Chepe Lockett




The Merchant of Venice: A Shakespeare Play at Rice University

As an old alumnus of and community associate at Rice University (in Houston, Texas), I'm working with some undergraduates on their annual spring Shakespeare festival (playing period music and acting in a single, short scene).  I believe an undergrad is doing the actual poster design, but I thought I'd try my  hand at it for this course.

I've usually been the sort to work with text and simple graphics in InDesign and Illustrator. or to manipulate found art in Photoshop, so I thought I'd try some simple sketches for this work.  I suspect the poster would need to work in both black & white and in color, so I've tried for fairly simple lines but with an option to lay in rich textures as well.

So, I've got three preliminary designs.  Each involves the title of the play, the name of the company (Baker Shakespeare Theatre), its location, the time and date and cost of the play, and some helpful web addresses (including a QR code, which I know the director likes).

One centers around one of those long-nosed Venetian carnivale masks.

A pencil sketch, around a long-nosed Venetian carnivale mask

Another involves lots of "stuff" (maybe too much) playing around with the shapes of letters in the play's title (scales for the "M", a low-cut dress for the "V", a crucifix for the "t", and a Star of David for the "o"), along with the three caskets that form part of the plot.

A pencil sketch which plays with elements of the play's title and themes.

And the third would involve a faded-out image of a newspaper on a desk, with play information darkened and added to the scene (such as the "M" and "V" atop a stock-market graph).

A desktop scene, with Merchant information pulled out from a newspaper

I won't make great claims for my artistic or design sensibilities, but I certainly welcome feedback.  I have my favorite among the three, and I'm already thinking of some changes I could make to a couple as well.  But please let me know what you think.


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