chose Bad Brains as the musical group for my project; Bad brains is a Rastafarian punk band, with political views on race in America, and spirituality. The band got its start in Washington DC, known for their fast playing, and widely considered the pioneers of hard punk, which they emphatically reject if asked about it; because they believe their music to be multifaceted, with influences from many genres. The title of “hard punk” put them in a limiting box they inferred. They aren’t your average punkers; some may see them as the antithesis of a standard idealized punk band, at least by mainstream standards; which depicts punk rockers as anarchists and often atheist. There are heavy themes of Christianity laced throughout their compositions, which sets them apart from most groups, but their faith doesn’t influence the sound, it’s aggressive, raw and in your face, as punk should be. Punk is one of my favorite genres of music and I’m surprised this group slipped by my radar. After listening to their music a cavalcade of imagery flooded my mindscape which I whittled down to the three thumbnails, I’m presenting here..
I hope I can do their poster justice.
The scarecrow acts as a motif in two ways: one as warring against surface prejudgment and two as a commentary on race. The ladder harkens back to the Wizard of Oz character called the Scarecrow, whose low self-esteem caused him to believe he was brainless, when in fact his unique way of seeing the world made him the smartest out the motley crew of adventures. He underestimated himself and his perceptive abilities. It's a reminder you can never judge a book by the cover or “color.” The old crow’s torment of the character after discovering he is nothing but straw is a representation of injustice to me (maybe I’ll add crows into the scene for effect). They present the scarecrow as a threat, when in reality it's merely an empty one, for he has no power to exact punishment on the disrespectful crows; it’s an excoriation regarding the portrayal of young black youth in media, an aggressive stance against the status quo—fitting for a punk band such as Bad Brains.
The scarecrow is devoid of all the internals that make a real man, a heart, lungs, and liver; he's a facsimile of a man, but he’s overflowing with something more important, aspirational sounds. He plays crucified on his symbol of faith, a sacrifice for his people and he’s surrounded by a lake of cotton, with a slave in the background, a call back to the history of America. The jack hangs upside down as a sign of distress (black citizen distress at the hand of racism and police brutality) and the capitol building is upside down as well blending into storm clouds which symbolized their hometown and perceived struggles in Babylon as referred to in their music.
The two lions represent Rastafarian belief as they flank him; their head regally tilted to show admiration and reverence for his message of belief and freedom as the scarecrow’s music brings forth rays of light, representing hope and change.
It’s less metaphorical, an army of lion follow the Bad Brains mascot as the hard music radiates into a beautiful mosaic pattern in the sky behind them.
The title head is aggressive, the BAD in the band's name is three dimensions, each letter transformed at a different degree, representing miss direction.
This last sketch is like the first, there’s symmetry used throughout the peace, symbolizing duality in the design. Two flags flank the scarecrow who plays unfazed by an all-consuming dazzling fire (shapes will be simplified) that seems to engulf him but doesn’t burn as the music is protecting him. A lion looks up proud at the scene as the capitol building still hangs upside down and in silhouette.
these are my comps; further refinement of my idea I'm leaning on sketch one and two any suggestion appreciated. close to final still tweaking I'm not a graphic designer forgive the type if not your liking. first poster attempt.