details ourselves, or let the venue hand-write them in. The gig posters I like often have the image and type integrated together. With that in mind, we didn't want one big blank area for venue owners to customize. We wanted something a bit more subtle and thoughtful. We think the solution turned out pretty well.
The project became a labour of love for me. I was so happy when it was well received by Belle, friends on Twitter, and on Dribbble.
My friends Wade and Dean suggested the poster should be silkscreened. I'm happy to share that the girls at Articulate Ink are working on an edition of 200 prints. They do great work and I can't wait to see the finished product. I'll be sure to share photos when I do.