Collecting random artworks for inspiration, the poster for ‘Moffat’s Life Pills and Phoenix Bitters’ turned up. Marvellous. I created an illustrated poster for this wonderful medicine, using pictures of a flower as a basis.
For text I looked at late 19C and early 20C medical posters, with their various claims. I considered contemporary medical information leaflets – many of the pills endorsed and sold by the Australian Medical Association today are equally fantastic.
The emotion conveyed is primarily humour.
With this poster I integrated adobe software applications with a variety of traditional techniques.
To compose the final poster, Indesign was used. This program is strong with combining files of different formats onto a single page, and moving them around the page until the final layout is achieved.
The illustration of Curly was created in Illustrator. This program has excellent drawing tools. Being computer generated the width of the lines was experimented with and changed easily.
The illustrations of the flowers were done with pencils (based upon photographs), then scanned on a flatbed scanner into Photoshop, and saved as a bitmap tiff.
The spray was created using black drawing ink in a spray bottle (an old cleaning product container with a hand spray), scanned into Photoshop, saved as a bitmap tiff.
A negative, black and white film strip was scanned, manipulated in Photoshop to produce a black and white (only) image, then saved as bitmap tiff.
By saving the design elements as bitmap tiffs, a solid black was created with no background, allowing for overlays in Indesign.
When the design was finalised, I duplicated the page three times, to make individual pages for printing on red, orange and then yellow paper. These were hand cut with a knife to remove unwanted pieces, then once arranged, sprayed with adhesive and joined together, resulting in the final poster.
Size: A3 ratio (420mm x 297mm)
Stock: 80gsm red, orange and yellow optix paper
Printing Method: Colour separations printed on coloured paper using a digital printer with black toner
Finishing Method: Each coloured print out hand cut then composited, using spray adhesive to hold together, resulting in a final poster.
Copyright and Acknowledgements
Copyright: All content © Shirley Burley 2013 with the exceptions of
Fonts: Helvetica Neue Ultra Light, an ITC Font, and Sprayvetica from http://www.dafont.com
Copy: ‘a single trial… every patient!’ is adapted from an advertisement for ‘Moffat’s Vegetable Life Pills and Phoenix Bitters’, c.1860 (print), American School, (19th century) / Private Collection / Peter Newark Pictures, viewed in The Bridgeman Art Library.
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