SOMETHING FUN CAN BE SOMETHING BETTER.
Spending the last decade of my life working within the comedy business, I've been frequently as odds with design in my field, particularly in the realm of show posters, which are often challenged by cramped designs, poor source photography and questionable decisions in the placement of elements - it's not uncommon to see ugly clipart, clashing fonts and poorly resized photos of performers creating an unappealing mess.
In my designs, I strive for clarity and impact with pleasing colors and elements which maintain a personal and flexible touch. Just because the product itself is silly does not mean that the presentation needs to lack effort.
When tasked with It's On with Justin Cousson - a monthly stand-up variety show which put myself front and center as the host, booker and creative director, I aimed to create something enticing to the casual comedy fan, yet humble in a sense that I did not want my name and presence to be the primary selling point.
Having broken away from a group to lead this show, I looked to nonetheless downplay my own importance. I shied away from photographs and illustrated the poster. My eyes are intentionally closed to avoid the viewer, but the smile on my face and adoring cat on my shoulder suggest an incredible satisfaction with the end product. I chose to create an X in this image, with artistic elements anchoring one diagonal while information is carried in the other.
Meanwhile, for promo cards when It's On went monthly in March 2017, I went with a design inspired by 1971 Topps Baseball, because frankly, I love baseball cards and enjoyed rebuilding a classic from scratch, and did so again in these 1983-style designs for April.
In further trading card designs, I built homages to 1987 and 1985 Topps Baseball, as well as 1986 Fleer Basketball and 1989 Score Football in making custom cards for my pets, local animal rescue Sante D'Or and my roommate/occasional co-host Brook Banks.
With my designs for AN SHO(w), a stand-up comedy show for the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, I sought to create a sense of importance around the troupe, which consisted of myself and three other relatively unknown young performers. Believing heavily in their potential and in the quality of our performances and guests, I created several popular music homages for these shows, casting the group as spiritual heirs to icons like The Beatles, Duran Duran, NWA and Andrew WK, in the process presenting comedy as something more akin to the rebellious spirits of rock-n-roll, punk rock, new wave and hip-hop. These designs, none of which took more than a day to make from start to finish, were primarily composed in Adobe Illustrator with assists from Photoshop and my own illustrations as needed.
In further designs, after the show had enjoyed a successful run featuring multiple sold-out performances and been promoted to a prime weekend slot, I started to create an aesthetic for the show primarily consisting of color infusing with stark black-and-white photography, predominantly on white backgrounds. I also evolved the handwritten logo I designed (which was meant to create a chaotic, yet powerful feeling with thick, jutting lines and unconventional accouterments) to a font I felt was more professional and restrained, which I then transformed into a disoriented jitter to create a caffeinated feel.
In my spare time, I also volunteer with animal rescue organizations in the Los Angeles area. The below CAT BUTT designs were created in collaboration with Eddie Mauldin for sale at a fundraising event benefitting Sante D'Or Animal Rescue in Atwater Village.
In my comedic endeavors, I consistently use Photoshop to aid visual jokes and in PowerPoints onstage. I'm especially fond of fake magazine covers, although also included are the drummer quarter's less-notable sibling, and a right-wing collectibles shop, which were collaborations from my original designs.
This is pretty much what you're in for.
realwarrenbeatty at gmail dot com