When my friend Emmet Storms came to me with his play, I knew I was going to have a good time designing this poster.
I had previously had the opportunity to help him edit his work, so I was familiar with the story: a schizophrenic playwright struggles to finish his current project while overcoming a recent break-up. The scenes jump back and forth between his interactions with his hallucinated friends and the characters in the narrative he is writing, in which one man is tied to a chair being interrogated by his criminal childhood friends.
I knew he was pressed for time so I had to come up with something fast. I also knew the poster would have to be black and white (the nature of this kind of project).
After sketching out a few ideas—including those featuring image of the Greek god Janus, ripped layers of title pages , discarded drafts, pills and bottles looming larger than life—I found myself drawn to this image of the man in the chair, bound up. I wanted it to be rough, to feel dark and gritty like the play, and for words to feature prominently.
As bonus trivia, the above poster features actual printed out pages from the script.
I also adjusted the poster design and created a Facebook banner for the event.
And here in context.
I love getting the chance to do work like this, where I have lots of constraints but also a ton of creative control within that space.
When I drove down to UC Santa Cruz to go see the show I was not disappointed. It was tragic and funny, original and poignant. I really hope to see more of Emmet’s work.