The poster art for the party was one of the first things on our “we want to have” list for the wedding celebration. We both love music, especially live, and the posters which go along with the gigs.
So we asked the lovely Joanna and huggable Kenji who together have Gamomo Creative (a Chamorro warrior from Guam where Dave used to live for just another connection) to design up something special.
Joanna and I did many projects together at Hootsuite so she is familiar with my “here’s a big crazy idea with vague details, make something magical by reading my mind” way of working and Kenji being hafu-Japanese and an eccentric creative, is also uniquely qualified for input. They also made 2 lovely kiddos! Oh and Kenji is featured in one of my barber round-up posts getting a mullet from guitar hero/barber Rich Hope.
Anyhow, I sent JoBot (coz she’s a robot who designs with love) 6 pages of notes and a folder of “inspiration” – way toooo much of course (i’m a maximalist when it comes to design) and she asked appropriate questions to whittle it down and see what it is i liked about each piece of inspiration.
With this in mind, i’ve compiled various images and notes in a rather stream of consciousness manner to share for-the-record how we collaborated to make something truly special which will be the central design element for the goat farm party.
Worth noting that originally we planned to just us the poster at the party and then in the gift bags but it was so wonderful (not surprisingly but still surprising), we created a number of home-done print runs on various stock to send in announcement dossiers to folks all around the world. About 300 went out in this form and we then pro-printed 150 for giftbags and another 6 BIG versions on foamboard to display at key locations at the party and another rollable 4 for other commemorative purposes. Thanks Joanna and Kenji for your huge hearts and exceptional work.
Notes and images follow
Dave: Think Blue Note jazz album covers (simple imagery and strong typography) meets “golden-age” travel posters . I’ll also provide a simple scribble mock-up (embarrassment aside).
Here are more riffs about the imagery, colours, type including reasons for the images in the design inspo folder a bit. Not shockingly, everything has significance :)…
Blue (like this bench we painted together), silvery-greyish/black, and a burst of cherry blossom pink (this train bench is luscious, this train symbol is lovely, this view of me with the blue and pink brings it all together with the blue mailbox i wrote a poem on (and this photo is exactly where we met) and this Ornette Coleman album cover has colours and typography i like).
Jo asks: I’m not sure if you want me to just edit a photo of the two of you in 2-colour, or perhaps you’d like me to explore a bit more and create an illustration of you?
Dave: Current gut feeling is a sorta of hybrid of the two, meaning starting with photos as reference and juxtaposing and reducing to core shapes and elements but leaving enough in to make it look like us. This Ceylon travel poster is the closest example to what i have in mind. My dream would be someone using these reference photos (we don’t have great posed costumed photos together) as a starting point and arranging us together like the poster-ish – do i make sense?
Text to include is mentioned below and these few travel poster all have strong simple typography which i loooove – with heavy on top, light on bottom (sort of opposite of grounding something i guess, feels like floating up instead) and most have the strong central image with little motifs and oddments subtlety sprinkled around (i.e. in the red kanji, mountain kanji, sister ships posters… this is only text on bottom but grabs me and reminds me that maybe my ideas aren’t great – ha!)
Re: Even More Inspo
Also: this Grand hotel, Paris jazz and other Ceylon travel posters
Japanese and Canadian maple leafs (to signify joining of cultures), sake cup (like a small dish or saucer) and tea ceremony bowl (to signify abundance), and a cherry blossom branch to signify rebirth — this Fuji View Hotel luggage tag is obv way busier than we are discussing here but i do love the symbols scattered in as easter eggs.
Ryoko & Dave
平成 31 年 (heisei) – written in kanji (this is the imperial year and significant as the emperor abdicates a few days after the wedding)
4 月 (getsu/ month)
20 日 (nichi/ day) Ceremony
21 日 (nichi/ day) Party
Okayama, Japan (these can be kanji or ABCs, whatever feels better design wise)
Overall, I want to include a few simple items in kanji to make it “feel Japanese” – the purpose of the piece being commemorative and decorative rather than informational gives room to play and use the kanji for design elements rather than succinctly providing information. Ergo: by sprinkling in a few kanji, the Japanese will feel comfortable and the foreigners will feel exotic(ish) :). I’ve pulled out all unnecessary text to make closer to my desired aesthetic of jazz/travel vibe.
Jo asks: Are you still thinking on screenprinting? The cost will be much more elevated, and the limitations might not be worth. But I’ll stick to whatever you decide. I just need to confirm with you before I even begin moodboarding.
Dave: I love silkscreen but yes adds logistical challenges and design constraints unneeded in this project so i will plan to digitally print.
Fondest Thanks Gamomo Creative for creative something which will be a treasure for us and inspire so many others. Truly a symbol of love and laden with nuance and craft.