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Skidmore College

Beatlemore poster designer shares process of creating a winner

November 20, 2014

Jacqueline Avellar ’15
Jacqueline Avellar ’15

For the past four years, Professor Deborah Hall’s Communication Design II class has participated in the Beatlemore Poster Design Competition. This year’s winner is Jacqueline Avellar ’15, a studio art (photography, design) major from Stamford, Conn. Avellar’s design was selected by the Beatlemore Student Committee out of 18 entries. The committee appreciated that she incorporated a similar font from the A Hard Day’s Night movie poster, and noted that her design paid homage to the Beatles’ performance on the Ed Sullivan Show.

Gordon Thompson, chair of the Music Department and Beatles scholar, worked closely with the class to provide background about the 2014 Beatlemore Skidmania theme: The Beatles Arrive in America – 1964. The students used Thompson’s knowledge and their own research to inform their posters, making sure the design and typography fit the essence of the 1960s.

Avellar’s design is featured on t-shirts and posters, which are for sale in the Skid Shop, at the Zankel Box Office, and at all performances on Nov. 21 and 22. T-shirts are $15 ($5 for performers) and posters are $5. All proceeds will go to benefit Skidmore Cares and Student Financial Aid. In 2013, $12,000 was raised from all Beatlemore proceeds.

Beatlemore Skidmania Committee member Lisa Fierstein ’16 recently interviewed Avellar about her winning design

LF: How did you feel after learning your were the winner of the 2014 Beatlemore Poster Design Competition? 

JA: I did not think I was going to win. I had come up with three different designs and nothing got great positive feedback from my peers so I didn't have my hopes up. However when I did win, and heard Gordon's excitement, it was a fantastic feeling. A lot of hard work, effort, scrapping ideas and restarting paid off! Doesn't that sound super cheesy? 

LF: How did you get involved in the competition and why did you want to be a part of it? 

JA: As a student in Deb Hall's Communication Design II class, one of the assignments we have to do is a poster competition for the Beatlemore contest. We are given about ten days. Most students look forward to the contest because it’s challenging and there are some amazing designs to try and live up to. I'm really glad I had the opportunity to submit a design this year. It is something I have been looking forward to doing since I was an underclassman. It’s a competitive class and Deb Hall is a strong artist and amazing professor. It’s the perfect class to handle the project.

LF: What background research did you do in order to design an effective poster that pays homage to this year's Beatlemore theme: Beatles Arrive in America - 1964? 

JA: As a class, and individually, we brainstormed and researched old album covers from the time period. this gave us fonts selections, layouts, design templates and color schemes. We printed out the research we found and hung it up on the walls of the classroom to use as references for when we worked. 

LF: What was your creative process in designing the poster? 

JA: Design, scrap it. Get frustrated, design something, scrap it. Just keep restarting and keep coming up with new ideas. The first idea you come up with is most likely not your best and you can't be afraid to do it all over again. 

LF: What are your post-Skidmore plans?

JA: Skidmore's studio department has taught me what I dislike about making art, and slowly I'm learning what I actually like to do. What is currently making my toe tap is the idea of working with postproduction. Maybe motion graphics. I definitely want to only work with digital art, that I know. 

My goal for my senior year is to make as much quality digital work (synthetic photography, design, interactive design etc.) for my portfolio as I can, and hopefully use that to propel me into a job/a field I want to work in.

I do not consider myself as artist, and I don't know if I'll ever be one. But if I can make things people think are cool, that is enough for me. ~ By Lisa Fierstein16

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