Accepting the assignment, watching the movie, piling up some ideas.
A promising graphic solution pops up.
It might work with double shadow.
Customer: Dear Sirs, I want to warn you against what I believe is a wrong direction. The symbolism totally nullifies the raw realism, cruelty, and brutality of what’s taking place in the film. This is fundamentally wrong. The future audience will accuse us of playing pseudo intellectual. The crucial part is the raw emotions of the characters, raised continuously fighting the violent world around them. It’s a story about people with sweat, blood, tangled hair, and wind-chapped faces. Use simple language: death, blood, pain, dirt, snow, cold—anything like this. The story’s very essence is evil and brutal, while you offer an English detective story-style poster. Look the main characters in the eyes, listen to their crude speech, notice the powerful and grim scenery of the snowy Russian nowhere. Be honest to your creative intuition. I’m sending you some posters I prepared and beg you to abandon the thoughts, which lead you to build the first sketch.
Receiving a reference from the customer.
Second approach. Searching for fresh metaphors.
Art director: The scene at a police station is ok. Let’s just place the woman with her husband and child to the left. Now we have the moral choice presented.
Art director: We should add facets to the glass and send the customer this version together with the one at the police station to choose from.
The customer chooses the shattered glass concept, but is asking to add more cast photos.
Working on the idea.
Taking pictures of glass.
A new concept breaking in: shattered glass as letters.
Adding photos of the actors.
Just what we need!
In the meantime, working on the text.
Art director: Let’s apply options 8, 6 and 13 to the current version.
Typesetter: The variations with the text under the glass are really nice, let’s work them out?
Art director: 5 and 7 are fine.
Testing two ways of setting the text.
Approving the second layout.
Not liking how the j breaks up the space. Sending it to the type designer to fix. Shaping up the R.
Smoothing out the graphics, resetting the text and inserting the logos.
Drawing the letters for the poster’s Russian version. Perfecting the word’s density and experimenting with the Й’s breve.
Looking for a place for the credits.