This month, the Two River Theater is featuring August Wilson’s Jitney. We thought it would be fun to share how we arrived at the artwork you see around town.
We started with the title treatment which was featured by itself in the season announcement brochure released last fall. We did some type explorations which played up the timeframe in which the play takes place: 1977. Then we came up with the idea of using a license plate font to render the title. We toyed with the idea of altering the title to read like a vanity plate, “J1TN3Y”. However, it was agreed that the title would not be as quickly readable, so we went with the more straightforward rendition of the title.
Once the title logotype was established, we moved on to the full artwork. We brainstormed together with the theater about what would be the appropriate visual to sell the show. At the beginning, the theater was enthusiastic about trying a collage approach for the entire season’s artwork, so we worked up ideas for several of the shows using the collage look. We would use the color palette established in the season brochure, which assigned a specific color to each show, and gather different images that all contributed to illustrate what the show was about. We eventually settled on approaching each show individually and uniquely. For Jitney we tried a few different focuses, including using a portrait of the author, August Wilson, whom the theater felt had a strong enough draw and recognition to be the feature of the show.
Ultimately we went with a terrific portrait of Mr. Wilson by David Cooper, which shows him standing in front of a wall of sheets of paper, showing his writing.