Every other year at Montalvo Arts Center, a hallmark event was held: a black tie gala with a fundraising goal of at least $500,000. I had the pleasure of being involved in supporting the execution of this event in different ways, but one of the most fundamental was being asked to develop the branding identity for the event. In 2018, I was especially excited: the gala planning committee had settled on a Moulin Rouge theme. I developed the name for the evening -- Moulin Montalvo: A Gala Night in Montmartre -- and got to work trying to come up with the imagery.
With a theme as multilayered as Moulin Rouge, there are a number of directions that you can go. The planning committee told me that I had carte blanche, so where I went first was to imagery from the film.
But when I presented this design to the committee, their response was mixed. They liked the colors, especially the gold, but they were concerned that the use of so much dark blue and sparkly lights made the branding too reminiscent of the upcoming Bruce Munro: Stories in Light exhibition. So I had to come up with something else.
I still thought that the windmill was iconic, so I tried a few treatments using the contemporary Moulin Rouge. I also wrote some descriptive copy.
The committee again wasn't thrilled. They were concerned that this imagery wasn't sufficiently festive.
Then good luck struck!