Stage Door Graphic Design

This post is the third in a series of guest posts from our 2016 Stage Door Project students at Rochester’s own School of the Arts! In case you missed the Stage Door Project: To Kill a Mockingbird introductory post that explains the exciting details of this year’s Stage Door Project and what all the students involved in this partnership between SOTA and Geva are up to, you can read it along with the previous guest posts from Tali Beckwith-Cohen (playing Scout in the SOTA production) and William McDonough (playing Atticus in the SOTA production) here.

MY NAME IS YOLANDA SANTANA! Oh sorry, I’m nervous. *clears throat*

Hello, I am a student from School of the Arts (SOTA)! Again, my name is Yolanda Santana, or you can call me my informal name, Yolie (pronounced JO-lee). I am part of the marketing team for the Stage Door Project and I am one of the student graphic designers who made the To Kill a Mockingbird poster for SOTA. My partner is Juan Collazo.

When I was asked to participate in this opportunity, I was extremely excited! I wanted to work with professionals and learn about real-life situations in the professional world. Gaining an experience like this will help me so much in my future as an illustrator.

A preliminary marketing meeting between Geva’s marketing staff and SOTA’s marketing team for the Stage Door Project, including students Juan Collazo and Yolanda Santana

My partner and I started our process with meetings between ourselves and our mentor, Chris Holden (Geva’s Graphic Designer). Through the meetings, we got to learn a lot about the process of graphic design. For an example, To Kill a Mockingbird is very famous, and it’s the duty of the graphic designers to design a poster that is unique, but recognizable. If it is not recognizable, the viewers won’t be able to understand what the poster is about, or even care about it—why is that?

Viewing a poster is like taking a snapshot. The viewer will see an advertisement and recognize it for a second, then discard it as not important. The viewer’s brain has no time for the constant advertisements pops up on a daily basis. However, it is the job of graphic designers to make that advertisement stick in peoples brain for a long time; they have to attract the customers to the brands, events, etc. That was one of the challenges my partner and I were faced with – to make the poster recognizable and attract people to come to the show.

Geva’s marketing staff members Chris Holden and Dawn Kellogg visit Ms. Rudy’s Commercial Arts class at School of the Arts with a graphic design presentation and Question & Answer session

The process of the poster started with sketches. When the sketches were completed, Juan and I picked the ones that fit the most to the themes of To Kill a Mockingbird. Then we sent our chosen sketches to Chris. Chris then sent back the sketches with constructive criticism and an idea of which sketch he thought would fit the most with the play. Afterwards, I used Adobe Photoshop to create the image and Juan did the overlay (information, text, etc.) for the poster. We had our teacher Ms. Rudy check our rough draft until it was approved, and then sent it back to Chris. He sent back another round of edits and some suggestions of what would work for the poster, and we edited the poster to what it is now!

SOTA TKAM poster
The official Stage Door Project poster for SOTA’s production of To Kill a Mockingbird. Designed by Juan Collazo and Yolanda Santana

That’s all for my graphic design perspective; I hope you enjoy it!

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