I’m finally back home and am still coming down from my post-concert high. Seeing B.A.P in Melbourne for the second time was amazing – but this time was more special because of my personal involvement in one of the fan projects.
This wasn’t my first banner rodeo – I also designed and organised banners for BTS last year, so this time around it was a lot easier (though no less stressful).
I thought I’d write up a mini post about the design of the banners – as I had a lot of fun making them.
Initially they weren’t actually going to be a fan project – the main campaign was concentrating on finger-lights and people were just going to design and print their own. However I put out a few feelers to my contacts in the trade print industry (working as a graphic designer and at a large printing company comes in handy…) and managed to secure the print deal of a lifetime by calling in a lot of favours. I conned my 2 BFF’s into helping me fund banners for Melbourne and reached out to the BAP Facebook community in Australia to help fund for Sydney as I couldn’t afford both and was only attending Melbourne. Thanks to two generous donors we had a go ahead for Sydney as well and I had 3 days (over the Easter Break OMG) to design, set-up, proof and finalise the banners in order to make the deadline for the print run. This was the work of 2 all nighters and I still see a few small mistakes here and there that will no doubt bug me forever because I didn’t have time to fix them – but overall I think they turned out GREAT!
The song that had been chosen for the banners event was ‘With You’. This song is from their First Sensibility album. Usually I would tie the design of the banners to the album – however First Sensibility has dark colours (mostly black and grey) and a lot of my test designs were looking very similar to the banner for BTS.
So I changed my mind and decided to go with a ‘Carnival’ theme instead – which was their most recent single. Lots of bright colours!!
I downloaded a lot of pics in high-res of the album cover and broke it down into a number of elements:
- Blue sky and clouds
- Hot Air Balloons
- Coloured Balloons
And I built my front side design from that! Images were sourced from Google and either re-drawn or heavily modified for use as I needed to colour match as close as possible to the album cover.
I composited several pictures of sky and clouds, many different hot air balloons, created a whole lot of pastel balloons from photo sources that I then selectively stamped with the BAP Matoki logo and overlaid some confetti over everything as the base image.
I also had to track down the font used for the album to make up the message – after so many years as a designer I have this process down pat! It was a bit hard to find the exact match as the BAP album has modified the original font’s A, as well as applied some visual trickery. The pink lettering is “CC Elephantman Tall” (a licensed font).
As with the lettering for Carnival – the first and last letters are taller and the wording is also slightly tilted with a perspective shift and slight curve. The banner’s text effect isn’t as exaggerated as the album’s, as it became a little bit unreadable when the effect was applied to the whole phrase (as opposed to a single word) so I dialled it back a bit.I added the stars to the ‘O’s as well to recall the A’s in Carnival.
The BAP logo I actually painstakingly re-drew as a vector so it would print sharply! Originally it was on the bottom – like the album, but visually it worked better at the top.
The other fonts used are ‘Pea Makana‘ for the cities and BABY Australia message – this is a font dupe for the AWAKE!! lettering used in the promotional posters for the tour, as I couldn’t match it exactly. It’s a hand-drawn font with a slight graffiti feel.
The Korean message is in HeadLineA (a default mac font which matched stylistically).
All of the lettering has a white stroke (outline) like the album – it’s actually slightly thicker because it made it more readable. The banner isn’t as legible at a distance as the one for BTS – this is one of the disadvantages of using so many bright colours. The only option would have been to remove the balloons and confetti and I just didn’t like it as much – it was nice but it had less impact. In the end I made the call to compromise – the banner is more a souvenir for fans than it is a slogan.
The Designs for Melbourne and Sydney are slightly different as well! They use the same design elements, but are definitely individual. Melbourne’s banner has a small personal easter egg hidden on one of the balloons as my signature 🙂
“Forever With You’ and ‘언제까지나’ (until always) are lyrics from the song and a nice message for BAP as well.
The reverse side of the banner takes its design cues from the MV and promotions for the song ‘Feels So Good’ and the AWAKE Tour Poster.
