True Grit Gig Poster

True Grit Gig Poster - student project

I love the look of a million gig posters taped up all over a club window. Orlando's got some great clubs and local music, so I decided to do a True Grit-style gig poster. 

Part 1: Gathering Textures

I took my camera around on lunch break afternoon and starting hunting for interesting textures. I sort of hit the jackpot just walking about a block around the office. I pulled out eight or so of my favorites; these are thumbnails from that shoot.

True Grit Gig Poster - image 1 - student project

Left to right: Mineral deposits on a planter; outside garbage can; weathered park bench; concrete covered waterline cover.

True Grit Gig Poster - image 2 - student project

Left to right: Moss on planter; sidewalk moss and crack; sidewalk moss and crack 2; side of a lamppost.

I have a huge collection of old books and papers, so I scanned in the flyleaf of some ratty library books.


True Grit Gig Poster - image 3 - student project

Just a couple of the scans: Left is a flyleaf someone wrote on; right is the flyleaf from an old dictionary.

Finally, I made a few actually hand-made textures using carbon black acrylic paint and different brushes.

True Grit Gig Poster - image 4 - student project

Left to right: Daubs of paint made with crumpled paper; marks from a foam brush; old paint brush strokes.

Part 2: The Poster

So after sketching out some thumbnail layouts and different combinations, I got an idea of what I wanted my posted to look like. I had a photo of a back alley in downtown Orlando that I took a few years ago that really ended up driving the whole look of the poster. 

Then I started my very technical design process: futzing around with Photoshop layer styles, filters, and fonts until I hit something I really like.

True Grit Gig Poster - image 5 - student project

Not many horizontal gig posters, but hey...

There are two textures layered into this poster. I ended up using the old brush strokes texture on the first layer above the photo; it added some additional grit and texture to the scene. When everything else was in place I used the flyleaf texture and some halftone to tie it all together. For the record, there really is something at that address—offices for the local newspaper. 

It was nice to be able to dig into some of the materials that I already had and find a use for them. I'd always wanted to try making some of my own textures, and once I got started with the paint I went through more than a few sheets. Pretty addictive stuff. :)

It took me a while to get the hang of the layer clipping mask but pairing that with textures and filters gave me some really interesting results. The experimentation part of this workshop pushed me out of my usual methods of working; try something different, if it works great, if not, try something else. Great fun.