My husband is a HUGE fan of the West Wing. So for his birthday I decided to make a couple of large West Wing themed posters that featured his favorite episodes. Below is the poster I created for Two Cathedrals, the season finale for season 2 of the show.
Perhaps one of the show’s most well regarded episodes, the Two Cathedrals is also the very first episode I happened to watch back in the days when I had time to channel surf. When my husband came home, I told him we had to start watching this show — and a superfan was born.
The Design Process
After doing some initial sketches, I decided that I wanted to use the script from the episode to create the background for the big cathedral with a quote from a monologue Bartlett does in the cathedral.
The script rains down from the top of the poster, like the chaotic rain and weather featured in the episode. The process for aligning and coloring this text was done in InDesign and was probably the most time consuming part of the project. It took me several tries to get the text to appear the way I wanted and I had to tweak the wrap on the cathedral and the tree a couple different times. Once I had the basic text flow, I created character styles for the different colors.
The outline of the national cathedral with President Bartlett shadowed within is a visual nod to the heart of the episode, as President Bartlett struggles to deal with the loss of his secretary, Mrs. Landingham (who was much more than his secretary) and his decision on whether or not to run for a second term.
My Favorite Part
My favorite part of the project was creating the text written on the cathedral - an excerpt of Bartlett’s angry, grief-filled monologue in the cathedral. In Illustrator I used an envelope warp to shift the hand-drawn font to the desired placement.
I spent 40+ hours on this poster from my early sketches to the final result pictured. I’d always wanted to do a typographic poster so this was a really fun experiment. Beloved Husband loved it!