Recently, we were asked by C3 Presents (an event organizer responsible for some the country's biggest concert events) to create the official poster for this year's Austin City Limits Music Festival. We were honored and excited, and staff designer/illustrator Andy Gregg was put on the task.
C3's poster needs and parameters were somewhat unique: they wanted to feature an Austin skyline, and they needed three different versions of the poster to sell on their website, sort of a "good, better, and best". Andy worked on this problem for a while. Posters from ACL's past were sometimes printed different ways to denote their tier of quality (e.g. last year's high-end print was a five color gravure print), but it was often hard to distinguish the different levels from a distance, and especially over ACL's website. The concept developed in layers, but eventually Andy arrived at this design:
The shaded-in area of this rough thumbnail would act as the good and the better versions of the poster at 18"x24", while for the best version the wider landscape would be added to create a poster at 36"x24".
This is the final art for the good and better designs. It features a band on stage, with a condensed skyline in the background and, of course, the famous Austin bats. The city landscape is stylized and uses bright colors, because we and the client both wanted to stay away from anything that felt too stereotypically western. All the lettering is custom. Though the designs are essentially the same, when printed the good version will be a 5 spot color print with a run of 3,000. The better version will be silk screened (by our friends at Kangaroo Press) and numbered, with a final run of 500.
Last but not least, the larger poster was built from the original. The extra space was exploited to add local Austin landmarks like the South Congress neighborhood, UT Tower, and Barton Springs, along with many others. This design will also be silk screened, but on cotton rag and by DL Screenprinting in Seattle. It will be numbered and signed, with a final run of 100.
This was a fantastically fun project to work on, and an illustrator's dream. Now we've just gotta catch a flight to Austin for the festivities...