Designing a Sasquatch!
Wednesday, February 27th, 2013
By Lauren Smith
Aaron Draplin of Draplin Design Co. plays with typeface and strategic layout in his rather impressive portfolio. Now, it's his turn to be part of a long, applauded tradition among Pacific Northwest creatives: He's designing this year's poster for the Sasquatch! Festival. May 24-27 at The Gorge in Quincy, Washington, features Elvis Costello, Sigur Ros, The Postal Service, and a helluva lot of other musicians that you're not going to get to see unless you're one of the lucky people who snagged tickets before they sold out in 90 minutes. We asked Draplin about his work on this year's poster, and how he made every band on that long, long lineup look unique.
LS: How much of a band's persona/image do you take into account when designing a poster?
Aaron Draplin: The challenge with a big music festival is the sheer number of bands and the hierarchy. Who goes where on the layout. I look at their history, what they've made in terms of merchandise, what they have already done. My favorite bands have a complete hold on their graphic language. Coldplay, for as painful as they can be, have a great sense of their look. Their visual materials go hand in hand with the visual nature of their performances. Jack White is another example. Everything he's doing now is emphasizing this showman's quality, where every detail in his appearance and performance, his merchandise and packaging have one cohesive look. In this poster, the typefaces celebrate fun and the personas attached to their names.
LS: Sasquatch! is famous for its designer posters. What kind of prep did you go through when you found out this year was your turn?
AD: Adam had seen my state posters that I designed after hours of scouring the Internet for old slang and dead logos. He loved the format, so I showed him a couple of treatments with different approaches. But in the end he was drawn to our final version. A map-like Sasquatch, steering clear of your typical festival list. The names and typefaces speak for themselves, where kids can quickly spot out their favorite bands.
LS: Your color palette is very Pacific Northwest. Was this intentional?
AD: You can say this was very intentional. I took into consideration Washington's sunsets, the silvers and golds at night. If you are at this event, you get the spirit of where you are at. The color of the land is what it's about, the setting. It's the fun. Every kid grows up around that color scheme and it's recognizable. It's a nod to "This is where we are from; this is where it's going down."