September 2011

Queens of the Stone Age vs. Andrew Bird

Lets talk for a second about Queens of the Stone Age. Musicians like to present their fans with a full range of experience, (and therefore merch). The band has a sound, the members have a look, and their merch is always carefully designed to a tee whether its clothes, stickers, album art, or my favorite, gig posters. I am not much into Queens of the Stone Age so I never realized this but they are the kind of band that really appreciates art. If you check out their page on they show 23 pages of beautiful poster art for tours and individual shows. If you’ve never heard at least one song by them, they’re a good old fashioned rock band with a fair amount of head-banging etc, and they’ve been around a pretty long time. I think you can see these things in their gig posters; they’ve got a classic aesthetic that is often vibrantly colorful with arresting subject matter. Lots of sex, violence, surreal monsters, and cars: all of these things scream rock ‘n’ roll to me. Its a good example of knowing what your audience is going to notice and want to look at. It is an entirely different aesthetic from, say Andrew Bird.

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Masters of the Poster


Here are some interesting and useful books to put on your Christmahanukwanzaaka list, for designers but also anyone who needs inspiration for print work.

I like studying classic posters and artists, especially in terms of compositional elements like balance and color scheme, and  The Complete “Masters of the Poster” is a definitive collection of the most influential poster artists from the 19th century. This book includes works by Jules Chéret, Toulouse-Lautrec, Bonnard, Mucha and more whose works were complied into a supplemental portfolio for subscribers of the time period. Having all of these great artists in one reference book would be useful to have.

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Poster Designs by Genre


Posters designs depend a lot on their subject matter, and how much information needs to be on them. Inspirational posters, for example, need only have only one word on them, (ie the classic “Conviction” or “Perseverance” posters that hung on the walls of every guidance counselor office from 1960 til today), while tour or movie posters need to have names, dates, times, taglines, and prices on them as well as the title in order to be useful. The more elements to a design, the harder it gets for the poster to be easy to read and arresting. Here are some examples of poster design by genre, and how designers have solved the problem of necessarily text-heavy posters.

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Learn about the Real Mad Men



ART & COPY is a powerful new documentary about advertising and inspiration. Directed by Doug Pray, it reveals the work and wisdom of some of the most influential advertising creatives of our time — people who’ve profoundly impacted our culture, yet are virtually unknown outside their industry. Exploding forth from advertising’s “creative revolution” of the 1960s,  George Lois, Mary Wells, Dan Wieden, Lee Clow, Hal Riney and others featured in ART & COPY were responsible for “Just Do It,” “I Love NY,” “Where’s the Beef?,” “Got Milk,” “Think Different,” and many other brilliant campaigns.

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Campus Philly Presents: Createadelphia

You got creative. Now it’s time to get an internship.


The first ever creative industry fair, exclusively for current college students interested in various fields of design, including: Graphic Arts, Fashion, Entertainment, Environmental and Arts & Culture. Discover internship opportunities, network with regional professionals and gain valuable advice and insights from some of Philadelphia’s leading creative industry experts.

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Diccicco Battista Communications – Where Brands Go To Work

I have been given the amazing opportunity to continue my summer-long internship with Diccicco Battista Communications through my fall semester. Diccicco Battista Communications – “DBC” for short – is a full service advertising agency located in Conshohocken, PA, where they provide design, web programming, media and PR services to a bounty of clients ranging from University of Kentucky Healthcare to Applebees.

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Red Attic Design Studio

I am super excited about these people. A full-service design studio based right outside Philadelphia, Red Attic is the studio that Joe Castro Brevoort created in 2006. In 2007 he quit his day job as the Art Director for the Please Touch Museum to do Red Attic full time and 3 years later he’s won major design awards and worked with many different foundations across Philadelphia, like Habitat For Humanity and Art-Reach, and companies like LiveNation. He was commissioned to do a poster for last week’s Steely Dan show by LiveNation, and its pretty neat; especially his blog post about how he thought of the design. What I can’t figure out is who else works there. I don’t know if they’re hiring or looking for interns, but I make a mean cup of coffee Mr. Brevoort, just saying.

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Eye-catching vs. Eyesore

Sometimes less is more, especially in posters. They have to be interesting, quickly catch the eye of anyone walking past them intent on beating the rush to Starbucks or whatever, but at the same time the person glancing at them has be able to quickly read whatever information is there. Even if there’s a lot of information to cover, it shouldn’t all be jammed together so you can’t read it, (like those 4×6 flyers people pass out for parties on campus. “Neon” style letters are pretty much never the way to go). But there are exceptions to every rule. Here are some examples of what I’d call too much and just right.

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Gina Kelly’s New Poster


I love Gina Kelly. All of her art is amazing, but her posters are what drew me in at first glance, (at a tiny thumbnail on, no less). Her prints are imaginative and colorful, filled with impossible animals and scenes that look like they came out of a similar universe as Where the Wild Things Are. She doesn’t make digital posters; all of her art is hand printed on a press using a technique that is detailed on her website and sounds incredibly laborious, (if the phrase “150lb. paper” is anything to go by). Ms. Kelly’s done posters for Andrew Bird, Beirut, and the Arctic Monkeys just to name a few, and her newest poster for Beirut’s recent show in Paris is, frankly, sick as hell. Check out her art, and this short interview she did in 2009 with Tuckshop Community Radio News.

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Interview with David D’Andrea

Juxtapoz sat down with poster artists David D’Andrea a couple of years ago for their (then upcoming) Fog Rising event in San Francisco. For such a short interview, it really has a lot of insight about D’Andrea’s design process and the relation of visual art to aural art. I recognize D’Andrea’s poster for Queens of the Stone Age, (they may be terrible but its still a sick poster). His aesthetic is one that would tell you what kind of music you’re going to go see by the style of the poster.Take a glance at it, tell me what you think.

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Event Posters: Tips & Inspiration

Posters are a boundary-crossing type of design. Since the invention of the lithographic press in the 1800’s they’ve  been the art of music and theater; today they’re used to let you know about everything from films to societal protest. To be effective, posters have to do several things effectively: they have to catch your eye and tell you all the important important information quickly. To be great, posters have to stick in your head, (just like with normal advertising).

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