Hey, I’m Jeff Royiwsky and I’m a producer on Memoria. But I’m also an illustrator/painter/graphic designer/I-can-use-adobe-suite-er, and I’ll be going through the process behind creating the illustrated Memoria Poster.
Early on, we really weren’t sure what kind of direction we we’re gonna go in. How much can you really tell about a movie just from the poster? In a lot of cases, movies are marketed with the giant faces of the lead actors, and that makes sense because people pay to see those people in movies. When you don’t have that star power, you have to spark some kind interest about the concept of the film in a visually stimulating way.
I looked at a lot of international poster design as research and found that they were these amazing, sometimes weird things that, almost in a matter-of-fact way, presented the material in a more abstract way. We couldn’t afford to be too “out-there” with the poster, but because we were submitting 2 designs, we decided one should be a more standard poster and the other should be bit more expressive, a little less concerned on with getting everything across.
I made about 16 (big) thumbnail sketches, and this is really to just get the idea across. The development of the film is an ongoing thing; we don’t have everything mapped out yet. So at this point, I’m pretty much allowed to do whatever I want. Just throw anything at the wall and see what sticks.
Eventually, I get the okay from the director/client/best friend to pursue the “unraveling” design. It stemmed from the idea of something slowly coming undone, but that was something that could be very intricate visually as well. People in general have the attention span of about 4 seconds (maybe less?) when it comes to advertising of any kind, so its important to have an immediacy with the image
The linear above took a lot of work to get to. Many of the early designs couldn’t quite look good. I’m having trouble remembering my specific problems with them, but honestly, they just sucked. They lacked “oomph.” so I was very glad when I got to the linear above. the piece was always meant to be more of a flat graphic, but that line work really gave the piece a certain quality, which is something I added on later down the road.
In terms of reference, I wanted a little bit of vintage sci-fi book cover kind quality (and a little bit of penguin books as well, in hindsight). They typically have a sense of the “unknown” in it, and in lot of cases, a sense of space is usually used to evoke that kind of feeling.
However, the really big artist that influenced the piece is Jean Giraud, whose pen name for his sci-fi art is Moebius. I especially looked at what he called “non-figurative” paintings. Just know that this man is amazing. He’s unrestricted. A visionary! I could blab about this guy all day and how soul crushing it is to know that I will never be that good. But, uh, you just kinda press forward with these things, and I urge everyone reading this to check out The Airtight Garage, a super great archive of his work.
This is getting lengthy but I’m almost done!
This is the piece about halfway through. No, I didn’t compress the file to have safe-for-web colours so it wasn’t quite like this when I sent it to director/client/friend Maikol Pinto to show him the progress I was making, but needless to say, he was not crazy about it, and understandably so. There was still a lot left to be realized. Is a gradient gonna work? What about the lines? Why is he a smurf? Helvetica, seriously? Actually, that last one was more self-imposed. Its just really easy to throw helvetica with something because it can got with a lot, but I really felt it worked with the piece. There may be a better font the describes what we’re looking for, but I’m happy for now.
Even the colours on this version are a bit muted, but file compression can be weird sometimes. However, everyone on the team was very pleased with the end result and we think its get an interesting idea across, even if its not the whole idea (which was sort of the point). If we ever go to print there are some things I’d like to change, but even before we uploaded the image there were so many small things I was trying. Different colour backgrounds, a couple extra shapes here and there, nearly all is possible and easy to try out if you plan your image the right way.
We’re still early on in the development of Memoria, and the word we kept (and keep) throwing around “sentiment.” We each have a different kind of technical vocabulary but that’s one area where we all are on neutral ground. Art school kids talking about feelings to make art? Whodda thunk it. Thanks for reading!