• Olly Jordan

Chapter 81 - ArchieVerse - Katy Keene - Posters - Big Dreams in a Big City - 2019

Here is my poster design of Katy Keene, as the final spin-off series within the ArchieVerse Collection. Just like the Riverdale poster, this is heavily inspired by 1950's poster design with a modernised twist, reflecting what is seen on screen where the shows use a combination of modern and vintage aesthetics within it.

When designing this poster, I knew that I wanted it to be 50's inspired like the Riverdale poster so it stayed relevant, I also knew I wanted to incorporate New York in some way, as well as obviously the portrait of Katy Keene within it. I needed to do more research into how to create a poster design that used just one person within the poster and included an illustration of a location.


Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany's poster

I'll be honest and say that finding the right kind of inspiration was hard to find, I had over 130 pins on Pinterest of inspiration if that helps to paint a picture of how much I struggled to find something that I could see potential with. I did however come across this poster design at some point and it embodied everything that I had been looking for - a single character on a poster design, a cityscape, vintage aesthetic and good use of typography, plus, I could see a similarity in Audrey Hepburn's pose here and the photo references I was using to create my painting of Katy Keene. Looking back at this poster and then looking at my finished Katy Keene poster, it is very clear just how much this poster influenced my final artwork.

Logo Redesign

As with most of my poster design projects, I wanted to find my own way to reinvent the already existing logo design used in the work I am basing my project on, or create something entirely new. My new logo design is the one on the right above, I wanted to create a logo that had a painterly feel and stay true to the original comic book version of the logo. Seeing as this modern day show is based on comic books from the 1950's, I wanted to use the old logo from the comic books and just give it a slight modernisation like what the show is essentially doing, a modern day revamp. I kept the blue within the logo design as it not only is staying true to the original logo, but is also a good contrast colour to compliment my pink/yellow colour palette I had planned for the Katy Keene painting. To give the work a painterly feel, I applied a paint roller texture to the typeface. Once the texture was applied, I did think that the way the colour changes slightly because of the texture appears slightly reminiscent of the way that velvet, so that works nicely with the fashion designer themes explored within the show.

You will also notice that I kept the white border around the blue lettering from the original logo, I wanted to keep that as the white allows the letters to have space to breathe a little, I did add a red border around it rather than black as I felt that the red tied in with the rest of my colour palette more than a harsh black would.

In this version of the logo design, there is a watercolour illustration of a heart behind the logo and that is not on the poster. I wanted to include an illustration of a heart because that icon appeared alot when I was researching a bit more about the comics that the show is based on. The heart didn't end up making the cut for the poster design because it just took up too much space and wasn't necessary.

Poster Development

Here are some developmental screenshots of the poster design. I unfortunately didn't get as many screenshots of the minor tweaks, but at least you can see how the painting was designed and ready to be put onto the poster design before the painting was actually created. The watercolour background used on the mockups of the first 3 screenshots is actually an experimental piece I created as a way to see if the yellow to pink colour palette would work. It was important to include a watercolour background experiment within the early stages of the poster design as it allowed me to see if the watercolour style would actually work nicely with the text and on the poster design. The watercolour mark making is obviously something that I was going to take with me from the original painting as a way to add the modern twist to an otherwise 1950's inspired poster.

Inspired heavily by the Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany's poster, I quickly got on to designing the typography and composition of this Katy Keene poster. Using fonts close to the ones used in the Audrey Hepburn poster allowed me to keep the 50's aesthetic alive nicely. The fonts used in the poster design have been coloured the same way that the logo design was, but the roller paint texture applied over the top to help keep everything tied together nicely. As well as there being a blue font used as a nice contrast from the rest of other poster's colour palette, there is now the introduction of yellow being added. I thought that the yellow would be a nice addition to the poster as it would act as a way to highlight Lucy Hale's name. I wanted to highlight the actresses name rather than let it blend in because I felt that it kept the 50's vibes going, but also the colour change highlights the fact that Lucy Hale is the name of the actress and not the character within the show.

Just like the Riverdale poster, I knew that I wanted the actor credits along the bottom of the poster so it would not only call back to that poster within my ArchieVerse Collection, but also keep the 50's vibes. So I had to play around with that a little bit. The text around their names as well as the logo as the paper texture showing through around the text, this was intentional as I wanted the text to breathe a little bit and not get lost on the poster, it is also a design device used within the Audrey Hepburn poster too.

The New York cityscape is also a noticeable new illustration on the poster design, this was the element of the Audrey Hepburn poster that I loved the most, just a simple cityscape silhouette to help give the poster a location. This was just a simple case of drawing out a New York inspired cityscape, many artists have done this kind of thing and especially with a watercolour kind of style.

The choice of paper and its textures is always something that consider within my poster designs, the right paper choice can really make a design pop. I ended up using a Kraft Paper texture. Kraft paper not only allowed me to get the brownish colour used in the Audrey Hepburn poster, but that type of paper is genuinely one that was used alot within vintage poster design of that era, so I have just managed to find a way to stay true to the time period I am working from.

Once the poster was designed, it was just a case of painting Katy Keene, then dragging and dropping her onto the poster design and making any final tweaks necessary to make sure that she worked nicely on the poster.

Typing out all the design elements makes it seem like it was an easy poster design, it was actually one of my more challenging poster designs to create. If I hadn't stumbled across that Audrey Hepburn poster design, I have no idea what my poster would have turned out like. That just proves how important research is at the early stages is and how much a good piece of research can inform your final artwork. To be fair, once I did find that poster, it was a case of finding a way to keep the influence of that poster and also finding a way to make my own thing. I am really pleased with the final artwork of this poster design and I do think that it is one of my most successful poster designs so far in my career as it embodies the era that I am trying to base the poster on and each design choice as well as the artwork has turned out really nicely.


Just as I have done with the Riverdale and Chilling Adventures of Sabrina series, I wanted my Katy Keene series to have a smaller design that would suit a postcard using the smaller supporting artwork. I used all three of the supporting artworks to create a high-fashion vintage postcard design. I came across alot of vintage illustrations that look a bit like this, a fashionable product with a quote alongside it. To keep the postcard linked to the world of Katy Keene, I kept the New York cityscape illustration and watercolour background on the postcard. I also obviously added the name in the corner so there is that direct link. Then I added a quote that was featured in the trailer and seemed like it would be one of those quotes that is important throughout the theme of the show. As discussed in previous posts about this project, the show was not actually released yet when I was creating this project, so I just had one 3 minute long trailer and a couple of promotion photos to base a whole project on. The quote 'You don't have to be rich to be stylish' is a quote that opens up the beginning of the trailer and was something that helped drive Katy Keene's passion for fashion through her developing career. Quotes are something that I have used within a few of the other postcards in the ArchieVerse Collection, so that works nicely. The quote just uses the same font and colours from the Katy Keene poster as a way to keep directly linked and on brand.

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