Safe Haven + Ringling Bros.: Letterpress Event Poster

This letterpress poster was created for a local fundraiser event benefiting Safe Haven Family Shelter based in Nashville, TN. The one-night-only exhibition event, created in partnership with Safe Haven, Allen Clark Photography, and Feld Entertainment (parent company of the Ringling Bros. And Barnum & Bailey Circus), focused on the cultural & historical appeal of the Circus as a quintessential piece of Americana, and worthy of consideration in the context of pure appreciation. The event also preceded the arrival of the circus in Nashville the following week, and press around the event also served the additional purpose, taking a cue from the early days of the circus, before the advent of mass media, when the “advance man” would arrive to town to promote the upcoming circus performances. The event was titled “Museum And Menagerie: A Circus Celebration from Past to Present,” a nod to the early days of P.T. Barnum’s “Museum, Menagerie, & Circus.” In addition to Allen Clark’s amazing photography of circus performers, the event featured a rare glimpse at antique circus treasures (on loan from the Ringling Museum’s collection), a silent auction, circus-themed appetizers & drinks, and live performances from acrobats, musicians, and even a fire-eater. Proceeds from the event supported Safe Haven Family Shelter – the only shelter-to-housing program of its kind in the Nashville area that accepts entire homeless families, and provides comprehensive services that empower them to achieve lasting self-sufficiency. This poster was offered to guests as a souvenir in exchange for donations at the event. In keeping with the event’s theme of bringing the history of the circus into modern contexts, we centered the poster’s design around a modern re-interpretation of the circus’ collective history, utilizing a combination of turn-of-the-century typography and silhouetted elements of circus performances, with a bright, cheerful color scheme. Local letterpress shop Kangaroo Press printed the posters. Along with the poster design, we designed advertisements & promotional materials for the event, and the event proposal presentation.

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