The New York Times by Erik Piepenburg
The Grinch is a cinch compared with Crumpet. That disgruntled Christmas elf is at the bitter heart of “The SantaLand Diaries,” a play, based on a David Sedaris essay, about an unemployed actor who takes a holiday job at Macy’s. The stage version, adapted by Joe Mantello, has been a hit at regional theaters since it premiered Off Broadway in 1996. But it presents a problem for theaters: How to design a welcoming poster that features a badly behaving elf without making the show look like a family-friendly show about Santa’s little helper?
Erik Piepenburg recently spoke with Clint Hansen and other designer illustrators who found compelling visual solutions for five productions across the country. This is just a brief excert.
Artist | CLINT HANSEN
Design Firm | Mitre Agency
Client | Paper Lantern Theater at Triad Stage, Greensboro, N.C.
“The medium is scratchboard. It’s a thin layer of black ink on top of a layer of very smooth chalk. You scrape away the black, and that creates a nice white line that resembles engraving or an old woodcut. It’s all black and white, and it’s all done by hand. I scanned the image into Illustrator. I manipulate it and give it the color. They wanted Christmas colors, but we muted them to add to the dark theme. Someone looking at it will understand: This guy doesn’t belong here.”
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