Behind the Poster: ‘Chaplin’By ERIK PIEPENBURG
The illustrator Alex Trochut remembers watching Charlie Chaplin films as a child in Barcelona. He didn’t know much about Chaplin’s life and work. He’s not sure if the title cards in Chaplin’s silent films were in English or Spanish. But he remembers the laughter.
“I think I saw ‘The Great Dictator’ and maybe ‘City Lights’ and ‘Modern Times,” said Mr. Trochut, who still lives in Barcelona. “I remember in school we watched it when I was, like, 10. The humor is timeless.”
Mr. Trochut, 31, used those memories as inspiration for illustrating the poster for the coming Broadway musical “Chaplin,” about the life of the silent-film great. Designed by the Broadway advertising firm Serino Coyne, the poster features two portraits that will be familiar to Chaplin fans. At the top is a large profile featuring Chaplin with his signature mustache and hat. Below stands Chaplin’s Little Tramp character with a cane.
Joe Alesi, the executive creative director of Serino Coyne, said he came across Mr. Trochut’s work through Debut Art, a company that represents illustrators around the world. He said it was to Mr. Trochut’s advantage that he didn’t live in New York and wasn’t familiar with the Broadway world.
“My job is to get somebody fresh to provide a look for the show that feels like it fits,” Mr. Alesi said. “It’s a story about Chaplin, and you have to make sure people understand it’s not a one-man show. At the same time there’s a great deal of storytelling. We wanted someone who had a graphic style that could produce a lasting icon for the show. He nailed all of those things for us.”