Concept Narrative for Hamlet Poster

3 05 2011

Sorry I forgot to post this at the end of class today… but, here it is!!!

William Shakespeare’s Hamlet is by no means a comedy. Rather, as our collaborators indicated, it is one of the darkest tragedies in the playwright’s vast arsenal of plays and prose. Given this understanding of the work, we set forth to design a poster and program that embraces the dark tone of the story… but with a twist. Our collaborators, the directors of the show, re-imagined the play in a slightly unexpected way. They envisioned a contemporary version of Hamlet as a dark comedy set in a modern environment and cast with college-aged individuals. They made the classic, almost universally recognizable work of William Shakespeare more relatable to a college audience. The challenge for us as designers, therefore, was to make the poster and program communicate this unique interpretation.

From our first collaborative meeting as a design team, we were in agreement that we wanted our design style to be more illustrative than realistic. Because of the modern and darkly comic interpretation of the play, we wanted to avoid more classic styles of art and design. Hamlet is a story that is rooted in our past, but the themes remain relevant to our lives – present and future. We felt that a hand-drawn or painted image for the cover would evoke a feeling of history and tradition. Had the directors decided to simply reproduce the classic play, a hand-drawn approach might have been the ideal choice for formal and technical execution. A photograph could provide a realistic view of the setting but might also have been too limiting, restricting the viewer to a single specific time and place. By creating and utilizing vector graphics drawn on the computer, we were able to develop a design that is memorable and visually engaging without being too literal.

Our collaborators, as well as most of the general public, associate the image of a human skull with Shakespeare’s Hamlet, and not without good reason: the presence of a skull symbolizes death, a central theme of the story. The title character, Hamlet himself, grows more and more fascinated with mortality as the play progresses; he muses on death throughout the story, becoming deeply entangled in the twisted depths of his own mind. In the scene our collaborators chose to highlight, Hamlet is faced with the physical, stark reality of death in the form of a skull belonging to an old acquaintance; because of this and the established cultural connection between the play and the human skull, we knew that we wanted to incorporate it into our work. However, since the image of a skull has become synonymous with this tragedy and can easily become cliché, we knew that our challenge would be to present it in an entirely new way to make our promotional materials stand out. We chose to incorporate the imagery of growing weeds, cluttered with hidden pieces of modern-day litter, to represent how Hamlet’s growing madness and his obsession with death spreads uncontrollably, affecting the fate of everyone around him. References to unweeded gardens, the rank smell of rot and the uncontrollable spread of decay are a prominent motif across the play and we found this idea to be very striking. Overall, we feel that the layout, colors and imagery have come together in an effective and eye-catching way and that the materials both form a strong complement to our collaborators’ work and can stand alone as strong and unified design pieces.



27 04 2011

we started with this ^^^^ many layers…

but it’s all better now!

Process Images of Poster Ideas

25 04 2011

Poster Examples Show + Tell

25 04 2011

Poster Sketches

20 04 2011

Project #3 Wrap-Up

18 04 2011

From the very beginning of this brand development project I knew that Everything Nice Gourmet Cupcake Company was going to be a special bakery that was dedicated specifically to handcrafted cupcakes. The cupcakes would be delicate treats that have elaborately decorated style.  When asked to go further into detail about the brand promise, values and essence, this is what I came up with:

  • The Everything Nice brand promise is to provide the consumer with an elaborate reinterpretation of the classic cupcake.
  • Everything Nice Gourmet Cupcake Company values the classic tradition of delicate desserts that communicate in a big way. The brand values perfection, style, and individuality and uses only the best ingredients.
  • The brand essence of Everything Nice is sweet, classy, and innovative creations.

As the process of package design went, I found myself checking back in with my brand essence to make sure that everything was class, sweet and functional for the innovative designs and flavors of an Everything Nice creation. The packaging is simple on the outside and fun on the inside (as opposed to the classic inside and innovative outside of a cupcake).

The recipe cards and gift set were the most fun part of this project to make. I worked on it as a way for Everything Nice to extend the tradition of baking into the homes of now busy consumers. Everything Nice Gourmet Cupcake Company values the values of baking, and baking started in the home – in the kitchen.

The recipe cards can be purchased one of two ways. First there is the 24 piece gift set which includes: 2 Secret recipes (one for vanilla cake and one for icing), 4 full color collectable photo cards, and 18 blank recipe cards to be filled out by the owner. The other way to purchase the cards is as a part of a 20-card refill/extension set.

I am pleased with the design of my packages and the recipe cards. I believe that they are functional, while still being simple and elegant. They speak the Everything Nice language and maintain a sense of cohesion with the rest of my brand/identity designs.

Photos of Project 3

18 04 2011