San Francisco Poster - AIGA InsideOut SF

This Summer my family and I stayed in San Francisco for a whole week. We rented a flat in the Mission District and walked nearly everywhere. So I was delighted when Rob Duncan at Mucho, asked me to come up with a poster design for AIGA InsideOut SF

San Francisco is probably one of the most culturally diverse cities of the world. As such, there are rich pickings for visual imagery. Yet reducing it down to one key image is rather more challenging. In all my years I have never designed a poster, so I read about the five most important elements a poster should have. I have retained none of the information except to put red on it somewhere. 

My first attempt was more of a 1950s pastiche. It had the blanched feel of Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo, and was hardly the cutting edge of coolness for today's Californian graphic elite. 

First rough idea
So I tried again. Apart from the very hilly nature of the city, San Francisco is divided into blocks. If you've ever flown over and looked down on the US you will have seen an american quilt of squares, just as it was originally divided - precise and ordered. Yet in San Francisco the journey towards the Bay Bridge cuts a 45˚ angle through this conformity as it heads off from Castro towards Oakland. It's very distinctive. So I got out the graph paper, drew the outline of the land and began mapping (by eye) the San Francisco I knew to the poster dimensions of 20"x30". Then I spent the next few weeks cutting out hundreds of tiny pieces of coloured paper and glued them to the drawn out plan on some board.

The initial pieces of Golden Gate Park & Haight Ashbury
This shows the original sea as light.
I felt these tones were wrong, so changed them
Nearing completion with deep sea tones
I was delighted to hear my submission was one of the eight outsider artist's pieces to be chosen to promote the event.

I might do some more cities. 

One copy of each poster entered into AIGA InsideOut SF, is going to be auctioned off. 
Here are details of AIGA InsideOut SF. Also, some of the beautifully classic work of  Mucho

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