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The Afterparty

By Reina Hardy
Client: Shrewd Productions
Directed by Liz Fisher
Produced by Shannon Grounds
Costume Design by Monica Pasut
Promotional Photography By Errich Petersen
Stock Photos from iStockphoto.com
Design by Jennifer Rose Davis

Specifications: 11x17", 4-color process, created in Adobe Photoshop.

This was an exciting project because we were creating material for the world premier of the play, and as such got to help develop the initial visuals that would always be a part of the play's identity. I was invited into the process very late, which made for a very short turn-around time. The process was also complicated by the fact that the director wished to create a set of paired posters for the two main characters of the play who represent the two orbiting nodes of a binary star, and the producer wanted to integrate the group picture of the entire cast in the promotional postcards. This meant that I was creating three interrelated designs in a timeline that would have been tight for the development of a single poster.

The unifying factors in these three designs were the constellation maps and the endless circle of the tagline text. Because references to constellations were heavily scattered through the text of this beautiful play about a woman who falls in love with a star, I chose to use a constellation map to create almost a vertigo zoom effect into the gorgeous faces of Shannon Grounds and Ja’Michael Darnell as photographed by Errich Petersen.

The central circle, around which the play’s tagline curves, represents the endless dance of the two main characters forever orbiting each other. The broken font of the Afterparty logo made me think of particles in space circling and forming, and the main text font reminded me of early computer fonts, which echoed the play's 1980’s setting. I also manipulated layer effects with drop shadows and glows to make the text and constellation overlay slightly ethereal, echoing the mysterious feel of the music and the projections in the play.

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Twelfth Night

by William Shakespeare
Client: Something for Nothing Productions
Directed by Deb Streusand
Produced by Taylor Flanagan and Mary Beyer
Promotional Photography By Toni Lopez
Stock Photos from iStockphoto.com
Design by Jennifer Rose Davis

Specifications: 11x17", 4-color process, created in Adobe Photoshop

The concept of this version of Twelfth Night was very unusual. Twelfth night is a comedy of mistaken identity based on a pair of twins, one male, one female. In this case the director cast the twins as a pair of visually diverse actors and the twin identity was created through costume. The director described her vision of the poster to me: the two main actors on the beach, in the aftermath of the storm that begins the play, looking outward in search of each other.

Some of the challenges we faced in the design process were wardrobe-based in that the actors were initially photographed in matching coral shirts as the director wanted a bright, engaging color. However, as we continued through the process, we agreed that the coral was overwhelming, and I had to change the color and pattern of the shirts by retouching them in Photoshop. I had chosen the image of the sun emerging from the storm clouds to fulfill the director’s desire to express a sense of hope, and I used that image to guide the choice, of colors for both the text of the poster and the reworking of the shirt color. The Hawaiian pattern was added to emphasize the island setting, and lighten the mood of the poster, and the main logo was designed to give another taste of 50s flavor to the design.

The visual richness of the different skin tones was also a challenge in both the photography and the design. I carefully retouched the photography to try to balance the visual weight and enhance the quality of reproduction for both of the actors.

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The Revolutionists

by Lauren Gunderson
Client: Shrewd Productions
Directed by Rudy Ramirez
Produced by Shannon Grounds
Costume Design by Jennifer Rose Davis
Promotional Photography by Errich Petersen
Stock Photos from iStockphoto.com
Design by Jennifer Rose Davis
Specifications: 11x17", 4-color process, created in Adobe Photoshop

The Revolutionists is a hilarious and heartfelt play about the unlikely conjunction of four extraordinary women in the middle of the French Revolution. This poster was an especially fun project because I was simultaneously creating the costuming for the show. The design of the poster was based on a wonderful Facebook meme created from Errich Petersen’s photography by Sara Marie Curry, the actress who played Olympe de Gouges in our production. I designed the logo based on classical serif typography and then played with the colors of the French flag, also echoed in the costumes, to give the typography dimension.

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Hold Me Well

by Eva Sutler
Client: Shrewd Productions
Directed by Rudy Ramirez
Produced by Shannon Grounds
Promotional Photography by Errich Petersen
Stock Photos from iStockphoto.com
Design by Jennifer Rose Davis

Specifications: 8.5x11", 4-color process, created in Adobe Photoshop

 

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The Winter's Tale

By William Shakespeare
Client: Something for Nothing Theater
Directed by Deb Streusand
Costume Design by
Lindsay McKenna
Photography by Jennifer Davis
Stock Photos from iStockphoto.com
Design by Jennifer Rose Davis

Specifications: 11x17", 4-color process, created in Adobe Photoshop

For this poster, the director had a particular scene in mind that she knew she wanted to feature so we set up a photoshoot with the three actors. We shot against a white wall and then I composited the scene into an idealized park-like setting that echoes the park that Something for Nothing uses as a venue. The director also wanted to show the strong contrast between the dark parts of the play, and the lighter romantic-comedy aspects. I took inspiration from the first act where Leontes' descent into baseless jealousy becomes the inciting incident of the play. Unfortunately, we were not able to get a photograph of the actor who played Leontes, but I found a stock image that looked like him and then used Photoshop to make the resemblance even closer. I used the photograph of the bear to show Leontes' descent into his animal nature because one of the most famous parts of this play is the line 'Exit, pursued by a bear.'

