For this production of the 18th century, love and pain novel, Les Liaisons Dangereuses (Dangerous Liaisons), at the Canberra Repertory Society in Australia, Chicago based designer Lance Rutter created a sumptuous poster that looks as if it had been crafted in the same forgotten era as the novel was conceived. While the illustration and lettering are delightful and impeccably done, the production of the poster is what really caught my attention, and it wasn’t until Lance pointed out that this was printed on red paper that I finally grasped what made it feel so rich. But best to hear it from the source, as Lance explains:
Every part of the art was rendered with a Pentel Brush pen — which has a great line quality and the black is very black — on different tracing paper overlays (per color), then scanned on a small HP, blown up, and assembled into a multichannel Photoshop file for the printer.
I like to start with a middle-ground color, so I decided to print this on a bright red paper stock (Red Hot French Poptone). Then I used black and grey for the background and detail and white and pink for highlights and midtones. I added metallic gold for type and some subtle details on the cat, to make her a little more Baroque.
I had originally planned on using various opacities of white on the red paper to create the pink and white highlights, but Steve at D & L Screenprinting convinced me that using a match pink ink would give us better control to match exactly what I was looking for.
This poster (and others!) is available for purchase at the Legendre+Rutter store.
From sketch (above) to digital file (below) to the real thing.
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UnderConsideration is a graphic design enterprise that runs a network of blogs, publishes books, organizes live events and judged competitions, and designs for clients.
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Art of the Menu / Cataloguing the underrated creativity of menus from around the world.
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The 2010 FPO Awards / 2011, self-published.
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Graphic Design, Referenced: A Visual Guide to the Language, Applications, and History of Graphic Design / 2009, Rockport.
Women of Design: Influence and Inspiration from the Original Trailblazers to the New Groundbreakers / 2008, HOW Books.
The Word It Book: Speak Up Presents a Gallery of Interpreted Words / 2007, HOW Books.