Design History of 500 Days of Summer
Welcome to #LhotkaPlacemat
! When homages or parodies are made, the original creators of iconic visuals and brands are rarely named. In this #LhotkaBreakfast
side series, I will do my best to highlight each brand’s history and honor the artists and designers who “set the table” for those who came after.
500 Days of Summer (2009) is a visually heavy film. In the movie, @hitrecordjoe
played a graphic designer who wanted to be an architect (Can I have his job, imaginary creative director from a 2009 movie?). So there are a lot of illustrations and other visuals throughout the film.
At various points, there are title sequences with basic typography listing the number of days of Summer. These are joined by pen and ink style illustrations (with watercolor inspired effects) which transition into the movie’s chapters. These sequences were produced by @imaginary_forces_.
It’s rare to get names connected to title sequences but we have the art director (Joan Lau), producer (Kathy Kelehan), designers (Joan Lau, Freda Lau), animators (Juan Monasterio, Bryant Little, James Choi), editors (Danielle White), inferno artists (Rod Basham, Nick Rubenstein), and coordinator (Heather Dennis).
In 2009, Andrew Percival was senior VP at Mojo agency which produced 500 Days of Summer’s poster. When Mojo closed its doors in 2012, Percival and the creative team formed Percival + Associates (P+A). Their campaigns include Hulu’s Handmaid’s Tale, Game of Thrones, American Horror Story, Watchmen, 300 and other familiar titles (including Milk (2008) which we’ve previous highlighted in LhotkaPlacemat).
On May 28, 2009, @washingtonpost
’s Monica Hesse wrote an article titled “The Movie Poster: Selling a big story in a mere heartbeat” interviewing a group of advertising and film experts about recent posters. In the article Percival said @foxsearchlight
, “suggested [they] have lots of pictures of [@zooeydeschanel
’s character] summer” and he “insisted it be 500 images exactly. You can count them.” As someone who has paid homage to this poster I can attest to there being a whole lot (and I simplified mine).