Our second poster for Redwood Curtain was a tricky one. How do you promote a dark comedy that tackles issues of racism, classism, and segregation in the suburbs of Chicago? Before setting off to build this poster, I assembled a list of useful symbolism. Most posters for the production have heavy emphasis on black and white elements, which has caused several of the better posters to focus on the game of chess. This had been my initial idea as well, so I started work on a mock up with a single black rook surrounded by white chess pieces.
The poster lacked something. Artistically it was solid, but the play is a comedy with a real down home spark of earthy appeal. Version one just didn’t truly seem to capture the essence of the show. It needed more focus on home and neighborhood — which brought me to the symbol of the white picket fence.
The black pickets were perfect. It was jarring yet subtle, odd enough to catch the attention, and worked well with a homey suburban theme. Once the idea crystallized the rest of the poster pulled together quickly. The pickets themselves are a stock image with an inverse color scheme applied to one half of the fence.
For the font, I chose Aparajita. It’s a serif font but the serifs are wide, sharp, and symmetrical. This slight variation in what looks like a very comfortable serif font, gives a slightly exotic look, especially when written in white and black on a blue sky.
For the cover photo and banner graphics, I used a full suburban landscape. It reduces the impact of the picket fence, but fits the wide panoramic format. To emphasize the jarring visual of the three black pickets, I added one white picket to the right of the trio.