I absolutely adore designing film and event posters. I’d say it is one of my top things as an illustrator I love to do. Ask me to provide an illustration for a horror film event and you may even hear me attempt to suppress a squeal of joy. So it was pretty awesome when I got the opportunity to design two posters for some Halloween film screenings at Whirlow Hall Farm in Sheffield.
Now, I am not talking about enjoying designing a poster that is scary. Just a poster for a genre that features all the things I love to draw. Dark woods, nefarious characters, spirits, ghosts, monsters, ghouls and goblins, yetis, vampires…. I’m guessing you’ve got the point.
But why not scary?
It’s a deliberate choice not to draw them scary, even for adults only events. Firstly, a practical one. Is it ever really a good idea to draw a poster that is genuinely scary? Think about who will see it and where it goes. If you know it’s going to be printed onto a flyer that could potentially end up in cafes, shops and libraries then I’d say absolutely not. Yes we are in the business of representing something through our art, but would any of us feel very good about spooking out some poor kiddywinks who stumble up on our designs and nightmares ensue? It’s not just kids either. It runs the risk of putting people off your event and just a few comments to the event organiser from people who really don’t like being freaked out and there’s a good chance they won’t ask for your help again.
The main reason though is that it just isn’t me. I love the supernatural, dark and creepy but everything I do has a bright and playful happy edge to it too. It might sound contradictory but I’d like to think that those who look at my designs, and particular the posters I have done here for Whirlow Hall Farm’s upcoming immersive woodland cinema events, will agree that my work exhibits both of these things. I think it just goes to show that having your event scare people’s socks off is enough in itself without your marketing trying to do the same too.