01 February 2008

[design] A Science Fiction Convention Ad

1312.  Herewith, the ad for OryCon 30 (21-23 Nov 2008) to run in the program book for NorWesCon:

 Clicky, as always, to embiggen. It developed that an ad was needed for NorWesCon's program book and it had to be delivered quickly. What to do when you have almost no time to come up with a concept?


The original version of OryCon's website looked just like a sheet of paper from one of those old line-printers: alternating white and green stripes, and a Courier font. Now, I've harshed on Courier before; it's like Comic Sans and Times; overused because people go to deaults. But here is where you find the sweet spot of appropriate use and context, which, here, is to remember those salad days when everything was green, including computers.

I reasoned that the combination of Courier type and green-and-white stripes for the background were a great riff on the days when OryCon started ... 1978, with a one day symposium at what we then called the Northwest Service Center, that maginificent old building on NW Everett between 18th and 19th Avenues. Latterly, it's been called OryCon 0.

I appreciated the fine sense of whimsy and history I found there, so taking my cues from the look of it, I repurposed the look and the content, taking the marquee information and applying it thusly. The illustration was similarly borrowed. Once I had the content, I added the touch that really finished the look – the dashed lines and the black dots, which approximated the track feed very nicely, and the drop shadow, which really made the piece pop out and made it feel like a sheet of paper – or, at least, and image of one.

This is the primary function of the designer – problem solving – in quick action. And it was a thrill. And I got to do something for one of the best things in the world – OryCon – which has given me such pleasure over the years.

You folken reading this ought to support your local science fiction convention. OryCon 30 information can be found at the new page (complete with more cowbell) here. That $40 will buy you three solid days of real smart fun, peoples. We recommend!

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