Each year, the University of North Carolina hosts Writers’ Week, five days of workshops, panels, and readings where writers of local and national interest are invited to share their knowledge and work to students and Wilmington at large.
The Publishing Laboratory creates promotional materials including posters, the brochure, and (drum roll) commemorative broadsides! Heaps of them. Each writer provides an excerpt of their work and the Pub Lab’s six TAs then create a handheld design for audience members to take home after the nightly reading. Each broadside is a limited edition of forty prints that we produce right here in the lab.
Here’s what the process for creating a broadside looks like:
Getting acquainted with the work is key if we want to do it justice aesthetically. We read it many times. We brainstorm various adjectives, feelings, colors, and ideas that we associate with the work’s tone, language, form, mood etc.
We rummage through images in our brains, get inspired during walks, or while making coffee.
We get an idea! To make this idea perfect, we will need to make a dirty lip. We cover one of our lips with coffee (coffee looks more like dirt than dirt does, folks).
We take photos.
We import the photographs into Photoshop and NEVER forget to change the image mode to CMYK, to make sure the photo is saved at 300 dpi at the appropriate size, and to save the photograph as a tif.
We get feedback. We try again. We hone. We narrow down our ideas. We fail some more. We will never get this broadside right.
We eventually succeed. We get the broadside right!
We cut up.
We tell ourselves it’s time, and let our broadsides out into the world, into the happy hands of audience members. Here’s one of our favorites.
–Jane Molinary, Pub Lab TA