Offset the effect of (something) by countering it with something of equal force.

I have a very eclectic music palate. Sharing my music library feels like letting someone read my diary. Music is personal, and its importance and meaning is different for everyone. My objective with this project is to convey what music means to me through a gig poster. I am a ballad person. I like music that hurts, that makes me want to collapse inward but also is powerful enough to stand me back up again. 

Countervail Brainstorming


I started off with some brainstorming and sketches. I constructed my word map from the root words build, sorrow, and power. These words describe the overall feeling I wanted to communicate. From there I sketched a few of the ideas that were interesting to me. My initial plan centered around a falling bird to represent sorrow. I eventually abandoned this idea because I felt like it would have to be too sequenced to get my message across. I then transitioned to a heart because I felt like it told more of a story without too many unnecessary steps. 

Countervail Draft 1

Above is my first draft. I wanted to show the dripping blood as having an impact that doesn’t necessarily make sense, because that is how music is sometimes. Most of the feedback I received centered around making the actions in the poster more clear through the design. 

Countervail Draft 2

In this second draft I adjusted the placement of the heart and knife to bleed off the page. I re-positioned the knife to look like it is stabbing the heart instead of sitting behind it. I also added elements to make the water look more like water. I felt like this was important because red is not a color that people identify with water. I also focused on the impact of the drop of blood. Instead of showing the path of impact, I simplified to the initial splash. 

Countervail Gig Poster

Because this is intended to be a printed piece, I ran a press proof of it. The colors printed darker than I wanted, so I lightened the background quite a bit to add more contrast. I placed the text in a teeter-totter setup to balance the design, and I feel like the combined elements of this gig poster communicate my feelings about music and the mood of my synthesized band “Countervail.”



Special Accounts Representative at Artco
I work at Artco, a printing facility, in their Marketing Department. I primarily work with their special accounts, but also help with graphic design and prepress as needed. I graduated from BYU-Idaho in 2012 with a Bachelor of Science in Communications with an Advertising emphasis. Despite the extended winters, I love living in Idaho. I also love to travel and take vacations as often as possible.

Latest posts by gun07007 (see all)