John Foster is the principal and superintendent of the DC area studio Bad People Good Things, where he designs, writes, and jets around the world to talk to audiences of all sizes. His work has been everywhere, even resting a few pieces in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian.
He has written a big stack of books and articles, including New Masters of Poster Design, and New Masters of Poster Design, Volume 2, 1,000 Indie Posters, and Dirty Fingernails. He sits behind a giant desk for drawering, inkering, paintering, and computering. Below his feet lies the world's goofiest foxhound.
Designer: Götz Gramlich Client: What's Next? Poster Competition Size: 594 x 840 mm Print process: Offset Number of inks: 2 colors As one of the cutting edge of German designers, Götz Gramlich has been producing a barrage of incredible posters, with a portfolio stocked with arresting and challenging solutions.
This is always a crazy time of the year as my poster and music world's collide under the glare of the Texas sun while floating atop a euphoric wave of free beer, smoked brisket, and crackling guitars.
Designer: Olimpia Zagnoli Client: The New York Times Size: 60 x 60-cm Print process: Offset Number of inks: 4-Color Process With brilliant simplicity and intensely bright and bold color palettes, Milan's Olimpia Zagnoli has electrified the illustration world.
Designer: Post Typography Client: Johns Hopkins Film Festival Size: 16 x 24-inches Print process: Offset Number of inks: 2-Color One of my favorite things about Baltimore's dynamic design duo, Post Typography, is that they never get caught up in style over substance.
Designer: Anton Stogov Client: The 4th Block 8th Annual Poster Triennial Size: 24 x 34-inches Print process: Digital Number of inks: 4-Color There has been very little coverage stateside about the unrest in the Ukraine.
Illustrator: Edel Rodriguez Designer: Lisa Dingman Client: Opera Grand Rapids Size: 16 x 24-inches Print process: Offset Number of inks: 4-Color process Not long ago, I was looking for an image to express my dismay with the government shutdown.
Designer: Andrew Lewis Client: 11th Francisco Mantecon International Poster Design Competition Size: 70 x 100-cm Print process: Digital Number of inks: 4-Color process Andrew Lewis is one of my very favorite designers, and he brings a unique persepective to poster design that makes his work immediately accessible, yet sophisticated and quirky, leaving many admirers in its wake.
Designer: Geoff Peveto Client: Desaparecidos Size: 20 x 26-inches Print process: Screenprint Number of inks: 1 When you have a simple idea, it is so easy to make a mess of things by adding on to it or dressing it up in a ton of stylized elements and colors and filters and fonts.
This column is usually reserved for what I feel are the very best examples of poster design out there today, but every once in a while, they are the domain of posters that I really think deserve a wider discussion and analysis.
Designer: Agata Dudek and Malgorzata Nowak / Acapulco Studio Client: Ezop Publisher Size: 70 x 100-cm Print process: Offset Number of inks: 4-color process Every day, as I try to peck out a few mildly coherent sentences, I am surrounded by slobbering beasts that constantly beg for my attention and demand food and new toys every twelve minutes.
Designer: Damien Tran Client: West Germany Size: 50 x 70-cm Print process: Screenprint Number of inks: 2 If it seems like this might be the year that designer Damien Tran breaks out, it would certainly be just.
Designer: Dan Stiles Client: Of Monsters And Men / Boulder Theater Size: 18 x 24-inches Print process: Screenprint Number of inks: 4 Sometimes going in a little blind about your subject can be a good thing, as designer Dan Stiles explains: "When I was first commissioned to do this poster, I really knew very little about the band, other than one song, Little Talk, but I started thinking about that concept of a little talk, or maybe a whisper.
Designer: Martin Venezky Client: San Francisco Arts Commission Size: 11 x 17-inches (larger sized editions to follow) Print process: Offset Number of inks: 4-color process Some designers always seem breathtakingly modern, never satisfied with the norm, always breaking apart and challenging their own work.
Designer: Chelsea Cardinal Illustrator: Vivienne Flesher Client: Society of Illustrators Size: 24 x 36-inches Print process: Offset Number of inks: 5 You know how you truly can tell that you have just had an awesome promotional poster arrive in the mail? When it is so amazing from head to toe that you can't decide which side to hang on the wall, and you find yourself begging the organization for a second print.
Designer: Sonnenzimmer (Nick Butcher and Nadine Nakanishi) Client: The Mies van der Rohe Society Size: 18 x 24-inches Print process: Screenprint Number of inks: 2 Some weeks you just need some Sonnenzimmer.
