The I Hate Hamlet poster was an expansion of an earlier graphic that I had created for the show when NCRT announced its 31st season. The original graphic suite had one banner for each show, with each banner showcasing a close up of one piece of a character set against a textured backdrop. For I hate Hamlet we had a hand holding a skull against a wooden background. The skull was chosen as one of the most iconic pieces of imagery from the play and the wooden background was used to give the comedy a feeling of warmth and nature as opposed to the harsher stone or shadows motif that would generally be associated with Shakespeare’s tragedy.
When the graphic was chosen to be expanded into a full poster, I knew that the larger skull would be too stark. Since the play is a comedy about the ghost of John Barrymore, a fun and obvious conclusion was to make our skull into a fun, charming, and romantic character complete with Barrymore’s iconic mustache, thick eyebrows, and a rose clenched between the teeth.
For the font I paired the playful block letters of Minya Nouvelle with the scrawled cursive of Mistral, giving an impression of a handwritten message. To amplify this, I used a wood grain in the title font with an interior shadow so that the message could give a subtle impression of being carved into the wood background.
For the Facebook cover photo, we moved the skull further toward the center, leaving a heavily shadowed arm that dips behind the profile photo, giving a minor nod to the effect that Facebook’s layered layout would have upon the lighting of the scene.