The Arlin M. Adams Center supports a series of high-profile, endowed lectures each year that are open to both the campus community and the public—often dealing with legal, political and social issues. The spring lecture, titled Captive Market, explored the privatized prison system is the US. The goal was to create an engaging, conceptual poster (as well as social and email marketing materials) that would not only advertise the lecture but cut through the visual noise and entice the zoom-fatigued masses to attend.
In consultation with the speaker and the client, it was decided that while there are many cons to privatized prison systems, that the conceptual outcome of the poster design should not focus on the capitalist nature nor the obvious greed behind the system. Instead, should hint at and focus on the increased rights of prisoners and the strain, or pressure, this places on the prison system as a whole.
The simplified and graphic figure allows for a general representation of prisoners while the snake represents the pressure and restrictive nature of the prison system itself. Since prisoner's rights play a large role in this process, the mouth, or voice, of the prisoner is purposefully missing from the illustration.
Process included rough sketches and finalized work was created in Adobe Illustrator. The figure is a custom illustration and the snake is an illustration based off of a photo.
Lastly, the vertical hotel stacked type adds to the feeling of containment or restraint with the figure. Loosely representing bars in a cell or additional prisoners.
Both the client and lecturer are thrilled with the outcome of the poster. It represents a complex topic in a conceptual and consumable image—and will draw attention to the lecture series. The event has yet to happen, so no data on attendance is available.