Designer: Ryan Duggan Client: Pissed Jeans Size: 18 x 24 inches Printing Process: Screenprint Number of Inks: Three In the throes of August, it proved absolutely impossible to resist a poster that manages to subvert all that we hold dear about the summer months, while also promoting Pennsylvania's finest noiseniks, and still manage to look so "inviting.
An old conversation reared its ugly head this past week.
Designer: Qian Qian Client: Qian Qian Size: 18 x 24 inches Print process: Digital Number of inks: Three I don't know how many of you have noticed but it is HOT out there all of the sudden! Summer is officially here in a big way with the kids splashing at the pool and my beastly hairy neighbor sipping lemonade while mowing his grass with his shirt off.
Designer: Dirk Fowler Client: Another Planet Entertainment Size: 18 x 24 inches Print process: Screenprint Number of inks: Two Being perfectly honest, every week I could fill this column with a poster from Dirk Fowler and feel like I have more than done my job.
Designer: Dmitry Rekin Client: Haapsalu Graphic Design Festival Size: 1000 x 2000 mm Print process: Digital Number of inks: 3 colors Russian poster design has gotten stronger and stronger over the past decade, with Dmitry Rekin firmly entrenched in the leading wave.
Designer: The Little Friends of Printmaking Client: The Little Friends of Printmaking Size: 19 x 25 inches Print process: Screenprint Number of inks: Two The dynamic duo of Melissa and JW Buchanan are doing the unthinkable: Moving from Wisconsin to Los Angeles! Long one of my favorite imagemakers, as well as some of the most inventive printers in the screenprinting world, The Little Friends of Printmaking's surroundings have always seemed to seep into their work in the quirkiest of ways.
Designer: Sarah Mazzetti Client: A Tropical Clash Size: various Print process: Digital Number of inks: 4-color process Italian illustrator Sarah Mazzetti always makes me smile with her delightful imagery, occupying a place that seems to draw on classic influences, yet the final application is as if it exists in an alternate reality.
Designer: Jason Munn Client: Sasquatch! Music Festival Size: 18 x 24 inches Print process: Screenprint Number of inks: 1 color Jason Munn's work as The Small Stakes has long been one of my favorites.
Designer: Anna Kövecses Client: Anna Kövecses Size: 22 x 27 inches Print process: Giclee Number of inks: 4-color process Over the years, there has been a lot of grumbling about self-initiated projects in the design world.
Designer: Jeff Matz / Lure Design Client: Enzian Theater Size: 18 x 24 inches Print process: Screenprint Number of inks: 3 colors There are some designers that you tend to take for granted, for better or worse, and Jeff Matz and the fine folks at Lure fall into that category for me.
Designer: Damien Tran Client: Eine Welt Aus Hack Size: 20 x 27 inches Print process: Screenprint Number of inks: 3 colors We saw Damien Tran making his first appearance in this column late last year, but his recent streak of work has just been too good to hold back on showcasing another piece.
Designer: Jennifer Sterling Photographer: Jurek Wajdowicz Client: Jennifer Sterling Design Size: 30 x 30 inches Printing Process: Offset Number of Inks: Four I wrote quite a bit on Jennifer Sterling's announcement of her summer workshops last year, and I was very taken by her interaction with the photography of Jurek Wajdowicz (branching out from his own stellar design work.
Designer: Adrien Houillère Client: La Rodia / Intermèdes Géographique Size: 450 x 650 mm Printing Process: Screenprint Number of Inks: One Printing out of the Atelier Superseñor, a silkscreen collective workspace shared by 10 designers and illustrators, Adrien Houillère set about creating a poster to promote two concerts, on one page, and with a single color.
Breaking with tradition here (and format) but I wanted to take a moment to let everyone know about a wonderful poster exhibit curated by Elizabeth Resnick, that opened yesterday at the Stephen B.
Designer: Katja Schloz Client: Julia Heuer Textile and Costume Design Size: 420 x 594 mm Printing Process: Offset Number of Inks: 4-color process Creating a promotional poster for avant textile and costume designer, Julia Heuer, Katja Schloz immediately went to work in that conceptual fashion that only she can.
Designer: Drew Millward Client: Birthdays/Mission of Burma Size: 18 x 21 inches Printing Process: Screenprint Number of Inks: Two One of the best concerts I have ever seen happened just last Thursday in a small club in London, packed with people shoulder to shoulder, as another hundred tried to get in from the outside, watching Mission of Burma rip through their full discography and absolutely burn the room to smithereens.
