Illustrating Forecastle

Robby Davis, an interactive designer at Forest Giant, is well known for his work with Against the Grain, but did you know he brought his unique style to this year’s Forecastle Festival? We were able to snag a few minutes of his time to learn more about his contribution to one of Louisville’s greatest events.

Could you start by explaining what you designed for Forecastle?

I was approached by the Forecastle team to create original artwork and illustrations to accompany their 2018 rebranding efforts. The goal was to uniquely identify the event as “Louisville” and provide some edginess to set Forecastle apart from its competition. The outcome was an underwater, river-themed lineup poster that included many Louisville & Kentucky themed elements.

The poster needed to adapt to many sizes, so it was designed to have a static header and footer, but with modular illustrations to make up the sides. The side illustrations could be reconfigured to work for the varying aspect ratios. In addition to the lineup poster, I also created four spot illustrations to be used for promotion, merch and other festival related materials.

Is this your first time designing for a music festival?

Yep! Although, I did some fun editorial work for a Bonnaroo piece that ran in a Nashville publication. That project included an illustrated Bonnaroo Bingo game!

Where do you start when designing for something as big, fun, and bright as Forecastle?

I try to understand the scope and how success will be measured up front (by the client and for myself). Then, a more formal plan gets documented as phases. This particular project had a four week timeline, so I broke it up into four, week long sprints. Each sprint ended with a milestone and a deliverable. Quick feedback loops and communication was key to stay on track, but we did it!

Were there any big challenges or roadblocks?

No roadblocks really. The biggest challenge was probably the timeline since projects like these are all nights and weekends for me.

Who are you excited to see this weekend?

I’m just excited to go! But I am looking forward to seeing Margo Price, Michael Cleveland, Jason Isbell, Teddy Abrams and Modest Mouse.

Check out more of Robby’s work and the artist himself around the festival this weekend. We can’t wait to see what Forecastle has in store for us this year!

Colin O'Daniel
Sales + Marketing Intern