Aquí y allá
(Here and there)
Poster and title design for experimental documentary short.
Role: Graphic Designer, Title Designer
This project is part of an ongoing, multi year working relationship with filmmakers Lina Rodriguez and Brad Deane, and their production company, Rayon Verde. Jump to the bottom to explore other projects from this collaboration.
In June 2019 I was began working with director Lina Rodriguez on her new film, Aquí y allá.
The film is a short, non-traditional documentary about the house where her father grew up, located just outside of Bogotá, Colombia.
One of the great human questions is whether spaces make people or people make spaces. This is what Lina Rodríguez wonders as she fixes a personal, experimental eye on an enormous house in Chipaque – a town about 14 kilometers from Bogotá – which her grandparents bought in 1960. [...] Flitting between the past and present, photographs and vivid recollections, Aquí y allá seeks to immortalize a sanctuary that no longer exists."
— Mar del Plata Film Festival
I a changed from our past collaborations, we started with the film's title design. Aquí y allá features a number of inter-titles which act as the filmmaker's "voice" in the film — in the first half, essentially narrating, and in the second, questioning her father and his siblings.
We decided the titles would work most effectively with little to no embellishment. Where texture had been crucial to Ante mis ojos, I felt it was important for the textual interventions in Aquí y allá to stand outside of the footage somewhat, and set them against a soft, solid black.
Originally, I wanted to use a typeface that was contemporaneous with many of the stories told in the film. So I tried a number of fonts that were in wide use in the 1950s or 1960s, like Optima, Akzidenz-Grotesk, and Venus. My hope was to use something that wasn't originally designed for a screen, though after trying a few versions, we ended up using "Oregon LDO" a 21st century Optima clone with slightly thicker stems on the letters.
As it has been on each previous collaboration the journey from concept to completion on Aquí y allá's poster was a long one. Along the way I developed countless concepts before we found one that fit the film.
After watching an early edit, though before discussing the film with Rodriguez, I created a batch of concepts that sought to give as much context for the film on its poster as possible (most of these versions included lengthy synopsis). Though the director liked the idea in theory, she (rightly) thought that it was inappropriate for a film that was as much about time, space and photography as Aquí y allá.
Each subsequent concept played with the idea of juxtaposing two images from the film, sometimes as two images adjoining one another, sometimes overlapping with one another, and as we worked our way toward the final concept, both adding and overlapping.
Along the way there were a number of ideas we liked, but abandoned for one reason or another. One in particular — a modern day photo of her father with a coffee grinder, set against another image of that same grinder in an empty — was something we both loved and almost chose. However, after a lengthy conversation we convinced ourselves one another it was a little too spectral for this film.
The final poster combined a close crop of her father in profile overlapping with the remains of the family house.
This poster managed to literalise the film by combining people, a physical space, and the suggestion of fading memory — plus the way her father's shoulder suggests a continuation of the landscape was one of those design accidents you simply do not ignore.