The pink ‘Live on Earth’ lettering matches the tour poster and is ‘Amarillo USAF‘ a blocky font that has a military feel. The pink font used for BAP member names is ‘Angelface‘ and matches the ‘Feel So Good’ MV.
I created the background behind the picture of BAP by looking at screenshots from the MV – it’s based on the room that they dance in. I kind of went to town in Illustrator with my wacom tablet and ended up digitally painting it.
The image of BAP is a promotional image from ‘Feel So Good’. There were a lot of cute images to choose from, but I needed something with them in landscape format, preferably looking at the camera and well spread out which narrowed down the choices. The eagle-eyed will spot that it’s from their ‘Let’s Dance’ video with 1theK on YouTube. This image was cute and playful and everyone looked good!
The Mato images are re-drawn from photographs of their keychains and previous tour goods. I added them almost as an afterthought and nearly regretted it, as it took SO LONG to draw the pics – even from a reference photo…
As much as you want to add EVERYTHING – you do have to limit yourself to a few details about the members so that you don’t end up crowding the page. I tried a lot of visual trickery to keep the names in English and Hangul but it just wasn’t working – so in the end it was English only.
I added the dates of the concerts, instructions for the event as well as recycling and litter emblems to encourage people to dispose of unwanted banners properly (though I’d like to think that everyone kept them!)
After putting the design together I had to prepare the file for print. And before I knew it the hours were ticking down to the deadline – but I made it with a whole 3 to spare!
The banners came to me printed out on A3 sheets – 4 to a page and I guillotined them myself using a huge electronic cutter at my work when I had a chance to get down to our print finishing hub (rest assured it trimmed like 50 at a time and it wasn’t a ‘one powerball’ type situation). I posted off the Sydney banners and brought Melbourne’s over with me on the plane when I came.
It was actually a bit strange to be so organised. I had the banners here with me for a good 6 weeks before the show! But it did let me have time to help with the fundraising for the other projects. I made a lot of cute graphics for Facebook 😀
On the day of the concert Aimee and I stationed ourselves just outside the merchandise booth and handed out banners to everyone from about 10.30am. We also went up and down the queues once an hour. It was pretty cold and also raining – typical Melbourne!! But it was lovely to meet all the other die-hard fans who were there to line up early. A lot of people were very surprised that they were free!
We had VIP tickets and were there early enough that we could have held a spot in the queue and gone in with the first 120 or so people, but I knew that the doors would open an hour before the show and that a lot of people in Silver and the balcony seated sections wouldn’t arrive until later.
Aimee and Emily VERY generously volunteered to help me hand out banners until the bitter end. We each stood at a door and made sure that each and every fan had a banner. We handed out all 1125 banners – which included all of my extras and reserves.
A JK Entertainment representative also made sure that some banners were given to BAP and to the staff as well!
We went into VIP last – but even at the back we had a fabulous view – and a handy rail to lean against. It wasn’t as squishy as the previous concert and we could dance more – which I love to do.
The banner event went off flawlessly. They turned the house lights up and had a small ment (talk) beforehand. Himchan had injured himself and had an arm in a sling – he had aggravated an old injury and was a bit upset that he wasn’t able to continue properly with the show – but we all reassured him that it was OK.
When they started the song – we all held up our banners and waved them and sang along. It made me quite emotional to see the sea of them around and behind me and even happier to see the reaction of BAP themselves. They were a bit teary too! Himchan took photographs and the drummer also filmed it!! Haha! I can even see myself!
A big HUGE thank you to everyone who helped me with this event – especially Aimee and Emily who are by now very used to me volunteering them for things, but it’s seriously the best thing to have friends who share your passions and will support you.
And another thank you to the volunteers who handed out the banners in Sydney as well as the admins and members of the BAP Australia Facebook page.
I personally feel that banners are a wonderful souvenir for concerts – I have certainly kept all of the ones I received in Korea and they hold a lot of memories. They are something that benefits all of the fans who attend and they also enhance the concert for the artists who come to visit.