07 February 2017

[design] Return To OryCon: The OryCon 37 Souvenir Program

I return to revisiting my program design work for OryCon with the design for OryCon 37. Coming away from its dark period, I re-entered the fray with a con that had a SF, adventure-y feel: The Quest For The Ultimate Artifact.

Tanya Huff was the Author GoH, and Alan M. Clark was the Artist GoH. As anyone who's seen Alan's work weill recognize, there's an atmospheric quality to it as he lets some of his materials play a chaos game in the background while he lets intelligence guide the foreground. The combination usually imparts a near-incomparable air of mystery to all his works, be they SF, horror, fantasy, or anything else he does.

The cover illustration, Buckets of Bad Weather, is a thing to get lost in:

The steampunk-y construction is inscrutable, it keeps its own counsel; it appears to be siphoning something off and sending it somewhere else, but while it's guessable, it's unclear what or where or why. It may be an unwelcome thing, taking from the local environment but giving little or nothing in return, and you might think otherwise, but the title has a sinister note to it. Also, it seems rather ancient; the parchment revealed seems to imply that but it, like the construction, holds its secrets well.

The portrait of Alan illustrates the sense of mystery, stress, wonder, and tension which seems to be his main art materials.

The idea of a quest inspired me to find a "Raiders of the Lost Ark" style font, and that may seem an uninspired, perhaps even lazy choice, but the type used for that movie is a brand that connotes intriguing, mind-expanding, crazy and just-dangerous-enough-to-be-interesting exploration. The Creation Station people really went to the wall with that one.

It's an example of type supporting the message, and again, the type and the art merged to create an atmosphere and feeling for the rest of the book.

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