This poster series was a look at unconventional typography with a focus on movie characters who suffer from mental illness. For this series, I focused on Arthur Fleck from The Joker, Nina Sayers from The Black Swan, and Travis Bickle from Taxi Driver.
My idea for a final project idea was built from the idea of the character's development throughout the movie. A few films came to mind originally, such as The Joker, Fight Club, Black Swan, and Taxi Driver. The events in the movie really progress their mental illness ultimately to the climax of the movie where the character transforms.
In the Joker, it is the transformation of Arthur Fleck and events that led to him snapping at the climax of the movie. In Taxi Driver, Travis Bickle, a NYC cab driver, continues to be disgusted with the culture of NYC which leads him to want to do something drastic. In Black Swan, ballerina Nina Swan suffers from extreme anxiety and OCD trying to give the perfect performance which takes over her mind.
As I began to rewatch these movies, I decided on three films to create posters for combining different media and by creating unconventional typography through different techniques and materials to really capture the characters.
When thinking of what medium to use to create the typography for this poster I remembered the reoccuring theme of graffiti and a scene when Arthur uses a paint marker to scratch out ‘forget to’ in a ‘don’t forget to smile’ poster. I first cut away at the paint marker with an xacto knife to give it a unique look and to feather the strokes.Each letter I created with my left hand to give it a unfinished and chaotic look. I also used taped the paint marker to a yardstick and created letters. This really gave created a tense and chaotic look.
For Nina’s poster, I experimented with dipping feathers in ink and creating letterforms. I thought it offered a smooth look that usually ends with a gritty feathery look, but also remains very elegant. In the beginning scene of the movie the past Swan Queen lead ballerina is forced to retire and abruptly leaves her dressing room. Nina goes into the dressing room to get a feel for what it would be like to be the lead ballerina. In doing this, she also steals her earrings and lipstick.
Later in the movie when Nina is given the lead role another ballerina who is upset writes on her dressing room mirror ‘whore.’ I wanted to explore this because I thought that the red lipstick would offer contrast and also tie into the red eyes of the black swan in the poster.
Throughout the movie, Travis writes letters to his parents on notebook paper with a pencil. The most popular shot of one of his letters is at the end of the movie when he writes his farewell letter to Iris, a 12-year-old prostitute he is trying to save from her current life. I chose to use pencil as my medium for this poster due to the letter-writing reoccurring throughout the movie. I wrote letters on notebook paper small and then enlarged them significantly to appear pixelated and show the lead textures throughout the poster.