suggested I write something for The Margaret Ghost blog
about the process of updating the art for the new production -- I'm posting it here as well for your convenience.
When I first designed the art for Theatre@First’s 2006 production of The Margaret Ghost, we were still a very young theatre company, and all of our materials were photocopied at someone’s office. All of our promotional art at the time had to be in black and white, to copy clearly. We’ve since graduated to printing in color, so I welcomed the chance to revisit the design and expand on it for this new production.
For the 2006 materials, the director and I had long talks about the play. We decided that the important things to emphasize were the humanity of the piece, including the fact that Margaret was a real woman, and her writing, which was such an important facet of her self-expression. We went through a number of rounds of possible fonts and quills, as you can see in the image on the side, before settling on the font Archive Petite Script, which brings to mind weathered writing from a quill pen, and a simple and less literal calligraphic flourish of a quill, positioned as if writing the title.
When it came time to update the art, I wanted to keep some consistency with the original, but add more depth and texture. To add to the sense of history, I decided to keep to literal physical objects. I looked through dozens of stock art photos of pens before finding a pen and ink set that grabbed me -- something utilitarian but with a sense of personality, and even a dash of femininity. We wanted to show a picure of the real-life Margaret, so I found an antique frame image to put it in, as if it were a miniature sitting on a desk.
For the background, I had hoped to find a sample of Margaret’s own writing to scan and use as a texture. When that failed, I took an excerpt from one of her books and typeset it in a vintage handwriting font, blurred it enough to not be distracting, and added some vintage paper behind it.
I decided to use a dark sepia brown for the type, and toned the pen set and frame to a dark bronze to match and create a more unified whole.
And there you have it! Same play, same message, but a very different look.
--Gilly Rosenthol, RosentholDesign.com