A designer likes to be noticed. Its gratifying to do work that calls attention to yourself. Its one of the ways that we get more work —often more of the kind of work we want to get. I'm that way. I'm also the kind of designer that feels like the solution should come from the problem —and when you've been handed a piece of (vintage!) artwork by the great Jacques Kaperlik, try not to step all over the thing. That's where I found myself when asked to design for the Criterion Collection edition of George Steven's "Woman of the Year" (1942).
I'm not entirely sure of the original context of Mr. Kaperlik's wonderful illustration, whether it was for a magazine promotion or an unused piece of studio publicity but he thoughtfully left a generous bit of space in the upper right for a title treatment to live. All I knew is that I wanted to be as unobtrusive as possible and --whatever I made-- that it looked like it belonged. Ideally, it would look as if it had always been there.
Woman of the Year is itself of course, an award so a blue-ribbon medallion of sorts seemed like a natural. I played with a bunch of different shapes and one that radiated like a bright sun, which gave the composition added warmth, won the day. The fun/tricky part was selecting typefaces which suggested golden-age early 40s Hollywood and making the medal appear as if Mr. Kaperlik had something to do with it.
At the time I was solving for the cover image though it wasn't long after that it became apparent that the medallion and ribbon motif presented abundant visual opportunities throughout the package. So as it turns out, even when one designs to be unobtrusive and in the service of an illustration there are still opportunities to show off. Presented here along with the cover is the package interior, samples from the insert as well as samples of the DVD menus.