50 YEARS / 50 FACTS POSTER
OCTOBER 28, 2015 marks the 50th anniversary of the “topping out” of the Gateway Arch. On a sunny fall day in 1965 a custom-built climbing derrick placed a final 10-ton triangle of stainless steel at the top of this huge, shining arch. The St. Louis Metropolitan Fire Department had to hose down the unlikely structure with cool water—it had expanded five inches in the sun’s heat and the last piece wouldn’t fit, apparently confirming many skeptics’ warnings that architect Eero Saarinen’s most famous project was doomed to fail. But, with cold water coaxing the hot steel to relax, and 450 tons of hydraulic pressure convincing the north and the south legs to part, three decades of competition, controversy, and construction met 630 feet above the Mississippi River and became the incredible, fantastic, majestic Gateway Arch. This is its story.
In addition to the poster itself, we (Tremendousness) created a series of blog posts following course of the the project: How do you go from idea to inventory? From pencil sketch to printed poster? From architecture to artwork? Here’s how: From start to finish—designing a poster to celebrate The Gateway Arch’s 50th birthday.
Let’s celebrate the Arch’s 50th birthday with a poster.
Part 1: The research
In many ways, this is the most difficult part of a project.
Part II: The concept
You’ve got to capture a variety of rough ideas, iterate quickly, and share them with others.
Part III: The blueprint
So what’s a blueprint? It’s basically the design without the design.
Part IV: The illustration
This is where a project comes to life—where the content and layout meet color, style, and typography.
Part V: The flightcheck
Mandatory final stuff: QA, file prep, proofing, &c.
Bonus: Post Mortem
It’s always smart to make an honest assessment of how a project went. (TK)
Buy the poster
Yep, it’s now available for sale in the Tremendousness Store.
I did the research, writing, concept, and blueprint. Chris Roettger, my favorite illustrator in the whole world, drew everything. As usual, she did an amazing job—both transforming my sketched concepts into an an exciting set of visuals and developing a style that is both thoroughly modern yet hints at mid-century. Stolze Printing printed it.
I am extremely proud of this project and if you like it too, you can order your very own 24×36″ poster. Makes a great gift blah blah blah :-)