November 11th 2018 marks the centenary of the Armistice, which saw an end to the Great War. To commemorate the occasion the National Theatre is putting on a special production of Joan Littlewoods infamous ‘Oh What A Lovely War’, to be held on 11th November. To immortalize this occasion I have designed a limited edition theatre programme showcasing the play, it’s songs and chronologically presenting the vulgarity of war. I have also designed an invitation with commemorative envelopes and a set of screen printed WW1 style recruitment posters for general sale.
Iconic imagery of the time lead me to develop a running timeline which features songs from the play in the order that they are performed. I felt this would allow the audience to better understand the context of the play as they follow it on stage from the upbeat 1914 to the horrors of the Battle of the Somme in 1916. Each year of the timeline features a different colour beginning with a patriotic blue for 1914, while 1915 is mustard to represent the first use of mustard gas in the war. 1916 is khaki green for the soldiers uniforms representing how many lost their lives and 1917 which is often referred to as the year of the mud is brown. A warmer purple was used for 1918 to celebrate victory in Europe and the timeline ends with 1919 for which I chose a teal, as Britian was not as strong as joyous has they had been in 1914 with the patriotic colours. Images also are used to highlight key events of each year, with a text box explaining the significance of the image. These full page images were screen printed allowing for a higher quality finish and stronger colours in the final designs. The imagery throughout the programme was designed in a bitmap style to create a cohesive publication, reflecting the period in which the play is referencing and the poor quality of the images from the time. The main body of the book uses the colours red, white and black while Gothic 13 and Plantin feature throughout.
The posters were designed to reflect the patriotic recruitment style posters from 1914, again using a bitmap style. Both posters were screen printed to showcase the bold colours used, while this method of printing allowed me to develop one off designs through the water marks that appeared giving a nod to the period they were inspired by. The limited edition invite features a theatrical pop up of the plays name again in Gothic 13, using the colours of the main body of my book – red and white to create unity within my designs.