For Brotherhood
May 2016

Brotherhood is a new, independently-produced play written by Louis McWilliams, first appearing in Original Winter One Acts 2016 under the title Journey Into Manhood. The play follows the lives of four men who come to a gay conversion retreat and stumble to find their identities and each other. For this project, I was tasked with creating a poster that could also be adapted well for programs, social media, and email.

I found inspiration for the solution in Saul Bass movie posters and abstract jazz covers. I was interested in Saul Bass’s experimentation with raw paper-cut forms and his striving to find simple visual phrases that represent or evoke the story. Jazz covers had a similar form of abstraction in shape and color that was immediately introspective, moody, and cerebral.

The main visual phrases are the slats of the log cabin, which suggest a cage, and the folded-over cut-out of a person, which could be an exterior observer trying to look in, two sides of the same person, or two lovers. The resulting design strikes a nice visual contrast with the realistic frame of the play, while conceptually maintaining the same themes and ideas; it conveys isolation, identity, and knowing one’s self, whilst evoking the grit of the forest and log cabin setting and the exploration of masculinity and male-male relationships.

The logo and visual assets, as well as the paper texture, were hand-cut and scanned.