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Changelings

By Reina Hardy
Client: The Vortex Repertory, Co.
Directed by Rudy Ramirez
Produced by Bonnie Cullum
Promotional Photography by Maureen Martinez
Stock Photos from iStockphoto.com, and Dreamstime.com

Art Direction by Jennifer Rose Davis
Design by Jennifer Rose Davis

Specifications: 17x11", 4-color process, created in Adobe Photoshop

Changelings is a dark, magical story about the Queen of Faery haunting a particular family through time and stealing their children who then become the stuff from which the land of Faery is made. The director wanted the poster to convey that otherworldly quality. We arranged a photoshoot with Gricelda Silva, who played the Faery Queen, and I directed Maureen Martinez to get the shot that I was imagining. I then retouched the photo extensively to heighten the fey qualities of Gricelda's features. For the background, I created a montage that between a stock photo of a park with a bench, and one of a dark forest with fireflies, as these two settings were heavily used in the play. In the process of creating the background image, somehow the motes of the fireflies became the tiny souls of the stolen babies in my mind and so I integrated other stock images to bring that idea to life. It was one of those fortuitous accidents of design that the final baby fit perfectly in terms of shape and lighting into the hand of the Faery Queen.

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Il Carnevale

Client: Austin Troubadours
Artistic Director: Slobodan Vujisic
Stock Photos from iStockphoto.com
Design by Jennifer Rose Davis

Specifications: 8.5x11", 4-color process, created in Adobe Photoshop

I was originally contacted to be a performer and a costumer for this themed concert of Renaissance music and dance, and during the discussion of those aspects, the need for a poster design came up. The director wanted to emphasize on the poster that the entire concert would performed in masks. I found the marvelous stock image of masked dancers and used the colors from it to shape the overall design. I angled the photograph and logo to allude to the sweeping dizziness of fast dancing and then composited in the photo of the Austin Troubadours in to provide a stable base. The greatest difficulties came from the photo of the musicians as I tried to balance exposure and focus issues and maintain the varied skin tones of the performers.

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Plaisir d'Amour

Client: Austin Troubadours
Artistic Director: Slobodan Vujisic
Costume Design by Jennifer Davis
Design by Jennifer Rose Davis
Specifications: 8.5x11", 4-color process, created in Adobe Photoshop

This design was created for a Valentine’s Day concert of Medieval and Renaissance love songs. I sing Early Music, and so this project was particularly close to my heart (pun intended.) As soon as Slobodan talked to me about this project, I immediately thought of a beautiful medieval music manuscript by French composer Baude Cordier where the music was in the shape of a heart. I used that as the basis for my design and then integrated a photograph of the Austin Troubadours, using the text of the poster to create the rest of the heart shape.

The main challenge I encountered in this design was in the photography, which needed an extraordinary amount of retouching and masking to fix focus and exposure issues, and to fit into the heart shape. I also had to minimize the overly complex background, because the photograph was shot in an ornate cathedral, without removing it completely, which would remove too much visual interest. The photo had been cropped too tightly for my purposes and I had to repaint parts of the outer edges to get it to work in situ. The other challenge was getting the logo to work within the heart shape without distorting it so much that it became unreadable.

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Louis, Louis

Client: Austin Baroque Orchestra
Artistic Director: Billy Traylor
Stock Photos from iStockphoto.com
Design by Jennifer Rose Davis
Specifications: 11x17", 4-color process, created in Adobe Photoshop

One of artistic director Billy Traylor's desires for Austin Baroque Orchestra is to make it appeal to younger audiences. During each season that I design for him, we begin the process with a brainstorming session on how we can achieve that goal. This season, I suggested that we try reworking the Baroque portraits in an iPhone app which led to the season's designs having the feel of a postmodern painting. I kept the type simple and clean to contrast with the richness of the painted textures.

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Wholly Handel

Client: Austin Baroque Orchestra
Artistic Director: Billy Traylor
Stock Photos from iStockphoto.com
Design by Jennifer Rose Davis
Specifications: 11x17", 4-color process, created in Adobe Photoshop

The theme for this season's design was 'movie posters.' Each of the season posters had a strong central image, and similar typography. This poster's design derived from the pun inherent in the title. The light rays which gave Handel's portrait a heavenly background became a unifying theme throughout all the posters of the season, though they appeared in different colors and different ways. I had fun tweaking Handel's portrait to give him a bit of a smile and a twinkle in his eye to go with his slightly crooked halo.

