Here are a few of the key art concepts we developed for History Channel’s new adaptation of “Roots”. One thing to keep in mind regarding many of the key art concept sketches we do is that they can lead the actual production by upwards of a year or more. So very often we do not have decent photo reference or even knowledge of who the principle actors in these projects will ultimately be.
What made this project especially challenging was the specific concepts & direction the client was requesting to see were somewhat graphic images of slaves in abhorrent conditions abroad the slave ships on their way to America. While there is historical basis and significance for such imagery it was difficult to visualize using it as a marketing tool. So while we did our best to provide the client what they asked for we also did a number of additional concepts on our own for their consideration which we thought would be more effective ways to market the series. The following concepts were based on this initial request / creative direction.
The idea behind the following three concepts was to get away from the more graphic imagery the client was requesting and go for something much more graphic and symbolic. The goal was to create a campaign that might make the viewer take a second look or would catch your eye as you pass it on the street.