Harvest Media

Inside Our Design Process: A Christmas Carol

Mike Jr (MJ) on Dec 4, '17

Posted in Design

Now that December is here, I thought it would be fun to give you a quick inside look at our design process behind one of our Christmas projects.

In 2016, our friends at Overshadowed Theatrical Productions hired us to create original poster artwork for their production of a Christmas Carol.

We wanted to create a poster that was fun and festive with traditional elements that connected it with Dicken's classic story.

Step 1 - Research

First, we researched the time period, the setting (London), and what past artwork we could find both for the book and the play. We like using the Library of Congress website and Flickr Commons to study historical photos.

antique book design
Researching Context

Here's a look at the first edition book cover from 1843.

Step 2 - Font Selection

Then, we turned our attention to the logo type. We knew it would be a key element, not only on the poster, but also for other advertising channels.

We selected 6 fonts as our top contenders for the logo type, with styles ranging from clean, to ornate, to whimsical.

many fonts to choose from

Our final pick was the beautifully ornate font LHF Carnivale.

Letterhead Fonts describes Carnivale as "reminiscent of classic glass signage from the late 1800's" — making it the perfect choice for our Christmas Carol poster.

step 1 -  font selection

Step 3 - Logo Type

Now with our font selected, we began arranging the words and letters to transform them into a memorable logo.

We set the type along a curved path — a nice start, but it needs more.

step 2 -  type on a path

We added some large initial caps at the start of each word and a larger "L" to balance out the right side of the logo.

step 3 -  enhance characters

Then, we fine tuned a few letters - manually redrawing the shapes to reduce some of the font's ornamentation and increase readability.

Here is a side-by-side look at the redrawn version.

custom type design for a Christmas Carol

Lastly, we added the finishing touches — some bright Christmas colors, strokes, texture effects, and of course a bow on top.

finished type design for Dickens a Christmas carol

Here's how the final logo type looks in the context of its poster.

custom poster design for a Christmas Carol

Author and designer Timothy Samara says:

Typography stands at the crossroads of the beautiful and the useful.

—Timothy Samara

His quote concisely sums up the reason why we love working with type as a design element. It's especially rewarding to create a design solution that is both practical and beautiful.

Hope you enjoyed this inside look at our design process.

Do you have a project that could benefit from some typographic flair? Get in touch with the Harvest Media team at 847-352-4345 or send us a message.

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Mike Moreau Jr

About the Author

Mike Jr (MJ)

Mike is the creative director at Harvest Media and loves to help clients grow.

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