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Music fit for a King or Queen

Client: Austin Baroque Orchestra
Artistic Director: Billy Traylor
Design by Jennifer Rose Davis
Specifications: 11x17", 4-color process, created in Adobe Photoshop

Looking at the posters for earlier Austin Baroque Orchestra seasons, you can see the transitions that we have made to a more modern look. This is where we started, using a Baroque portrait and painting that conveyed the theme and creating a unique logo for each concert.

 

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Son of a Bach

Client: Austin Baroque Orchestra
Artistic Director: Billy Traylor
Design by Jennifer Rose Davis
Specifications: 11x17", 4-color process, created in Adobe Photoshop

I include this poster in my portfolio because it was one of the most difficult montage projects I have ever done. The Baroque portraits of Bach's son are so varied in color, style and painting technique that trying to get them all to mesh in one image was a huge challenge. The idea for this poster came from the Renaissance painting of A Man and Three Sons by Barthel Bruyn. That painting also provided the hands for our Bach patriarch, as the original painting of Bach had a piece of music in his hands. Ensemble Settecento eventually became Austin Baroque Orchestra.   

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A Midsummer Night's Dream

By William Shakespeare
Client: The Baron's Men
Directed by Jennifer Davis
Produced by James Barnes and Andrea Smith
Promotional Photography by James Barnes

Art Direction by Jennifer Rose Davis
Design by Jennifer Rose Davis
Specifications: 11x17", 4-color process, created in Adobe Photoshop

This poster was particularly fun to design because I was the director of the play and so could give my imagination free reign. We set up a photoshoot with Suzanne Balling, Titania, and Alex McDonald, Bottom, outside the Curtain Theater in Austin, Texas. The grove in the picture is a real place on the Curtain property. The photograph was taken in daylight, and then I had to heavily retouch it to create the magical twilight. I also painted in the fireflies and then had to do an enormous amount of digital cloning and painting to extend the edges of the photograph so that I could use it at the size I wanted.

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The Tempest

By William Shakespeare
Client: The Baron's Men
Directed by Athena Peters
Promotional Photography by Jennifer Davis
Stock Photos from iStockphoto.com
Design by Jennifer Rose Davis
Specifications: 11x17", 4-color process, created in Adobe Photoshop

This is still probably my favorite poster I have ever designed, partly because my good friend Garrison Mart was playing the title role of Prospero, as pictured in the poster, and partly because it encapsulates everything I love to achieve in poster design. The director and I discussed her vision of the play and we settled on the concept of the.world of the play being created in Prospero's hands. I took the photo of Garrison, which was then heavily retouched in Photoshop to give it an otherworldly quality. I combined stock images of a sailing ship and a storm and a lot of digital painting to make the image of the shipwreck, and then integrated a photograph of our Ariel, Cherie Weed, as if she were rising from the waters, which I painted trailing off as they left Prospero's hands. Finding the correct type for the logo was very difficult. I knew that I wanted a script typeface because I wanted it to echo Prospero's writing in his books, which are frequently mentioned in the text of the play, but it took a lot of searching to find a typeface with elements that were both ancient and modern enough to fit with the image.

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Medieval Macabre

Client: The Baron's Men
Directed by Pam Martin
Stock Photos from iStockphoto.com
Design by Jennifer Rose Davis
Specifications: 11x17", 4-color process, created in Adobe Photoshop

This project was a learning experience in communicating with the client. A major theme in the show was the Dance or Death and my original design for this poster incorporated a skeleton and maiden dancing. While the client liked the idea, they thought the execution didn't fit the somber feel of a Halloween show, and so we compromised with this poster. I was fortunate to find this exquisite stock image which made the process easy. I then just had to create the embossed stone effect for the logo in Photoshop, and the poster designed itself.

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The Bawdy Five

By Chaucer et al
Client: The Baron's Men
Directed by Casey Weed
Photography by Jennifer Rose Davis
Design by Jennifer Rose Davis
Specifications: 11x17", 4-color process, created in Adobe Photoshop

This poster was the most fun that I have ever had with a photoshoot and design project. When I read the script for the project, which features a Chaucerian story with naughty nuns, I immediately envisioned the image of a naked nun with a book being held strategically as the central core of the poster. The lustful sheik is actually a character from a different story in the play, but it made perfect visual sense to make him bookend the naughty nun. I photographed each of the actors separately and then composited them together in Photoshop. Unfortunately, the sheik's costume was not finished in time for the photoshoot and so his entire costume, turban, and arm are created by digital painting. Adjusting the monk's expression to be suitably lascivious was a hilarious process.