Posters play a key role in the life of a show. Until word of mouth gets the upper hand, advertising campaigns need to trick customers into being willing to pay high ticket prices for something they may know little about.
“It’s definitely the first thing anyone sees on a show. And what I like the most is that it lingers when the show stops, ”says Verlizzo.
The latest set – in addition to a collection of his work, “Fraver By Design: 5 decades of theater poster art from Broadway, Off-Broadway and beyond” – shows Verlizzo’s range, which includes everything from woodcuts to elaborate typography to stylized illustrations.
“That was a criticism I always came across in school – ‘You have no style. You don’t have a style of your own, ”he says. “It’s like, ‘Well, I like all kinds of things. I like woodblock prints. I like illustration. I like graphic design.’ I don’t understand why I have to commit to a certain look or style. “
To make his posters, Verlizzo begins with a script and dreams up an image that can be reduced to the size of a stamp newspaper ad or blown onto an advertising billboard.
“I read it quickly first and try to get visual impressions of what I’m really reading it for,” he says. “Sometimes there is a subject that is evolving that I think I can express graphically.”