Art Chantry Inspired Poster

This is a fictional theater production poster I made for a “Study of Graphic Design” class

For this project I chose to emulate Art Chantry. Chantry’s designs are perhaps most closely associated with the Seattle, Washington Grunge Rock Scene; being one of the pioneers of what he calls Punk Rock marketed by Sub Pop as the Grunge Movement. He was Art Director of The Rocket which was a free biweekly newspaper focused on documenting local music. He considers Graphic Designers as Mindblowers, because the graphic design composition’s purpose is to change the viewer’s mind about something. He also considers research a key component in the creative process and says that designers are perpetual students. He describes himself as an Iconoclast. Chantry uses traditional tools such as exacto knives, xerox machines & waxers, doing the initial work by hand & only using digital technology because the modern norm of the industry forces him to scan in the work. As we can see from Mr Chantry’s work, sometimes he uses more than two or three typefaces and many times the font is handwritten in a Harry Chester fashion; this is why I chose to initially hand write his name and why I gave the R & the Y that sort of ‘ran out of room’ feel. He uses a lot of black & white photographs and comic book like illustrations in his work, so, at first I looked for a photograph that I could use to express at least one of the fictional play’s dramatic elements, but when my search resulted in not finding a legally usable picture, I chose to illustrate a woman’s eyes, silhouette a surprised man’s face & draw a lovers embrace. I layed out everything in pencil first, then scanned it onto my computer using illustrator for the finished piece. I restricted myself into only using two colors (other than black, white & grey that is) because from the hundreds of designs Chantry made, I liked the ones with only two colors (other than black, white & grey) the most… His poster designs are full of information almost to the point of crowding, and I think this is why he is so effective, because even when the designs are minimal, something is going on… the contrasting elements causes the message to pop out; either it be the ‘THE’ of The Melvins poster being bigger than the Melvins, or the rising ‘mPS’ of ‘The Cramps’, or the word ‘Penis’ in giant letters calling out in a sea of information, Chantry grabs the reader’s attention and sort of forces curiosity… and I think that’s what I wanted to emulate the most. I imagined this poster being on a city street somewhere and I imagined a person walking across the street and distinguishing ‘Art Chantry’ along with the other illustrations on the poster and wanting to find out more, because since it is a very long title (for this fictional play about Chantry’s life and times) I believed it was very important to quickly explain what (or in this case who) it was about. I had a basic idea of what colors went where, but the first challenge I faced in choosing the right color was for ‘Art Chantry’, so, I asked myself “what would a screen printer do in a situation like this?” and that’s how I came up with the idea to make it a sort of halftone thing where the red & yellow paint would make a red to orange to yellow sprinkled effect. Before the long hours I spent researching Mr Chantry’s overall philosophy on his work plus examining his designs, I suppose I was only aware of the minimal/corporate aspects of Graphic Design; but along with received history lessons of the class, now I find myself appreciating this art form a whole lot more & hope to add a little bit of ‘Anti-corporate’ to my own work from now on.