Classic Literature-Themed Birthday Poster
A good friend of mine hit the big four-oh this summer and her mother asked me to produce poster artwork for the dinner party. Her original idea was to create a collage, but she decided it would be too much work, so we settled on a single baby picture and a reference to forty years passed.
I presented a total of four designs, but my favorite was this Alice in Wonderland themed layout. My friend is a fan of classic literature, and Carroll’s text is in the public domain. I included part of a chapter that I’d collected from Fillerati as the background texture, and replaced a few of the words with place names pertinent to my friend’s life: colleges she’d attended, favorite restaurants, places she’d worked or countries she’d visited, etc. That little touch was meant to be a kind of ‘Easter egg’ since I didn’t expect the dinner guests to stand there and read through the entire text. I figure we all know the story, and just a glimpse would clue most of us in that is was Alice.
My only reservation about the design was the fact that the passage is about a baby that Alice is carrying who turns into a piglet. I didn’t want my friend to think I was disparaging her baby picture, or implying that she looked like a pig. I mentioned that to her mother, but she said that wasn’t even a consideration to her, and that, in her words, she thought ‘baby pigs were cute.’ As it turned out, it was one of my other offerings she just couldn’t resist.
Ultimately it was a retro-inspired design that was chosen—the same baby picture (without the lacy border) over a motif of wavy vertical stripes of varying widths in groovy green and mauve. The pieces were printed and mounted at Copy Pilot in N Portland, and displayed at the Lucky Lab Tap Room during the party. The best part was my friend’s relief that we didn’t use any of what she called her ’embarrassing [high school] pictures,’ as well as managing her hints and quips of trepidation during the weeks leading up to the party.