For centre ballet


Poster, Tickets & Marketing

A full scale illustration project with deliverables that included an event poster, tickets, marketing cards, and social media posts.

The Project

The Idea

Centre Ballet was looking for a poster design for their upcoming production of Coppelia. I was tasked with the idea to create a poster that incorporated the main characters (Dr. Coppelius, Coppelia, Franz, and Swanhilda) along with the featured dolls in the ballet. The poster also needed to accomodate the production details as well.

I dove into the research, watching two productions of Coppelia and reading up on the background of the story. I discovered it was a comedy and was drawn to creating an illustration that was playful. Much of my initial sketches focused on more playful lettering.

It wasn’t until later that they decided to use the assets from the poster in also the maketing cards, the playbill, tickets, and social media templates.

2022 | 2023

The Details

Size | Color | Tools

Centre Ballet requested the poster be in 12×18 format for use in the windows of businesses and have a 24×36 for larger uses and to have available for sale at the production. Later when we added marketing cards, those were in 5×7 landscape format and the tickets were 2×7. The playbill was in electronic format.

I knew this poster could feel crowded and possibly disjointed with so many characters in it. So I began with a very limited color palette to keep it more simple and cohesive across all the illustrated characters. I also kept in mind the purpose of the main illustration feature: a poster that would hang in the windows of local businesses. I wanted to make sure it grabbed people’s attention so red became an instant choice because most people see this color first. The main title would be in this color and in order to give the poster more depth I decided on a cool blue background that would help the main elements in warmer colors stand out. To finish out the color palette, I wanted to keep with colors that were warm but lent a bit of playfulness to the illustration. Typically I work in more muted shades and this work reflects the toned down nature of my style which also helped to keep the poster more cohesive.

With this in mind I started collecting photos of dancers, actors, and costumes and created a moodboard.

coppelia poster design

The Process


Step one

Step 1: Ideation | Thumbnails

These are some of the thumbnails I played around with. Testing ideas of using the dolls in the poster, but also considering leaving them out in case it felt crowded. This led to a couple of larger sketches that I would work from.

20230516_104235 (2)


Step two

Step 2: Sketches

Once I have a sketch I like (this may take a few more of big changes to get me where I want to be), I begin tweaking that sketch by overlaying tracing paper or using a light table and resketching the piece. I keep tweaking and at times changing things up by making the lettering thicker or taller, or slanting it. I keep working sketches until I have something I love. Usually I get through about 10 sketches, then I create the final sketch.

In this case, I showed Centre Ballet 2 sketches and after they chose a sketch I began to work on the digital illustration. I created two lettering styles: a ribbon style and a more playful block style.


Step three

Step 3: Digitize

After scanning in the final sketch I get to work in Adobe Illustrator, using the pen tool to create the letter shapes and illustration pieces. Here, I print out what I have and check for necessary changes. I adjust in Illustrator and print again. I use this process until I like how the letter shapes and illustration look.

As the illustration developed I felt the ribbon lettering worked with the design better and created a sense of movement, drawing attention to the production details as well. It became the focal point of the design.

Once I have the base down, I begin working through the detail using a number of tools in Illustrator depending on the need. Here I’ll print again and make necessary changes. After I have the details done, I work on color applications.

Here, I chose 2 color ways to work on and printed both. I still determined that the use of red was better functionally even though the other colorway was more dramatic.

With the choice made, it’s off to the final steps in Photoshop where I add highlights, shadows, and texture.


Step Four

Step 4: Finalize

Most of my letting art in this project makes it’s way to Photoshop. In photoshop I copy of layers and begin adding fine detail to the lettering and illustration. Usually this means light, shadow, textures, line work, and any effects like noise layers, drop shadows or bevels that I didn’t do in Illustrator. From here I take it to a couple different screens and print it off again. If I like how things look I move to creating mockups and the actual use items like the calendar.

Image Gallery | Final Deliverables


Poster Design
Poster Design
Marketing Card
Marketing Card
Marketing Card
Centre Ballet Presents(8)
Ticket Back
Ticket Front
Social Media
Social Media

Mary Kathleen Scott

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