Designer Gopi Prasannaa creates posters of yesteryear Tamil superhits using retro colour palettes


In 1982, Arukkani, a village lady with a vibrant ribbon tied to the top of her plaited hair, charmed Tamil Nadu. Her endearing innocence, rustic methods of life and spirited efforts to suit into the town, made her one of essentially the most memorable film characters of the time.

Portrayed by actor Suhasini Maniratnam within the 1982 movie Gopurangal Saivathillai, Arukkani turned synonymous with the coming-of-age trope: that single plait curving upwards in the direction of the ribbon-clad finish has ever since been an iconic image; a defining issue of the film itself.

This isn’t the primary time a movie has been outlined by a single character, body or ingredient. If Gopurangal Saivathillai has Arukkani, Okay Balachander’s 1985 movie Sindhu Bhairavi, has a body wherein the string of a tambura snaps; the very tambura that symbolically brings the 2 protagonists (JKB and Sindhu) collectively. Such lone components, set in opposition to a world style like pop artwork, are what evoke a way of familiarity and nostalgia in designer and artist Gopi Prasannaa’s film posters.

His poster for Gopurangal Saivathillai, options Arukkani’s single plait set in opposition to a ribbon-like pop palette background, predominantly composed of reds, greens and purple.

The artist, who has been within the discipline of design for greater than 20 years, has labored on the posters of many notable mainstream films, together with Master, 96 and OK Kanmani. He is now engaged on a collection of retro film posters as half of his lockdown mission. Sadma, 16 Vayathinile, Mullum Malarum, Mouna Raagam, Antha 7 Naatkal are a couple of of the flicks that characteristic within the 10-part collection, aptly titled ‘Ninaivugalai Thedi’ (which roughly interprets to ‘chasing memories’).

Down reminiscence lane

“I was wrapping up close to 20 to 25 movies before the lockdown; running round the clock. I used to work for 18 to 20 hours a day. But, when the lockdown started, I was suddenly hit by a void,” says Gopi. This void made him revisit what he had been desirous to do for a very long time: create posters for movies of the late 1970s and early 1980s, that are near his coronary heart.

The poster of ‘Thillu Mullu’

These are films that Gopi had grown up watching and plenty of of them nonetheless stay favourites. In reality, he says Salangai Oli was the primary film he watched in a theatre. He was six years previous then. “The movie is about a talented dancer who never makes it in life. It portrays the journey of an artiste. And as an artist myself, the character of Balakrishnan resonates with me even today,” says Gopi.

The poster for Salangai Oli was the seed of your complete collection. With his signature, minimal type, the artist has depicted components that, at one look, converse volumes about every movie. For instance, his Sadma poster sports activities a easy, pen-sketch of a person kneeling by a railway line. The title of the film is written in free hand, mimicking the handwriting of Viji (performed by actor Sreedevi), but has traits of a kind that displays the time it was set in (1983).

The poster of ‘Sindhu Bhairavi’

Similarly, the poster for Raaja Paarvai has a backstory that Gopi holds expensive: “I watch Raja Paarvai at the very least twice a 12 months. It’s a journey again in time. I had accomplished one poster for the film, virtually eight years again. Kamal (Hassan) sir had seen it and informed me tales in regards to the film and the time.” This was a second value cherishing, he recollects. However, this poster isn’t half of the collection — however the expertise is one thing that impressed him to make many extra.

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Dotted in time

The colour palette, therapy and typography utilized in his posters are from the late 1970s to early 1980s. However, the categories used have been created by Gopi for this collection, impressed by design components he noticed round him. “There is this unexplored format that magazines of that period used. If you look at them closely, you will realise the pictures are heavily dotted. It is called the halftone pattern,” says Gopi, in reference to his poster of Antha 7 Naatkal.

Gopi Prasanna

“While making posters, the artists need to think beyond what they want. It all depends on how the audience can connect,” provides Gopi. He explains how the emblem ought to outline the persona of the film. Once the emblem is cracked, the format is labored on and colour is added. When one rewatches a film, the defining second can simply be culled out.

“These 10 posters for me were like making art. I thoroughly enjoyed the process of creating something of the past, using the tools of 2020,” says Gopi. He admits that this has been a private journey: with the creation course of taking him again in time, and jogging recollections.

The collection could be considered on his Instagram account, @gopiprasannaa

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