Friday, February 25, 2011

Make Way For Tomorrow

If we at Criterion have yet had a more perfect pairing of artist and film than Seth designing Leo McCarey's* Make Way For Tomorrow, I'd be hard-pressed to think of it. I was privileged to work with Seth on this project, but apart from my one half-formed idea about a dusty photo on a mantle that was quickly (and rightly) discarded, conceptually, this was entirely Seth's show, so I won't write too much on the "process" in that big picture sense. The only "revision" to his cover concept was to ask him to tweak the title treatment in his original sketch: accommodate the Criterion branding:

But I thought it would be interesting to take a quick look at the technical details of how this project was created. Anyone familiar with Seth's work** will probably not be overly surprised by the fact that he doesn't design with a computer. Instead, for this project at least, he would send me sketches of how he'd like the layout to be organized, along with finished art for each color of ink that we'd be using. So, for example, here's the sketch for one spread in the booklet:

And here's the component art:

And blue:

I combined all of that in InDesign, added the film framegrab imagery, the body text in Stempel Garamond and headlines in a font I built from letters that Seth made for us,*** and here's the result:

And here's how the booklet cover (probably my favorite bit of art in the package) came together:


Black, silver, and purple plates:

And final assembled art (wraparound front and back covers):

The process was the same for the menus (except in Photoshop rather than InDesign), from early color rough to final execution:

Thanks again to Seth for allowing me to show these bits of process, and for a fantastic design!

*Apropos of nothing, isn't it absolutely bizarre that the same man directed this quiet, heartbreaking film and my favorite movie of all time, Duck Soup? I still can't quite wrap my head around that...

**Seth fans in the crowd may also be interested in his Criterion Top 10 list.

***Interesting (?) side note: that font ("Seth bold") has since had a second life in Seth's excellent redesign of Canadian Notes and Queries. They were kind enough to send me a few issues of the magazine, and I have to say, in addition to being well-designed, it's also a pretty interesting magazine, even if, like me, you are not Canadian. (Though, to paraphrase Tina Fey, growing up in Rochester, NY, I was able to "see Canada from my house.")


Annie Wu said...

Wow, I started following your blog because of your artwork, but I had no idea you were also the art director for Criterion.

Always interesting to see how packaging comes together. Great post.

andrew l said...

Wow, thank you for posting this. I love Seth's work, and I love Criterion's designs... perfect

Good Writing Blog said...

Eric, I love your designs for Criterion, and I always enjoy these posts where you take us through the process.