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The making of a tour poster.

3 Steps Closer Tour poster

As you may or may not already know PlanB will be touring China from July through August this year. As you can imagine it takes a lot of organisation to make an international tour happen. Luckily for PlanB we have Sneaky Pete on task, working with his contacts lining up shows. To help in this effort we need collateral to position the band with venues. One important piece of this collateral is the tour poster, the final version of you can see above.

You would be forgiven for thinking that producing this poster would be a modest effort. In fact the poster to you see is the result of numerous design iterations. This post describes just how the final design of the poster was realised, we thought it might be interesting to (some) fans.

Iteration 1

Iteration 1 of the "3 Steps Closer Tour" poster

The tour name had finally been decided – 3 Step Closer, named after the new song we will be recording during the tour. This first concept tries to marry west and east. The “3 steps closer” design adapted from the logo of a design studio that was found using Google image search harks to that of an old fashion American diner. The image of the man/boy climbing a mountain taken from a book of Chinese propaganda posters. At this stage none of the other content such as the PlanB logo or tour dates were included.

Comments from the team:

“immediate impression is that it is a bit sensitive as it immediate brings on Cultural Revolution feelings. The armband of the person and the general pose is probably best avoided.”

“Although the communist/mao era china is fertile ground for artwork, I think we need to sell ourselves on the fact that we’re western”

“The artwork is great and would work well if selling to a Western audience. But I think we will do better if we try and be us rather than like them. Like you’ve said before, the Western, and even more-so Australian, way of life is something very attractive to them. I think we should make the most of that.”

Iteration 2

Iteration 2 of the "3 Steps Closer Tour" poster

This version of the poster significantly toned down the propaganda poster sourced content and focuses on the PlanB logo. The lines extending from the logo frame were extended and rotated to create some movement, the Australian animals playing instruments coloured to give emphasis and some dark background colours added to give it some flash.

Comments from the team:

“I prefer the monochrome background – the green and purple is distracting to my eye”

“too busy & the white lines detracted from the message”

” the animals with brass instruments leans towards the band possibly being a jazz band because other advertising in China with sax/trumpet etc usually mean a jazz band”

” wonder if there is any way to bring in the ‘International Rock n Soul Specialists’ into it and get rid of the lines so that the Beijing/Shanghai and the band website are much more easily readable”

Iteration 3

Iteration 3 of the "3 Steps Closer Tour" poster

This design is a radical departure from the previous two iterations. This approach relies heavily on live gig photography that has been treated with various filters to produce a grungy/grain look. The positioning statement “the international rock’n’soul specialists” has also been added.

Comments from the team:

“the PlanB logo etc is almost engulfed in the black & white band members, would it look better (ie be more prominent) with a thin white border around the full logo”

“photos are rather low resolution, do we have alternatives?”

Iteration 4

Iteration 4 of the "3 Steps Closer Tour" poster

This iteration is very similar to the previous. The photos in this case have been swapped out with alternatives with more resolution. The filter effect in this case is less grungy than the previous. Also you will notice the “Tour” arrow has been removed and the text under the positioning statement includes the word :Touring”. Also diagonal white lines have been added to the red background to add movement.

Comments from the team:

“The expressions on the previous set of photos were better. “

“I think the quality (from the previous set) is sufficient; it doesn’t look pixellated. What about cartoonifying them? Google cartoonize or cartoonify.”

“looking at it with fresh eyes, the “3 steps closer” is so prominent that people will think that’s the name of the band. It’s the first thing you see and it stands out in colour from everything else. The colour and style is exceptional, but we need to shift focus to the band name.”

Iteration 5

Iteration 5 of the "3 Steps Closer Tour" poster

This design goes back to previous set of photos but in this case they have been run through an online cartoonify filter. The “3 Steps Closer” logo has been reduced in size to make the band logo more dominant.

Comments from the team:

“Looks great, very effective. If I’d known it would look this good when I suggested it, I’d take a bit more credit :). It looks a bit “Yellow Submarine”-ish!”

“I think the word “tour” needs to be in the circle, I had to look twice before I saw it.”

Iteration 6

Iteration 6 of the "3 Steps Closer Tour" poster

This design incorporates a “ripped” approach to present the PlanB logo which has been enlarged by 10% or so. The “tour” arrow has been moved to under “Steps Closer” in the circle. Also chinese characters have been added to give an impression of the final design with Mandarin translation.

Comments from the team:

“Looks great. Moving “Tour” makes a big difference.”

 

Other Tour Collateral

To go with the poster the band will also distribute a 3 Steps Closer Tour CD/DVD pack. The following are images of the DVD case sleeve and CD screen print.

3 Steps Closer Tour - DVD Sleeve.

3 Steps Closer Tour - CD screen print

Date →
Feb 1
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