Following the massive success of 2012’s Sgt. Pepper’s concert, the BWBeatles revamped their entire game plan for their follow-up, Magical Mystery Tour. This included my role as graphic designer. In addition to the poster, I was contracted by the BWBeatles to create a number of other marketing materials that would be used throughout the weekend of various concerts and events, now officially known as “the Beatles Festival.”
The Main Event Poster was the first piece created for the event, and formed the basis around which the rest of the campaign would revolve. The actual design of the poster went through many elemental changes and evolved greatly over the months I worked on it. In the design, I wanted to reflect the colorful and psychedelic nature of the music, but also be unique and separate from the original album designs.
The first element that I worked on for the event was the logo. The obvious choice was to use the same font & styling as on the orignal album cover (though, as can be seen in some works in progress below, I didn’t always stick with that choice). I started with the font, converted it to shape files in Illustrator, overlaid the color bars using the exact placement and color palete as the original, then blended them together. I then managed to angle the “Magical Mystery” in the exact same angle as the original, thus creating a perfect vector duplicate. I then added the subtitle “Performend Live!”, later changed to “In Concert!” to complete the final logo.
A lot of experimentation, trial and error, and input went into the design for the posters. During the process, I felt a self-imposed pressure to not only live up to, but surpass the popularity of the previous year’s Sgt. Pepper’s poster. Beacause of this, I was never fully satisfied with any of the preliminary designs. I finally decided to move the poster to a horizontal format, which was the change that I needed to push me through my creative block. A few early & experimental versions are featured below, in addition to the final product.
The final poster, and overall design concept, uses various colorful elements from the first series of posters, several references to the previous year’s poster, and even a couple hidden images (two busses and an illustration of the Beatles). The movie poster styled credits are a reference to the Magical Mystery Tour film.
Event Tickets were introduced this year as a way to make admission to the concerts fair for students, faculty, and anyone else who wanted to see the show. I used them as a way to link the weekend events together, through design. Each ticket featured a unique feature design, but the overall layouts were similar.
Two of the festival shows were performances of Magical Mystery Tour, and each ticket featured the psychedelic background, albeit in a different color scheme for the two different shows. I placed three-per-page, so that when put together, they create one composite image.
The third event featured music from the entire Beatles’ career, and I wanted to incorporate that in the tickets, by using three iconic silhouettes of the group, from different years of the band’s life.
My goal for the tickets was to create not only a useable and functional ticket, but some sort of souvenir that everyone at the concert could take home with them. I’d like to think I achieved that.
For me, one of the most rewarding aspects of being associated with the BWBeatles and the Beatles Festival is the reaction my pieces from the general public. I attended all three events of the Beatles Festival in 2013, and waiting in line while silently observing 500+ people holding and enjoying tickets, program covers, wearing ID badges, viewing posters, all that I created – it was a humbling, and very surreal experience.
Also, a unique experience for me was following certain tags on Instagram during the days of the festival, and shortly after, and seeing my work proudly displayed and promoted by people I’ve never met. Below are some of those examples: