Recent Work – Open Studios Poster

I’m thrilled to share that my poster design was chosen to promote SDSU’s Open Studios show! :D

Open Studios is an exciting yearly event in the graphic design department at State, where friends, family, and faculty come together to see what the designers have been slaving over all year. My goal for this project was to create a poster that would encompass the collected experience of our design students without being cheeseily over-inspirational or cliche.

My original idea was just to illustrate the everyday tools we as designers use, with a few funny nods to not-so-conventional items we’re uniquely familiar with here on campus (ie. eating Betty’s hot dogs three days in a row because the art department is so far away from any other food options). While vats of Starbucks coffee, nonprescription glasses, and inspirational cat Instagrams are all pertinent parts of being a designer, our most important tools are our hands. Tools that get abused a lot throughout the semester. Being a design student isn’t just drawing cool things and Pinning ideas all day. It’s bloody hard work. Amidst the constant keyboard carpal tunnel and 12AM x-acto knife wrist cramps, I’ve found myself swearing these hands are going to fall off if I keep designing. So I forwent the typical optimistic message of past posters for something more darkly humorous and strangely motivational, and added a severed hand to the mix, still clutching a Wacom pen with the title “‘Til Your Hands Fall Off” scrawled at the bottom.

I illustrated all elements of the poster by hand in my signature style for a playful vibe that’s unique and eye-catching to fellow students. The concept and style is obviously different from most of the posters we see everyday on campus, which would deliberately draw viewers in. For added impact, I used a bright color scheme associated with spring. The pinks and blues also contrast the dark subject matter and downplay the potential goriness of the piece, making it more “creepy cute” rather than off-putting or disturbing. The message is simple: While it may feel like your hands are going to turn into bloody stumps, keep going, keep designing.

Probably one of the most exciting parts about having my poster chosen is that it got to be screen-printed. I’ve had t-shirt designs screen-printed by clients before, but I’ve never actually witnessed the process myself. Pretty fascinating stuff! I spent a Sunday afternoon with three of my past instructors from the design department joking around in the studio and whipping up 50 of these bad boys in record time. Apparently, in the past when they’ve put the posters up around campus too soon, people end up stealing all of them before the show, haha. Can you blame them? There’s just something so appealing about art created by hand.

Yummy gummy fleshy pink ink ready for pulling.

I tried my hand at pulling the squeegee. But I wasn’t very good at it, haha.

Base layer before applying the halftone details.

Close-up of the halftone shading. This poster was offset, but it actually looked pretty cool and ended up being one of our favorites.

Final poster coming through the drying machine!

If you’re in San Diego, please feel free to stop by SDSU tomorrow night and check out all the great work! My portfolio will also be displayed in the senior exhibition, so more on that later!

4 comments on “Recent Work – Open Studios Poster

  1. Looks like it came out awesome! Love the colors and the message you’ve captured. I’ve never screen printed either, but it’s something I’m hoping to do at some point or another. How long did the printing process take you?

    • Thanks! :D It’s super fun. I’m actually pretty bummed I didn’t decide to ever take the screen-printing class that was offered. It took us about 2 and 1/2 hours to print all of these. He was in beast mode getting all of these done!

  2. awesome poster design. I tried screen printing once and I’ve enjoyed the final outcome, but the whole process was just pain. I can’t press squeege thingy hard enough and drag it across the screen, plus beds and frames seems to be massive ;) Hardly could reach other end.
    Hope you had fun :)

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