The Making of the Poster, part 2

Milli Vanilli, Homer & Marge, Rhett & Scarlett

One of the issues in creating the poster was whether or not the names I included were legal to use. I created a comp of the poster, and then showed it to a colleague of mine who specializes in copyright law. I was informed that many of my initial pairings would probably infringe copyrights. Combinations that had to be eliminated were:

I was able to recycle a couple of the designs for use in the current poster: Sam & Frodo became Tom & Huck, while Dick & Jane became Jack & Jill. I felt quite lucky to find another combination with one name that ends in “K” and another that begins with “J.”

As I continued to brainstorm, I had what I thought was a stroke of genius: Milli Vanilli. You remember the duo from the ’80s that won a Grammy Award, but then it was discovered that Fab Morvan and Rob Pilatus had not sung any of the songs on the album.

The concept was to create an interesting design with some typefaces that look like the real deal, but were actually imposters. I used Arial (which is frequently mistaken for Helvetica) and Book Antiqua which is obviously “inspired” (I am trying to be kind) by Hermann Zapf’s Palatino. As I prepared the poster to be letterpressed, my colleague checked the copyright for Milli Vanilli and found that it was still held by Frank Farian, the mastermind behind the duo. I tried to contact him via email with no reply. That design lays by the wayside, with King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette filling the void. Blame it on the rain…

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