David Bowie Gig Poster - Student Work


The Project

Create a gig poster for an artist who passed in 2016. The poster must contain all of the information provided by the professor and must adhere to 11"x17" format. Otherwise, we were given free reign to come up with a compelling poster that effectively advertised the upcoming show.

The Process

I immediately chose David Bowie as I had listened to a lot of his music in the past and just really dig him (not the least of which because he played the Goblin King in Labyrinth, which is one of my favorite movies.)
I started by creating some thumbnails of ideas. Originally, I was going to acknowledge his Ziggy Stardust persona but abandoned that because I wasn't introduced to Bowie's work until the 1980's where he had long since reinvented himself. I was stuck attempting to come up with a concept that would be fitting for such a prolific and awe-inspiring artist. I began to gather images of Bowie, and started playing with different filters in Photoshop. How could I create something befitting this artist?
As I was looking through images of Bowie I listened to his music - from the 1960's, all the way to Blackstar. I landed upon "Heroes," which I remember hearing as a kid and thought that would be a fitting song to use to represent Bowie. I decided to attempt my hand at creating an image with type. I selected an image of Bowie I really liked - one that really showed off his piercing eyes. I then copied the lyrics to the song into Illustrator and began laying out the lyrics in blocks of text. I started playing with different sizes to try and emphasize different words and lines of the lyrics. I then brought these into Photoshop to try different blend modes in Photoshop to blend the words and the photograph.
I liked the results and then moved on to the type treatment. I decided to step out of my comfort zone and use a slab serif for the type and used bright blue and green to represent Bowie's eyes. The effect of the bold letters over the type worked extremely well so that one wasn't fighting the other.

The Result

I printed the poster out on a metallic, pearlescent paper that added even extra depth and the black text over the dark grey background really popped as it hit the light. It was quite striking and very successful.