I went into this project feeling very confident in my ability to come up with concepts and then apply those to create a design that I am satisfied with, and this project really challenged me to think outside the box and really think about how do use elements and principles to design something that filled the parameters of the assignment.
I had a lot of trouble choosing a song to illustrate because I didn’t want to use lettering, and for most of the songs that I was considering, the only concepts that I could think of primarily used lettering. Some of the songs I considered were Wait For It from Hamilton, Birds by Imagine Dragons, and Freefallin’ by Tom Petty.
Eventually I had a crazy idea that I knew probably wouldn’t work, but I felt like it was the best idea I had at the time. Just for some context, the music that I usually listen to when I’m working is the Tron: Legacy soundtrack. I decided to try and illustrate one of the songs from that soundtrack, but it didn’t have any words. The reason that I said my idea was crazy is that I wanted to try to use different-colored blocks to represent different notes, and to form a rhythm by messing with the spacing between the blocks.
As I started working on the design, I realized that there was one song in the soundtrack that had words. They weren’t lyrics, but they were words in a song which meant that they filled the parameters of the project, so I changed course. I still kept the grid pattern of the first draft, but substituted letters in for the blocks, using solid squares as the spaces. I also added the mountains in the background because the background felt too empty to me.
I wanted to see what it would look like if I took out the spaces and just made it normal text on a plain background, but it didn’t really look how I thought it would, so I moved on.
I chose to change the pink color to blue text with a slight glow, and orange with the opacity turned down a little bit. I did this because in the movie, the dominant colors are blue and orange. They also contrast nicely opposed to the pink, which was kind of flat. I asked some people, and they all said that the background should have a little bit of noise, but not too much.
I wanted to see what would happen if the text inside the mountains was a different color than the text outside them, but as with the last draft that had pink in it, it didn’t really work with the picture that I had in my head. Just to be sure, I asked some of the people that sat next to me, and they all preferred the one without the pink. It was pretty fun to figure out how to create it, though. I figured out that I could make a copy of the text inside the mountains as a mask to make it seem as if the text changes color when it is inside the mountains.
I decided to revert back to the design that I had been branching off of and then coming back to for most of this process, but changed something that had been bothering me from the beginning. I took the text, and center-aligned it instead of leaving it left-aligned. If you look back at the (i)s in the previous iterations, they are all in the left-most part of their respective boxes, whereas now they are in the middle.
This is my final draft, and I changed a couple things last-minute. First of all, the base color is a shade of grey now. I felt like it made the rest of the design stand out a little bit more. The second thing that I changed is that instead of the mountains, I put in a line that starts at the top, and it travels down with you as you read, to guide your eyes to the text. Other lines join it as it descends, to the point that when it reaches the bottom there are four lines. I did this because of the place in the movie where the song takes place. It is right at the beginning, and it introduces the idea of a digital world, which ends up being crucial to the plot of the movie. The scene starts with a single line traveling at a steady pace. That line suddenly turns, and another line joins it. This happens multiple times, and the lines end up looking like you are looking down at a road in the middle of a city. I changed it because I wanted to further reflect the movie.
The poster itself is pretty simple visually, but I worked really hard to maintain legibility
One of the reasons that I chose this song was because I enjoyed the movie. What I realized as I started designing this poster is that since Tron; Legacy is set mostly in a virtual world, the designers were able to create a theme for that world, and design the entire look and feel of the movie around that theme. It is really impressive to watch, and I felt like to not use that theme in my poster would almost be a waste. This was such a blast to create, even though I struggled in the beginning. I’m really proud of this project, and I might actually print this off to hang up somewhere in my house.