May 12, 2011 Comments Off on Benage!

I’m the weird designer type who obsesses over the menu design and the posters they hang on the walls in restaurants – this should come as no surprise. If you aren’t that type, next time you’re eating at Earl’s take a look around. You might find posters resembling the above; vintage, alcoholic and usually in Italian.

Mine is not Italian. In fact, most of them aren’t even real words. “Rejala” actually means “royal” in Ido, so it could be translated as “Royal Royale” which is just silly. Benage doesn’t exist at all, although I took “Benege” which means “Fine” and changed the middle vowel for flow. I like the improved ‘ah’ sound – really punches out the word better and sounds vaguely French. It doesn’t have any context in the poster, so it’s an exclamation that probably implies “Drink!” or “Enjoy!” or “Cheers!” or something.

I spend a lot of time making up words. It’s surprisingly hard, actually.

The lack of grid bothered me, since I observed that the real posters from the era past didn’t line anything up like I obsessively do. To make my name under the other text not justify to common lines really, really tweaked my grid OCD.  But! Authenticity, however fake, is what’s required here.

Looking at it now, I’m not sure I like the ‘o’ at the end of “drinkajo” – I think it could do without. Although, these fictional people probably thought the rhyming ends were clever for their slogan and chose that purposefully. That’s the other thing, when making pieces like this, I try to make the whole back story. Why are these lines here or there? Why would they, in the 20’s or whenever, probably pressed or hand painted, do certain things. I try to imagine who’s making the work in what kind of environment for what kind of purpose. I’m not sure if it helps or not, but I think it’s valuable insight at some level of artistic decision making.

So, that’s the verbose description of the piece. People keep asking for more behind-the-scenes (which I do enjoy of other creators as well) so I’m happy to oblige. I hope it’s helpful!


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