Monday, May 11, 2009

Roller Derby poster in process: Part 3

Welcome to Part 3 of the process of painting and completing a poster design for the Tallahassee Roller Girls. If you missed the other installments you can catch up here with Part 1 and Part 2. We left off in Part 2 with the finished approved painting.

As with all types of production there will be changes that are unforeseeable, both good and bad and there were both during the months I worked on this poster. To speed things along I will hit the high points, the Tallahassee Roller Girls because a national WFTDA team, formed a "B" team - the Jailbreak Betties, and lost their scheduled venue for this bout. All of these now affected production of the poster, with the venue change grinding the production to a halt.

Thankfully, in the fullness of time a new venue was found and all the details were nailed down and I could finally begin production. I am included all of this because these things are part of the process, part of what you need to expect and learn to deal with when working on a project.

After receiving all the information for the poster as well as a content template and typefaces that were used on previous posters I made a first pass layout of the poster.

First pass.

After getting everything that had to be on the poster arranged I ran it by Hope Stewart, who has been my go between on this project. Her note including increasing the size of the team names and venue (since it has changed), lighten the text, remove the "B" team logo, and visually separating the content along the bottom better. I got to work on pass 2.

Pass 2 - getting closer.

I was feeling a lot better about the poster as a whole after finishing pass 2. The suggestions had all lead me in better design directions and I felt we were getting close. I passed it back to Hope for a fresh look. She agreed that we were getting close, I just needed to fix a couple of things. I had the names of the venue as well as the Burn City Rollers wrong and the content at the bottom was still not working.

ALWAYS triple check your spelling as well as names and dates. Have at least 2 other people look at everything you are doing that involves text and get it signed off by someone up the chain of command before something is printed. Mistakes will always happen, but unless you can prove that you did everything in your power to make sure it was done right, it will be your fault. I speak from experience.

With these new notes, I give the poster another pass.

Pass 3, third times the charm.

Both Hope and I liked this third pass and it was reviewed and approved by heads of the team. Completion and approval of the 11 x 17 poster was just step one, I now had to create all the various smaller sizes and arrangements of the poster that will be used in the promotion of the bout. These included:

8.5 x 11 color

8.5 x 11 Black and White

8 x 10 '4 up' Black and White

5.5 x 8.5 black and white brochure cover

Creating the smaller sizes was a straight forward task which included minimal changes to the content. Because all the work was done on the front end of this project these last bits all fell into place and made for easy completion.

This concluded my end of production, I handed of the files to the printer and we are currently awaiting the finals back in all their various sizes. I hopefully will be working on some more posters next derby season, it was a real blast to work with the team to create this one. I hope you have found this 3 part process helpful.

If you are in Tallahassee on May 30th, you should attend the bout! This will be the first WFTDA bout for Capital Punishment as well as the premiere bout for the Jailbreak Betties.

Final poster.

For more samples of my work or to contact me regarding my availability head over to my website:


  1. I will be there!!! And the poster looks great (as do the various sizes).

  2. Sweet poster! There should definitely be more alligators in the art world.

  3. Thanks everyone! It was really fun to work on.

    Yes, there really does need to be a lot more alligators in art! :)