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The brief was to create imagery for both print and digital media advertising “Love and Pride,” a new musical by TDPS student Sy Bocalbos Jordan. The musical follows multiple characters who grapple not only with their own sexual and gender identities, but also with those of the people who surround them. Recognizing and respecting the nuance that exists along the LGBTQ spectrum becomes the key to true acceptance among all the characters — even those who already considered themselves part of the LGBTQ community.
Among the biggest questions the musical’s characters ask themselves is, “Should I express or conceal myself?” The imagery — a mouth speaking into a megaphone — reflects the decision to unabashedly express oneself. By omitting the rest of the face, the image becomes gender-ambiguous; that ambiguity is intensified through conflicting visual cues such as stubble, lipstick, and a “masculine” hand with painted nails. It is unnecessary to define who the speaker is in terms of gender; their declaration of pride is so much more important …
… that declaration is represented by a speech bubble containing the title of the play (jovial letterforms hand-painted in acrylic) with a rainbow acrylic wash as its background, a nod to the LGBT pride flag. I didn’t want the bubble to be of the typical comic book ilk, so I looked to photos from San Francisco Pride (among the many festivals included in the musical) for aesthetic inspiration — so many feathers! So many beads! I painted/drew both to create a suitable, festive border for the bubble.
The ultimate goal was a bright, celebratory image that is both open-hearted and open-ended.
Much to my delight and relief, the imagery I created for the show was received with great enthusiasm by the musical’s creator. The art appeared in both printed and digital formats — posters, flyers, programs, and social media-ready images — that were dispersed on the university's campus, Facebook, and beyond. The resulting suite of collateral provided a consistent, recognizable, and professional identity for the production.