GIG POSTERS – THE PUNK ERA

GIG POSTERS - THE PUNK ERA

Back in the day, the way to get noticed as a designer was designing for underground bands. With print becoming a dying art, designing for bands is now about promoting gigs on social media rather than plastering posters and flyers on telephone boxes and billboards. However, the great thing about small intimate gigs is you can often find limited edition tour posters that are printed on a small scale to make them one of a kind collectors items for die hard fans.

Personally I find the combination of typography and illustration to be a killer team when it comes to gig posters. There are so many talented illustrators and designers on the music scene that it’s hard to compete and find your niche within the market. However, you should’t let that discourage you because design trends are always changing. It’s better to design the way that’s unique to you than to follow a style that will date. You have a better chance of making an iconic piece of memorabilia this way. When I think of music and iconic poster design my mind goes to the punk rock era.

Punk was the age of fantastic gig posters in the world of graphic design – a tweet of mine from last year that I still have pinned to the top of my feed. Why? Because it’s true, and I believe that everyday. The punk era experimented with colour and illustration to create eye-catching posters that would have you questioning whether you could hack life as a designer. The attention to detail would add so much depth to this flat 2D drawing that would make you want to buy the poster regardless of whether you liked the band or not. But punk also did something different that made their designs so iconic to the 70s and 80s rock scene – the cut-out style. By this I mean minimal colour palette, an amalgam of letterforms that had been cut out of magazines to form words and photographs that had been photocopied time after time to create grainy, faded and worn looking posters. Whether you were a band pushing the extremes through colour and illustration like The Cramps, or creating a new style completely like the Sex Pistols, you cannot deny that the punk era’s design was just as good as its music.

To keep up-to-date with my poster finds, follow my music board on Pinterest. Full of illustration and typography just like the posters above, as well as interesting colour schemes, halftones and that popular vintage feel that has made a huge comeback in modern design.

Share