Making the 'Hawthorn - Triumph' Poster

28 September, 2013

The original inspiration for these figures come from an Art Deco frieze on the side of the Commonwealth Edison power substation in Chicago:


For obvious reasons, the man in the image inspired a Port Power poster. There’s something about the basic structure of this figure, with his arched legs, that just makes him feel 50 feet tall. Well, the small buildings underneath help, but it’s more than that. I took the basic idea, arched the legs more and slimmed the torso to increase the effect. I didn’t think the head was right either and made this smaller and more angular. Strangely enough, the loin cloth also went.

The result was fantastic, as you can see here:

But I was still hungry to do more with this style and had it tucked away in my brain when I started thinking about this year’s Grand Final. There’s something about it that just seemed so right for that final moment when the players realise that they’ve won: the feet plant, the chest pumps up, and the hands reach for the sky. It’s both pure physical tension and complete release at the same time.

With this in mind, I created the lead figure in the image. But the real fun cams from the repetition and layering of the players, when a simple figure overlaid repeatedly suddenly generates a whole new series of shapes and structures. I especially love the layers of Hawthorn socks interacting.

The deco is still there, but there’s also there’s a bit of the Russian propaganda poster, and even a little touch of Villemot’s famous Bally posters I’ve been looking at a lot recently.

So far, so good. However, the main thing that gave me grief in creating this image is the background. The brown and gold of Hawthorn are simply too strong to use as the sort of background I wanted initially – straight up and down stipes. I lightened up the gold to the current yellow and removed the brown, but it was now too simple (and I’m not usually the person to say that). The final white stripes were actually an attempt to add back in the brown in a softer version, but again they weren’t quite right. A final change of these to white lifted the whole background. I think of these as part-cloud, part white smoke as used to announce the new Pope. In this case, announcing the new Premiers.

Go to the: Hawthorn Triumph Poster

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