THE CHALLENGE: The Arabian Horse Association approached me for creative, illustrated covers for their national and international show program books. The theme of the shows was "Be a Hero" and the plan for their internal graphic design was a pop art style, so they were looking for illustrations that would help define that plan and set the visual style of all other marketing material design.
THE SOLUTION: Both covers began life from a series of Prismacolor and copic marker hand drawings, of which the best sketches were selected for coloring in Photoshop and print production prep in InDesign. The combination of analog and modern art methods allowed for an artsy, hand-rendered feel with the speed and ease of editing afforded from digitial. The youth show program book (below) was the first of this project and arrived at unfortunate timing. While the bright pop art theme was well received when initially announced earlier in the year, by the time the show was hosted, COVID-19 had swept the country. The design was a little too bright and cheery, and the feedback drove the design of the U.S. nationals cover project to look more subdued and serious.
Both covers draw inspiration from comic book production methods. The youth is more classic and vibrant with heavy use of the halftone production method commonly associated with 1960's pop art and comic books, whereas the U.S. national book draws inspiration from more contemporary color palettes and a hand-drawn, self-published look. Out of respect for the events unfolding in the U.S. at the time, the "Be a Hero" theme was dropped, and instead the cover focuses solely on the beauty of this particular breed of horse.