She Loves Me sean puzzo's senior exhibit

Welcome to my senior exhibit and Maraczek’s Parfumerie. My senior exhibit is a labor of love to my work and experience in graphic design, fine arts, and theatre. Each of these artistic pursuits have had a profound impact on my time here at Caldwell and the larger college experience.

Theatre has been a large part of my life since I was a young child. Although I was an actor, I was always fascinated with the ways scenery/sets, props, etc came together and added to the body and life of a production. In my senior year of high school, for a myriad of reasons, I wasn’t able to be on stage, so I joined the technical crew. It was one of the best decisions of my life. I learned so much from our Technical Director, Steven Scwheer, who has and continues to be a mentor and inspiration. Without his teaching, the store you see before you would not be a reality. Since then I have worked on countless productions with him and others and have had the opportunity to design several sets as well. In thinking about my senior show I wanted to do something that explored this part of my life and my abilities, but I wasn’t sure what I could do.

Last fall I wrote my senior thesis, “Kerning the Gap,” which explored the history of women in the field of graphic design and the fight that they are on to reach equality with their male counterparts. Professor Sandecki exposed me to the work of Louise Fili and it seemed the stars would align as The School of Visual Art presented Fili with the 28th annual Masters Series Award and exhibition. This exhibit was the first comprehensive retrospective of Fili’s career and included her book covers, branding, food packaging, and restaurant design work. What was most unique about this exhibit was the brilliant exhibition design. Fili worked with Kevin O’Callaghan, fellow SVA faculty member created immersive and interactive environments that showcased her branding, packaging, and books as they were intended to be viewed and used, not flat on the walls of a gallery. I was immediately entranced by the concept and began to think of ways that I could implement this into my senior exhibit. Like myself, Louise Fili is interested in the Art Deco and Art Nouveau designs that were coming out of Europe in the 1920s, 30s, and 40s and you can see the great influence in her work.

And then one day it clicked, I saw an advertisement for the release of the DVD Recording of the Broadway musical, “She Loves Me” which was revived on Broadway in 2016. The majority of the action of the show takes place in Maraczek’s Parfumerie, a small perfume store in 1930s Budapest. Perhaps I could build the store to showcase of 1920s and 30s designs on perfume bottles? What stands in front of you know is the seeds of that idea. I also explored the ways in which the senses can enhance design. Sight was an obvious one, but how could I use smell, sound, and touch to elevate the work. Maraczek’s has a hint of perfume in the air. If one listens closely they can hear 1930s music playing softly in the background. And finally, by all means fell free to walk around the store and pick up the perfumes you see and check them out

In the second gallery one can see the though process I went through in creating Maraczek’s. On the center wall one can see the various concepts I came up with the shows visual design and the final artwork for the “new” production of She Loves Me arriving on the Great White Way in December of 2017, the perfect gift for the holidays. Finally, take a look at some items that would be on sale at the theatre!

Enjoy the show!

Louise Fili's Influence

Louise FIli began her career at Herb Lubalin where she was a senior designer. In 1978 she moved on to Pantheon books where she designed over 2000 book covers and drastically changed the publishing industry by “rejecting the shiny finishes and garish foil-stamping that served as a standard packaging for mass market books” for “matte, laminated coatings combining historical type with modern color palettes and compositions,” Her radical designs paved way for a more flexible approach to book cover and jacket design in the the industry. Fili’s design is often inspired by Italian culture, especially the European designs of the 1930s whose influence can be seen throughout the body of her work. She bills herself and her studio today as “[a] studio that offers unique and elegant solutions to all things related to food, books, and culture, including brand development for restaurants and specialty food packaging,” In a recent video produced by SVA on her latest SVA Subway poster she said:

“When I started out as a designer I came to New York - I was right out of school and I looked for female role models and there were none. It was unfortunate, but that’s when I made a vow to myself that one day I would try to mentor as many female students and designers as possible. Which is what I’ve been doing and when I opened my studio 27 years ago I decided to name the studio, Louise Fili Ltd. because I really wanted to send a clear message and that was ‘If you have a problem with me being female, then I have a problem with you as a client,”

The School of Visual Art presented Fili, an SVA faculty member, with the 28th annual Masters Series Award and exhibition (October-December 2016). This exhibit is the first comprehensive retrospective of Fili’s career and included her book covers, branding, food packaging, and restaurant design work. What is most unique about this exhibit is the brilliant exhibition design. Fili worked with Kevin O’Callaghan, fellow SVA faculty member created immersive and interactive environments that showcase her branding, packaging, and books as they were intended to be viewed, not on the walls of a gallery. Photographs of this installation/exhibit can been seen below.

