Book Review: Show Posters: The Art and Practice of Making Gig Posters

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This is an enlightening book that talks about how gig posters are produces, the tools required, approaches and trends. For graphic designers starting out, this could be quite insightful. Most of the poster examples showcased are actually still created digitally, which is why there's a chapter on the physical equipment that are required.

There are only four chapters. First chapters provides a brief history in poster making dating back to the mid-1800s.

The second chapter talks about the tools and approaches to making posters. You'll get to see how the process looks like with the step-by-step photographs. Here's the list of contents from that chapter:

  • Sign Painting
  • Rubylith
  • Stencil Cut & Construction Paper Cut
  • Xerox
  • Fine Art
  • Hand Lettering
  • Softwave V. Handmade
  • Linocut
  • Offset Lithography
  • Letterpress
  • Screenprinting/Serigraphy
  • Painted Stencil

Chapter 3 talks about trends and design styles. Here's the list of contents featured:

  • Oxidized Degradation
  • Halftone Realism
  • Illustrated Ornamentation
  • Iconic Simplification
  • Lowbrow Handbill
  • Flattened Whimsy
  • Rudimentary Quirk
  • Texture Illustration
  • Psychedelic Repetition
  • Graphic Weight
  • Newsprint Collage

And the last chapter features interviews with other artists that create gig posters. The interview talks about how you can work with bands, the different companies surrounding the bands, and includes career advice on breaking into this industry. The artists interviewed are Andy Vastagh, Travis Bone, Lil' Tuffy, Aaron May and Matt Barnes.

The art and style of gig posters is very different from other types of posters, such as for movies or marketing. About half the book is filled with examples of poster art so you have plenty to check out.

Overall, it's quite an insightful book authored by Pat Jones and Ben Nunery from Powerhouse Factories, a rock poster shop and design studio.

If you like this book, I also recommend that you check out Low-Tech Print: Contemporary Hand-Made Printing and One Thing Leads to Another: The Posters and Art of Dan Stiles

Show Posters: The Art and Practice of Making Gig Posters is available at Amazon (US | CA | UK | DE | FR | IT | ES | JP | CN) and Book Depository

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