I recently designed a poster for a John Green quote from the book Will Grayson, Will Grayson. The quote is “Some people have lives; some people have music.” I love this quote. I live this quote. Here’s the poster I designed:
I thought it might be fun to walk you through the various elements I used to make the design.
I started with a self-portrait by photographer Peter Hujar, the subject of the photo didn’t really matter because all I needed was a good silhouette. So I cropped the photo pretty tight, and deleted everything else.
Then I needed a pair of really cool headphones. I found this royalty/rights-free image and the orientation was full-face, this’ll work great! I removed the mannequin head and its surroundings, all I needed were the headphones.
The design is a standard poster size of 11 x 17″, so there was a bit too much t-shirt/chest still in frame. I wanted to add some element at the bottom so it wasn’t so heavy. I decided on an equalizer display. This works well to both reference music, and break up all that solid black. Here’s the image I used. I desaturated and colorized it to match the blue background I had chosen, and I flipped the image horizontally so it would work better with the silhouette’s shoulders. I also cropped off a few of the highest peaks.
At this point we were looking pretty good. I added a quick vignette to help pull it all together and frame everything…
…and then I was ready to work on designing the quote. I tried a few different layouts, but the block design with “Lives” and “Music” highlighted in both size and font choice worked best. I ramped up the contrast a little bit over the entire piece, exported, and was done!
This was fun.