The Soundtrack of our Lives – Escpecially in Michigan

Our latest Project “The Soundtrack of our Lives” was to create a series of 3 A2 size posters our objective was to look into how the songs made us feel or what memories they envoked and then how we could communicate this visually.

We started off by doing some research into artists and designers that worked with music so I looked at our brief and worked down the list of designers and then thought about what I could look at myself.

The parts of my research that I found most interesting were the blue note record sleeves what I liked most was mainly the style of photography by Francis Wolff using light and shadow to create very dramatic scenes on the records and the use of colour contrasts nicely with the black background I also look at Spike lees  Old Boy poster which I think utilizes the light and shadow nicely aswell. I also liked looking at Saul bass’ title sequences I mainly wanted to look at the hand shape because I thought that The poster for Spike Lees Da Sweet Blood Of Jesus had a similar style to it.



The next step I took was to draw up some mind maps thinking about different songs I liked and how I could visually communicate the message to an audience and eventually I decided on 3 songs the first one being Especially in Michigan by Red Hot Chili Peppers mm3

After I had decided on what song I would use I then made some rough sketches to get down ideas of how I could convey the emotion of the song for this poster I had thought to have a picture of someone looking up into a light to try and show how the song makes me feel inspired and then I thought about how I wanted the posters to look and what theme they could follow so whilst listening to the song I tried to imagine if I was ask to make a music video and how I would go about doing it after thinking about it I decided that I wanted my posters to resemble the look of some old or damaged video footage.

Now that I had my idea and new what it was I wanted to do it was time to put my plan into action the first so the first thing I did was started taking pictures for the main image of my poster originally I wanted to use someone as a model but since finding someone to do it would take up more time I decided to just take a picture of myself. i then changed the image mode to Grayscale and adjusted the contrast and brightness so that only the ace could be seen. After that I used the grain filter to make a horizontal grain on the image and then used the square marque tool to break the image apart in the same way an old film would. Here you can look at the settings I used for the filters and also where I added extra lines if you want to do something like this.


2After getting my main image to look the way I wanted it to I looked at using type on my poster. At first I had some lyrics from the song split into two sections that I layed out with 1 half at the top left and the second half to the bottom right thinking this could make it look like it was from an old camera.  I had also split the type in half and adjusted it slightly to look as if it was part of the damaged film but after discussing it with Sara I decided to change the type and had it aligned to the center. This seemed to linear and I wanted to try and make something more interesting so I had a look at making the type fill the page but it seemed to interrupt the main image to much. I even tried using the projector in the studio to shine the type onto the poster but this didn’t seem to work either due to the fact it made the main image very hard to see. That’s when I used the projector to shine a red light on the image and I thought it looked nice and made the image more interesting to look at so I decided to get rid of the type and to add colour over my image instead. I decided on red because I see it as a very passionate colour that I think compliments the theme of the brief because it is looking into emotional response I then used set the layer to darken on Photoshop and played with transparency till I got it to a nice red tone.

Here is my final design for My poster for Especially in Michigan

completely finished.jpg

I had alot of fun finishing this poster I think all together the whole brief was quite fun to do but also challenging at the same time it was also good to think about visually communicating something like an emotion which isn’t the usual angry or happy but instead looking at something more complex. I think if I was to change anything about this I would go back and try to play with more initial ideas instead of putting all my eggs in one basket and I probably should’ve taken part in the photography workshops …. yeah that would’ve come in handy.


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