Some Designs on Actual Paper

Book Talks

For several years, I’ve worked with a local bookstore to publicize author-led book talks. It’s very fulfilling to put my energies into a project that promotes two things I hold dear: reading and local bookstores. I’ve included a selection of those book posters below.

Garry Wills
I had the opportunity to create a poster that conveyed this controversial Catholic author’s traditional nature and radical stance. But how to depict someone ‘punching holes’ in their religion without showing a specific Catholic leader? The resulting design does both, but I won’t go as far as to call it divine inspiration.

Maira Kalman
I included plenty of white space to echo the style of her books and used Helvetica to hint at her work with the Cooper-Hewitt. But mainly, I thanked my lucky stars for being able to work with such wonderful colors and compositions; it made the poster and bookmark creation process a joy rather than a job.

Larissa MacFarquhar, Carolina De Robertis, and Vanessa Diffenbaugh
I’ve included samples of the posters for these authors simply because I’m pleased with the results. Sue me.

Cultural Events

Every once in a while, I get the chance to create posters for community events. It’s a wonderful creative outlet, and great fun to hunt down appropriate images (and craft text) that best conveys the concept. Here are a few of my favorites.

Jubilate Deo Poster

When a local choir performed G. F. Handel’s Jubilate Deo as part of their twice-yearly ‘major work’ series, I was given the chance to design the event poster. Researching the piece, I learned that it was written to celebrate the Peace of Utrecht, which seemed like a natural visual ‘hook’ — it gave me the chance to do something striking and even a bit humorous.

Jazz Poster

My initial inspiration for this poster was cover art from the 1950’s-era Blue Note 1500 series. But like any good jazz composition, the design went off in a different direction, leading to a poster that marries Blue Note typography and colors with a more modern design style. An unexpected destination, but happily still in key.

Christmas Concert Poster

The hard part about creating a Christmas poster is conveying a sense of Christmas without being trite. It occurred to me that I should shift the concept to ‘Christmas in Oakland’, and was then lucky enough to find a wonderful, evocative picture of the lights on our Grand Lake Theater. After that, the poster practically (miraculously?) designed itself.

Photo of Grand Lake Theater entrance lights by Beck Cowles