A few months ago, we were contacted about creating the artwork for this year’s St. Johns Bizarre here in Portland. Being somewhat new to the city, we weren’t familiar with the festival. A quick google search revealed that the festival artwork had previously been created by Carson Ellis and Meg Hunt, both artistic legends and fellow Portlanders. Getting asked to create a piece of art that could (hopefully) continue the tradition of great artwork that had been created for this festival was a monumental creative challenge.
There were three guidelines in the creative brief; We had to include St. Johns Bridge, a sea monster, and James John, the founder of St. Johns. These sounded easy enough to work into the poster. However, one of the main challenges of a poster like this is to fit all of the important information into the design, and still have it be an easy read whether it is printed full size or in a newspaper. Hopefully the poster accomplishes all of this while still managing to be an appealing, interesting, eye catching piece of art.
We quickly landed on a layout that worked. After some art direction concerning the design of the monster’s head and the size of some of the copy, we were pretty much there. We sent a couple of color options before landing on the final design.
After the poster design was complete we prepped the file for screen printing by The Tiny Spoon. Perry did an excellent job with the printing, and we’ll look forward to working with him in the future!
As the poster wrapped up, it was fun seeing it pop up all over town almost immediately.
We also created artwork for t-shirts and pint cups that were going to be sold at the festival. Using the poster artwork as a jumping off point, we came up with designs that would work for each item. Both were executed beautifully by the printers. It was a thrill to see everything looking cohesive on the day of the event.
The festival banners and signage were one of the last things we were tasked with designing. They took the least amount of time but made a huge impact on the festival space.
In the end, we were really happy with the way everything turned out. Being new to the area, it has been a goal of ours to get more involved with the local community and local design scene. This project has been incredibly rewarding in both regards. Thanks to everybody involved for bringing us along for the ride.