Television series script proposal cover and process
PalbergWERX Creative Direction is a new Vancouver based design agency and I was commisioned to design the packaging for a television series proposal for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC). The original concept was created by my client from a multi-part graphic novel of which the first episode was already in print. However, this proposal was for a live-action tv series and as such had to reflect the medium and could not use a comic illustrated styled design.
With these limitations in mind, I began the ideation of the cover which I felt would help to set the landscape for the remaining package. There was an entire written script and character profiles, which was great resource material to understand the storyline. The main character was a symbol for the 'every man' and the story reflected his and our journey through various social issues and his resulting transformation. I did not want to present a clear image of the character as casting would come in the future. This actuallly gave me some ideas of how to present the hero shot and it further gave me the opportunity to show an image that I felt represented the character arc and journey. Although the project had a working title, it did not have a tag line. I created the ' on the road to redemption' to help illustrate, in words, the importance of the character arc. Further online research and it was time for some sketches.
After I felt I was on the right path, another phone meeting with the client to ensure that he is comfortable with the concept and overall feel of the idea. This was the most tricky part of the initial stage because I knew my client was very conservative in regards to imagery (though working with him on past projects) and I did not know if he would be receptive to these concepts.
Below are the details notes of each cover mock-up I sent to the client for review:
No 1 (from left to right) – Using a strong silhouette - the 'hero' is not defined as we don't know who would be casted and we cannot afford to do a specific photo shoot. I've duplicated the profile with the hawk symbol. If we go this route, then I think it might be more interesting to spend more time darkening the hawk silhouette to make it similar to the hero, darker, etc. The background in each image is a city scene with the road in the forefront, reinforcing the tag line 'on the road to redemption' - this is clearer in the other two images (of course, I have no idea what tag will be used). Font use, is a bold contrast between a semi-modern title and handwritten tag line. No 2 – Again a strong silhouette, however this time the hero is more translucent, reflecting his transitory time in this specific setting as well as his state of being. Interesting side effect of the red lights, is the subconscious effect of war paint on the hero, who is a Native Indian… The hero is also looking directly at and reflecting on the meaning of the hawk. The hawk is more graphic in this layout, and overall there is a nice evocative feel for the story, in my mind. Font use, here both title and tag line are very modern, yet timeless – and the slightly rounded corners soften the look and feel. No 3- similar to the second, but with the vertical bars and slightly more transparent hero, the effect suggests an even more transfigurative nature of the character. If we go with this one, I would also like to work more on the hawk, to make it similar to the hero. Font use, here I've used a futuristic font which helps underscore the transfigurative elements.
So, the client was happy and with the choices and in this case we both preferred cover No. 2. Some further feedback was supplied and discussed and the revised cover is shown below.
Finally, my advice is to have a clear understanding of your clients needs and the needs of the project, communication is vital in the initial stages.
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