Gig Posters: A Hallowed Art Form
Gig posters are an art form very close to my heart. Although intrinsically disposable, these pieces of advertisement are a hallowed art form to the initiated. Memorializing a single unforgettable show, screen printed concert posters become precious artifacts in the hands of fans and collectors. The following is a list of poster artists that I really respect, each with their own unique style and approach. Some of these artists have been at it for a while, while others are relative newcomers—all are creating really cool and inspiring work.
Drew Millward’s colorful compositions manage to be bright and playful while at the same time creepy and unsettling. His posters are often printed with layered translucent inks to create the wonderfully unexpected color palettes that are a hallmark of his work.
Dave is an incredibly prolific designer. For almost five years, he produced a poster every week for The Meltdown, a comedy show in Los Angeles, racking up an impressively large body of work. In addition to comedy posters, he has created gig posters for The Foo Fighters, The Melvins, and Queens Of The Stone Age. His surreal illustrations feel like snapshots from a fever dream, depicting wandering zoo animals and strange creatures unraveling before your eyes.
Richey Beckett’s highly detailed pen and ink work takes inspiration from the illustrative style of artists of the past whos finely crafted drawings and engravings graced the pages of natural history books, bibles, and works of literature. He harnesses this vintage style to create timeless posters from his studio in South Wales UK for bands like Black Sabbath, Metallica, and Mastodon.
The talented design duo Landland is comprised of midwest-based Jessica Seamans and Dan Black. Though each artist has their own distinct art style, their posters always have a consistency to them, whether they are showcasing Dan’s detailed renderings of decaying vehicles and architecture or Jess’s unique visions of figures and nature.
Paul really exploded on the gig poster scene this year with brain melting psychedelic posters for Ween and Phish. His tight use of color and texture give the pieces an otherworldly vibe that I really dig.
I truly love the work of Australian artist, Ken Taylor. Very much a superstar in the poster world, Ken has worked with high profile artists including Bob Dylan and The Rolling Stones. From his detailed linework and dynamic compositions, to the beautiful typography and understated logos that accent the main illustrations, Ken’s posters never fail to inspire.
Toronto based artist and screen printer Miles Tsang’s work is unmistakable. His posters are turbulent storms of vibrant color and energy that lead the eye on a hyperactive journey to all corners of the paper. Whether he’s illustrating a musician, or drawing a prowling tiger, his subjects exist in an alternate dimension of swirling color. Everything seems to be on the verge of combusting spontaneously into polychrome flames or melting into shimmering psychedelic liquid.