Rudy Panucci On Pop Culture

The Making Of “Deco Pop”

As promised, this week’s Monday Morning Art will present a step-by-step breakdown of the process I used to create my sign for this year’s East End Main Street Streetworks project for Charleston’s historic East End.I showed you the finished version that will be auctioned off this Sunday, June 17, last week, but this week you’ll find out how I came up with it. Up above you see the design that will actually be printed on a 36″ round piece of metal, and mounted on a streetpost on Washington Street East. If you’d like to see it bigger, wait until they’re installed, then drive around the East End until you find it.

The East End 2012 StreetWorks Art Auction and Celebration will be part of FestivALL and takes place this Sunday at Habitat ReStore, as you can see in this sedate promotional video…

For more details on the auction and on how you can bid on the pieces, visit the Facebook page that EEMS has set up for the occasion.The evolution of “Deco Pop” begins after the jump…

The Border

I knew that, for an outdoor sign that would be viewed from street level, I wanted a bold, simple border, complete with thick lines, bright colors, and an off center outer border so that I could play some 3D games with the layout.

I started with color stripes, which I would warp and mold, and change color-wise as well.


I warped the stripes into a wave, and added a thick border.


Then I shaped that design into a circle, seen here prior to being cleaned up.


The Building

The subject of “Deco Pop” is the West Virginia School Services Personnel building, which has a great facade (and was where I saw Mel Brooks’ “High Anxiety” back when it was the State Theater).

I began with a photo I took while standing across Washington Street from the building.


Then I knocked out the background.


I messed with the perspective, squeezing in the bottom and elongating the image to make it look like it was taken from above at an extreme angle.


Then I fed that image through a high-contrast graphics filter.


I added thick outlines around the building and cleaned up the loose bricks.


At this point I began the warping process to make the building look bouncy, like a 1930s cartoon.


More clean–up, re-coloring and tilting.


One last squoosh and the building was ready.


The Insertion Process

After some more tilting of both the building and the border/wave combo, I was happy with the way things were shaping up, but the color of the stripes still didn’t work for me.


I came up with a cool color scheme for the background of the sign. Radiating lines of black, purple and blue meant that I had to change the color of the stripes, which looked too aquatic for my tastes anyway.


I brightened the background and changed the colors of some of the stipes, and was finally happy, but I still had one detail to add.


The Printed Version

The sign was finished. It was going to be printed on a round piece of metal. However, the one-of-a-kind print that I was creating for the auction was going to be printed on a square piece of metal, and I didn’t want to just leave the area outside the circle blank.


I cooked up this variant of the stripe design, and cloned it for the background of my printed version.


Which is what you see here. Please visit the Facebook page for the auction, linked above, and bid buttloads of dollars on this and my fellow artist’s pieces.

1 Comment

  1. rudy panucci

    The link for the East End 2012 StreetWorks Art Auction and Celebration Facebook page is

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