The Sweet Maries | Skillshare Projects

Noah O'Donnell

Music Promotion Art and Graphics



The Sweet Maries

My subject

I'm creating this poster for a concert that I am helping promote for Oct 4th, 2013 in Berwyn, IL at FitzGerald's SideBar Music Room.
It is for the local contemporary folk group: The Sweet Maries

About the project

I am using this concert as an outlet for learning from this class and felt it would be a good subject since I have need for the poster as well.  My intent is to use the poster for both promotional purposes to advertise the show as well as become an artistic piece to add to my porfolio.  Note: Depending upon the time involved I may only use it as a art piece for the concert and skip the promotional aspect.  I am looking to try my hand at new techniques and a new style for their poster as I would like it to stand out and add something new to the porfolio of posters I have already created digitally for the group.  Much of their art, including their album design has used Art Nouveau designs and fonts (see cover photo from their album release).  For this I was looking for a departure from that while at the same time not entirely ignoring their defined styles.

About the Band

The band is a harmonizing female dual-vocal driven band with folk instrumentation and a contemporary style with beautifully crafted orginal lyrics with virtuosic mandolin playing and bass backing.  Their music is at times soft and gentle, while both beautiful and soothing, and other times very soulful and playful with jazz, gospel and/or bluegrass influences.  I would describe their music simply as having a dreamy quality about it.


I am very much inspired by the look of classic hard bound children's book covers and I'm looking to take that simple and yet elegant look to apply to this concert poster.  My goal is to keep to a few simple tones of color and create the art digitally whilst giving it a weathered look that can be simply printed from pdf.

I like the simple look of the snow against the different shades of the trees, and the shading of the sky from these two:


Here are my preliminary small first sketchs (thumbnails) without much detail, just gaining a sense of the layout and early thoughts for the design:

My idea to incorporate the venue into the artwork is to use the silhouette of it's classic buildings as the shadowed forground in the imagery of the night sky.  Maybe leave a lit window in the area to the right which is the SideBar Music Room.

A slightly more detailed sketch:

...a storybook themed concert poster.

First Draft

As you can see I have chosen to go with a typography focused poster.  I have selected the 11 X 17 dimensions and will be printing on heavy Ivory colored stock.  My plan is to keep the colors to shades of dark blue and black.  Still to add half tones.  The light text and background will be left transparent to let the color of the paper through.  For this example I am using a cream tone color background to mimic the paper tone.

I see a few things I can clean up and alter as well as maybe adding a hidden gem.  I think that provided more time, I could have done the night sky more detailed and less clean but for now I think I may leave it like this and just add a few finishing touches.

On to applying a few textures and finish it off with a slightly scratched up filter for a weathered effect.

Design Description for Artist

For this concert I went with a vintage poster look inspired by old children's storybook covers tying in together the style of your music with the ambiance and trademark look of FitzGerald's and the SideBar, using their skyline against a starry night sky.


Here it is, a few photo closeups of the printed finished poster as well as the jpeg version.  I kept the textures to a minimum to acheive that vinatge look, however I did halftone the poster and then recolor the artwork.  I then added the weathered scratches atop that in white so as to look as if the ink had been scratched or worn. The poster ended up being laser printed on ivory colored cardstock.


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