At (mt) Media Temple, we love the creative process. So we decided to add to the buzz about our SXSWi 2013 Closing Party by pulling back the curtain and showing how the event poster was created.
For the better part of a year, we’ve had the pleasure of working with the very talented Dan Matutina on a number of (mt) promotional pieces. Dan, an (mt) customer for several years, lives and works in the Philippines, creating illustrations for big-name clients from WIRED to Jamie Oliver.
Dan’s angular and geometric style, which he mixes with handmade elements and multiple textures, is unlike anything else we’ve seen. As (mt) Creative Director Jon Setzen says, “I’ve been a fan of Dan’s for some time. His work is a perfect complement to the Media Temple aesthetic, because it allows us to add some warmth and personality to our creative.”
Like most creative efforts, this one began with a concept. “Jon and I went back and forth on a few ideas, but we kept coming back to the idea of a minimal desert skyline. I came up with the idea of showing the Austin skyline as a big desert monument,” says Dan. From there, the poster progressed from rough sketches to initial digital files.
Some early poster sketches.
A composite sketch of the poster.
The concept is now transferred into Illustrator, where the city and characters are designed.
To stand out among the throng of posters at SXSW, Dan and the creative team wanted to create a unique typographic look as well. After some trial and error, Dan decided to physically airbrush the text through a stencil. He then scanned the airbrushed lettering and applied textures in Photoshop.
An airbrushed set of titles and headlines.
The final custom airbrushed alphabet.
The original plan was to make the poster a burnt orange color, reflecting the Western theme. But at the last minute, we decided a dark poster aligned better with the artists that were performing. Going from color to monochrome posed a big challenge, as Dan attests: “I like doing black and white illustrations, but I wasn’t sure it would work with the idea we had.”
The original burnt orange version of the poster, with lettering in place.
Luckily, it did. The final product is a stunning poster that begs to be seen in person. The texture work is beautiful, and every inch of the piece shows Dan’s devotion to detail.
A texture detail.
The final poster.