Tuesday, 5 November 2013



Before making a start on the competition I reviewed and analysed the brief available on the Talenthouse website. The details and content are pretty straight forward in directing participants to create a poster to represent country artist Chris Stapleton's new single, 'What Are You Listening To?'. 

  • Chris Stapleton released his new single "What Are You Listening To?" this summer. 
  • Starts his tour on September the 24th.
  • Create a poster design that captures the soul of his single - song needs analysing.
  • Pictures of Chris are available for inspiration - poster focused on Chris?
  • Two winners are selected, one by the people (highest voted) and another by Christ Stapleton. 
  • Chris stapleton is native to Sraffodsville, KY in the United States of America.
  • Moved to Nashville in 2001 to peruse his music career. 
  • Chris has achieved four #1 hits with his songs for George Strait, Kenny chesney, Darius Rucker and Josh Turner.
  • "My life has been on tucked neatly in the liner notes of other people's ablums as a writer, musician or band member.... until now."


After reviewing and analysing the original brief posted on the Talenthouse website...


After re-writing the brief I was in a position to start collecting a body of research to help me create a relevant outcome in response to the set brief. The link below navigates to my Chris Stapleton research posted on the design context part of my blog.


Once I had completed collecting a body of research into the song and artist I felt knowledgeable enough to start generating ideas as to what my poster could portray to represent and advertise Chris's new single. 

Main ideas;
  • Chris Stapleton vector portrait - focuses on new artist & promotes his image.
  • Beard - poster would focus on the singers large beard.
  • Record - focuses on mysterious record - very literal.


After refining the selection of ideas to a choice of three I needed to define a final concept that will then be developed to form my outcome. Before outlining my design I reviewed the ideas assessing their relevance to the brief and the effectiveness of the composition and aesthetics. Assessing the effectivness of the ideas allowed me to select and develop the most effective design.



  • Focuses on artist - important as he is a new, up-and-coming artist who needs his image promoting.
  • Artist is also relevant to the song - written from his point of view.
  • Type informs audience about artist name and his single.


Before progressing with the project and creating my Chris Stapleton illustration I first had to define the relevant design decisions such as the colour scheme and typefaces that will be used. 


While assessing Chris' song I came to the conclusion that the lyrics and tones communicated by the single emote a mellow, calming feeling. Therefore, to ensure that my poster is a good representative of the song I outlined a collection of colours that capture said feelings. Colour psychology describes blue as a colour that has soothing properties so when selecting colours I chose a pallet of pastel blues. 


After selecting the colour scheme I next chose the typefaces that will be featured on the poster. When defining the primary typeface I wanted to select a font with an aesthetic similarity to vintage American signage due to its relevance to Chris' country music.


As I decided to base my illustration around the artist himself I utilised a reference image taken from my research to work from when creating my designs. 


Below are my initial sketches that explore different compositions and typographic placement. I used the rough designs as a process of refinement to help me create the most successful composition before starting my final design. 


The image below displays the final illustration that will form the base of my final design.


Once I had finalised the design and created the base illustration I started working digitally in Illustrator building up layers of colour to create the digital rendering of Chris. 

After creating the illustration of Chris I added the typographic composition. To do this I first applied a warp effect in Photoshop to the two typographic compositions and then digitally traced each arrangement using the pencil tool in Illustrator. Later highlights and shadows were added to make the type more visually engaging. 

Finally, to finish the poster I added a light blue background with an overlaid a white texture.

Vector paths.


The image below displays my final response that was submitted as part of the competition;


Before submitting my outcome I downloaded and reviewed the official rules of submission from the Talenthouse website to ensure that my design would be submitted problem free.

  • Rule seven relates to the granting of rights to the sponsor once the work is submitted. Once submitted the work pretty much doesn't belong to us anymore. 


To accompany the submission of the poster design a brief synopses summarizing the outcome was required. 

The final word count of the brief synopses came to 45 words.


As an up-and-coming musician Chris Stapleton needs his image promoting and so I decided to focus the illustration on the artist creating a graphic portrait. Furthermore, the colour scheme of pastel Blues was chosen to depict the despondent feel the song connotes.  


Once I had submitted my design it was uploaded to the Chris Stapleton Talenthouse designs page so that people could review and vote for the design they believe to be best. Due to the nature of the competition two winners are selected, one is chosen by the people and the other by Chris himself. 

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