The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas - Imperial College Operatic Society, 2001

The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas

For its 2001, in-house London show, ICOS asked for a saucy poster, but one which would not offend the many women and ethnic and religious groups at Imperial College.

There was a very limited publicity budget, and it was deemed necessary to create a poster which could be reproduced reasonably well on standard monochrome photocopiers or laser printers, which of course meant that the image could only employ white, black, and different shades of grey.

Creating the Poster

Having toyed briefly with the idea of getting one of the female cast members to sit for a nude photo shoot, in order to get the raw material for the poster, it was decided that it would be quicker, and less prone to misunderstanding, to try to source a "naughty picture" on-line. A quick Google resulted in a veritable flood of dodgy websites, and from one well-known one, a simple, low-resolution "sample" image was chosen (shown here with discreet cut-outs).

Page Three Girl

As can be seen, the quality of the downloaded image was very poor, a low-resolution, over-compressed and highly pixelated JPG file.

Dirty Image

The off-white background was masked out, then changed to black, and the image converted to greyscale. Because the idea was to create a poster, not a piece of pornography, the nude was cropped between the chin and hands, and processed in Photoshop with several tools both to smooth out the pixelation effects, and to make the form more abstract, including "paint daubs", "dry brush" and "dust & scratches" (again, shown here tastefully censored).

Stylised Greyscale

The image was imported into CorelDRAW, and the lettering was added, carefully covering up any "naughty bits". The first version of the poster did not include the black rectangle behind the word, "whorehouse", but this was considered too risqué for the sensitive souls at Imperial, and despite the fact that there was to be real, live nudity in the show itself, the black mask was added to give the anonymous, stylised model some additional privacy.

Click on the links below to find out about some other poster designs: