Second Thursday poster for Crystal Lake, ILThe merchants of downtown Crystal Lake have been working on a promotion for some time now called Second Thursday. On the second Thursday of every month, the participating stores stay open late and make special offers or discounts available to their nighthawk patrons.

Originally I had been asked to create a new poster every month for the merchants to display, but the logistics of that turned out to be unwieldy for the merchants. I understand that – keeping things simple is always a better choice, in my opinion.

At any rate, the final decision was to create a single oversized poster that could be used for the entire year. The image to the left was our final decision – the focal point being an unusual clock which stands at the heart of downtown. I vectorized the image with the invaluable help of VectorMagic, then added the tree roots below to reinforce the sense of deep belonging and community which exemplifies so many of our stores.

Originally, the images were far too centered. Pushing things around created the kind of tension that I think is crucial to grabbing and keeping people’s attention.

The roots alone seemed a bit sparse, so I reflected the clock from the base to draw the eye all the way down toward the bottom of the page. The light blue curve was added both to balance the clock proper and to direct the eye toward the 2nd Thursday logo – done in bright red to pop from the midnight hues of the poster itself.

We decided to keep the information spare, both to increase the longevity of the poster’s usefulness and to draw the curious into a conversation with the merchants and storekeepers. We believe this will increase the sense of community, and create the impression of a “secret club” of those in the know. I even had the idea of printing up buttons for people’s jackets or lapels bearing the logo – but I think we’re going to wait to see how well the promotion goes over for a few months first.

Right now, the poster is legal-pad sized. Everyone seems to feel this will enable the merchants to post the image somewhere prominent without overwhelming the other material they need to present to their customers.

Overall, I’m pleased with it. As always, feel free to let me know what you think.