Onto #2, and it’s taken me several weeks– no– nearly a month to finish up the second poster in the series I started last month. I've been feeling creatively stuck (already). But, as Jen Hewett quipped in her very wonderful talk I watched this morning, “Start the project by starting the project”, I continued the project by literally continuing the project.
#2 didn't flow like #1. I didn't have that crystal intuition about what it was going to be. But I made it, and here's looking back at the process.
Dinner #2 was a landmark kind of an event– on par with Dinner #1, but with its own significance. After doing our first pop-up at home, Thomas, K and I made the decision to go a bit more “professional”– we rented a space in Neukölln and prepared to serve 18 people this time. #2 turned out to be the funnest dinner till date. We had the most incredible set of guests, all close friends of Thomas, K and I, and therefore an incredible audience to whatever we had in store. We had a plan that evening– but we'd also been having a little too much fun with our friends there. So much so that we threw caution to the wind, and went improv on our menu plan. We ended up serving 10 courses in total! All 10 were so loved, all our greatest hits are literally out of this one dinner! A little side effect though, was how it tallied on the expenses– we ended up paying from our pockets instead of making a profit!
Drawing inspiration from the rich, plentiful and improvised dinner that we threw, I wanted the poster to reflect the same spirit. Stepping outside my computer screen, I wanted to experiment like Sister Corita and use analogous methods to create type that was hand-done, varied, and improvised on the spot.
As I do not own a functioning printer, I decided to use my projector as a DIY light box and distort type, then to be traced by hand. Much like the improvisation we did (and almost always do) for the dinner, I grabbed random patterned paper strips I found in our craft box and used them as canvas. Here are a few glimpses...
As you can see, projecting type and then snapping them created some funky gradients I couldn't get my eyes off of. Also experimented with some stellar typefaces from Dinamo although I didn't end up using them ultimately. Thanks for the play time, anyway!
A theme that remained from the evening, besides the obvious– the food, were the vessels– these simple utensils and make-do containers with which we recreated the street vibe. Paper cones for the sundal, copious amounts of brown baking paper for the tikka flammkuchen we made, even puris for the pani puri– vessels in their own right. I isolated these elements. The colours were partially inspired by the funky gradients from the projector images.
The type, as set forth in my first post about this poster project, was to be formal explorations. Here's a compilation of some of the treatments I experimented with. They weren't what I'd hoped for them to be, and they didn't work together very well, but I decided to keep moving.
Concept 1 was to work with the visual form of vessels. And use the varied mix of typography as a crowded, messy, happy representation of our menu. Alternatively, concept 2 was a mood of the evening silhouetted, through the window, like from the original event. Adapting the currywurst plate for this idea, although pretty as a shape, turned out to be a stretch.
There were a zillion different iterations after this– a lot of it was meaningless pixel-pushing, which totally bums me out, especially when I finally admit to myself that I've lost the concept to the digital artboard. That's when I decided to shred it– well, kind of, and start afresh. I started a new file, went back to the event photos, looked at them, really soaked the soft, dull hues and started with a new palette to give my canvas fresh life. Something just clicked after that. The currywurst paper plate– a utensil that never made an appearance at the dinner, helped captured the fusion vibe from our dinner in a simpler, less fussy visual. Plus the 10 euros that we spent out of our pockets.