Louise Fili is the master of rebranding a company to return to it’s roots. Her branding, package, logo, and typface design all played a large role in the creation of the labels and artwork.

"She Loves Me"

She Loves Me is a musical with a book by Joe Masteroff, lyrics by Sheldon Harnick, and music by Jerry Bock.

The musical is an adaptation of the play Parfumerie by Hungarian playwright Miklós László. It is the third adaptation of the story following the 1940 film The Shop Around the Corner and the 1949 Judy Garland-Van Johnson musical version In the Good Old Summertime. Jerry Bock wrote the score for The Shop Around the Corner. The story resurfaced with the 1998 film You’ve Got Mail.

She Loves Me follows Georg and Amalia, two parfumerie clerks who aren’t quite the best of friends. Constantly bumping heads while on the job, the sparring coworkers can’t seem to find common ground. But little do they know, the anonymous romantic pen pals they have both been falling for happen to be each other! Will love continue to blossom once their identities are finally revealed?

First seen on Broadway in 1963, She Loves Me was lost to generations of theatregoers until Roundabout Theatre Company’s 1993 Broadway revival. The critically acclaimed production was nominated for nine Tony Awards, including Best Revival of a Musical, and won the 1994 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Musical Revival. She Loves Me launched Roundabout’s Musical Theatre program, leading to celebrated productions such as Cabaret, 1776, Nine, Assassins, The Pajama Game, Sunday in the Park with George and the current 2011 Tony Award-winning revival of Anything Goes. She Loves Me was revived again on Broadway in 2016, and the production became the first Broadway show ever to be live-streamed.

She Loves Me has often been called a “jewel box” musical or “the best musical you’ve never heard of.” It had become a cult classic until it’s recent revival, since closing in June 2016 over 200 amateur productions have opened. Sheldon Bock wrote “She Loves Me tells three love stories, my research consisted of recalling the various kinds of relationships I’ve experienced: what it feels like to be in love, the fear of rejection, experiencing infidelity, et al. In short, my research was to try to relive the feelings I’ve experienced as an emotional human being.”

Maraczek's Parfumerie

The majority of the action in She Loves Me takes place in Maraczek's Parfumerie where Georg and Amalia are store clerks. My goal was to create a immersive environment that viewers could step into the 1930s world.

Reference Images for She Loves Me
The first step was sketching up a floor plan for Maraczek's
Next was making CAD Drawings and working on Dimensions
Finally, I made a small 1:2 Scale Model to get a feel of the space, size, etc.
Maraczek's in Progres
Maraczek's Visual Identity

The next step was to create a visual identity for Maraczek's Parfumerie. I sketched out various concepts, but wanted something that elegant and refined.

Sketches
Vectorized Logos
Final Logo
There new stock in at Maraczek's!

Now came the fun part...designing the labels! While designing these labels I had to keep a few things in mind.

  • Limitation of Printing in the 20s, 30s, 40s - I had to make sure that I only used spot colors, I couldn't use gradients or highly vectorized graphics. The labels would have been made using paste up techniques.
  • Font/Type Choices - Each font used on these bottles is from of based on a font that would be available during that time period. It wouldn't make sense to use Comic Sans since it wasn't designed until 1994 (Let's be honest, who's use Comic Sans anyways)
  • Shape/Contour of bottle
Maraczek's Parfumerie is Open for Business!
Maraczek's Parfumerie is Open for Business!
Maraczek's Parfumerie is Open for Business!
Maraczek's Parfumerie is Open for Business!
She Loves Me Artwork

The final part of my project was creating new artwork for an upcoming production of She Loves Me. I begun by sketching out my concepts and doing type tests which you see below.

The next step was to take the concepts that I liked and begin to work in graphic elements into the compositions. Always keeping in mind that for a logo to truly work it must first work in black and white for it to then work with color.

Next was digitizing the concepts that I had come up with!

Digital Concepts
Final Poster

I really enjoyed the life and energy that I felt these posters give off. The musical is about love which is showcased in the heart. The love comes from Georg and Amalia's interactions at Maraczek's Parfumerie so I though it best to have the heart emerging from the perfume bottles. Producers are always looking for new ways to shake their advertisements up so I worked on the concept of a poster series in which the ads would all feature one background color, the same pattern, the same logo, and a different perfume bottle. The pattern in the background is an ice cream cone. Musical theatre lovers and those who know the show will know it is an homage to one of the most well known songs in the show, "Vanilla Ice Cream" which is sung by Amalia after George brings as sick Amalia ice cream to cheer her up.

Merchandise

T-Shirts, and CDS, and Buttons, and Magnets, and Postcards, and more!

She Loves Me CD Case
Small (1.25in) and Large (2.25) in Buttons

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