So what on earth is "Shyamaween"?
I'm still pinching myself about this project for the M.Night Shyamalan Foundation. Shymaween is their annual Halloween party that also serves as a fundraiser to help fuel their cause. Aside from the "Be Bad, Do Good", Shyamaween is possibly one of my favorite projects that come around each year. Number one, I'm a huge scary movie buff (being a huge fanof Nights movies before working for him). Number 2, it's my dream, to be able to combine something that is spooky with any design.
This years theme for Shyamaween 2016 was "creepy speak-easy". The Shyamalan's wanted to bring in some Philly history, but also with a eerie twist (get it). So, I was faced with have to figure out how to capture that, with still making it feel high-end and non-cheesy.
Almost immediately, I knew I wanted to do something type heavy. The first thing I do with any project is RESEARCH - figuring out an actual strategy that ! I explored font & types that were actually used during the Prohibition era, print techniques and design that was trending then - old bottles, posters, etc.
The next step was getting ideas on paper — I wanted the type to be something customized, and different. But also have some design elements that pulled it all together. I sat down with some graph paper and started putting this type puzzle together.
I had alot of cleaning up to do once I pulled into illustrator — it helped to use some , and customize them to make it all work. The last step was to bring in the "HALLOWEEN". This was a slight panic, I really wanted to stay away from making it cliche spooky, with witches and spiders. Since the type work was pretty busy, I didn't want to add anything that made it even busier or to compete with it. So the decisions was to photoshop some ghost faces quietly in background to give it that element of haunt.
When designing any event - set a style guide. In this case, it's the invitation - keep consistent with fonts, color palette, textures, etc.
The Event Collateral...
Once the invitation was completed, it was time to dive into everything Shyamaween — we needed menus, signage, sponsor packets, emailers, social media, literally
everything... I had alot of work to do.
We started with the emailer — highlighting all the details of the event - where I was faced with plugging in modern day headshots of the chefs. Again, a panic when I received the email with the assets, but it wasn't so much of a challenge as I thought. >>>
The remaining pieces when smoothly and I was in the grove. I was on a tight turnarounds with even tighter print deadlines, but we did it. I got to the venue in time to set everything up and turn the Foundry into Shyamaween.
Now, I'm diving into Shymaween 2017's new look, and I don't know how I'm going to out-do this one!