Designer: Damien Tran Client: Loophole/Berlin Size: 35 x 50 cm Print process: Screenprint Number of inks: 3 colors One of my favorite things about keeping up with the poster scene is when you spot a breakthrough piece by a designer, the time when they are truly finding their own direction and pushing themselves to greater heights.
Designer: Modern Dog Client: Greenwood Arts Council Size: 18 x 25 inches Printing Process: Screenprint Number of Inks: Three It is a time to give thanks, so I have dug deep into my poster collection for a piece that sums up so many emotions at the moment.
Designer: Sagmeister & Walsh Client: PUBLIC Bikes Size: 40 x 60 inches Printing Process: Offset Number of Inks: 4-color process By now, all of you are well aware of the "Why didn't I think of that?" standard put in place around here.
Designer: Homework (Joanna Górska + Jerzy Skakun) Client: Spectator Size: 68 x 98 Printing Process: Offset Number of Inks: 4-Color Process The dynamic duo of Joanna Górska and Jerzy Skakun at Homework top my list for the most amazing purveors of vector graphics, often whittling down the elements to their most basic shapes, while presenting some of the most sophisticated solutions the world has ever seen.
Designer: Stefan Guzy, Björn Wiede Client: Condre Scr Size: 70 x 100 cm Printing Process: Screenprint Number of Inks: One After showcasing several posters from the recent stellar run by Berlin's Zwolf, the time has come to feature one last burst of brilliance before forcing them to wait at least another month before gracing these digital pages.
Designer: Yann Legendre Client: The Steppenwolf Theater Size: 24 x 36 inches Printing: Offset Number of Inks: Two Yann Legendre has been one of my favorite poster designers for quite some time, not only for his immense talent and signature style, but for his continued advocacy for the form.
Designer: Justin Walsh Clients: Melvins Size: 18x24 inches Printing Process: Screenprint Number of Inks: Three Exploring the pressures that come with being part of a gigposter series last week, I failed to touch on the most intense of all invitations—working on The Melvins tour.
Designer: Eric Nyffeler / Doe Eyed Client: Swans Size: 18 x 24 inches Printing Process: Screenprint Number of Inks: Three One of the toughest assignments in the gigposter world is being part of a tour series.
Designer: Ryan Duggan Client: Heavy Times Size: 12 x 24 inches Printing Process: Screenprint Number of Inks: Four The main deciding factor in what I truly enjoy in poster design is often whether or not it is something I think I could have come up with on my own.
Designer: Stefan Guzy Client: dffb (German Film and Television Academy Berlin) Size: 841 x 1189 mm Printing Process: Screenprint Number of Inks: Two Many of you might be saying, "another Zwolf poster???" Then you lay eyes on this beauty and you say; "ANOTHER ZWOLF POSTER!!!!" It is true that I have been transfixed by their recent output, but let's all be honest and admit that these are quite simply too good to be limited to one showing for the studio a year.
Designer: Stefan Guzy, Björn Wiede, with Susanne Kriemann Client: Koninklijke Academie voor Schone Kunsten Size: 92 x 129 cm Printing Process: Screenprint Number of Inks: One Continuing the string of strong work for Berlin studio Zwölf (with much more to come), they dazzle with some old-fashioned one-color creativity.
Designer: Scott Campbell Client: Metric Size: 18 x 24 inches Printing Process: Screenprint Number of Inks: Four What do a group of radical young Italian architects from the '60s have to do with a Canadian indie rock band and one of the coolest designers in New Orleans, you ask? "Metric came to me looking for something reminiscent of Superstudio," designer Scott Campbell explains.
Designer: Joyce Hesselberth Client: Northern Baltimore County Art Foundation Size: 12 x 18 inches Printing Process: Gicleé Number of Inks: Four-color Process Working with her partner in Spur Design (and husband) Dave Plunkert, designer/illustrator extraordinaire Joyce Hesselberth contemplated how to approach promoting the upcoming Gunpowder River Artfest.
Designer: Luke Drozd Client: Bestival / New Order Size: 420 x 594 cm Printing Process: Screenprint Number of Inks: Three When faced with the prospect of putting your work against one of the industry's icons, there are multiple options available: "When I was asked to design a poster for New Order, the first thing I became aware of was that I was basically being asked to create a print for a band that generally works with one of the world's most respected designers in Peter Saville," explains Luke Drozd.
Designer: Jonathan Barnbrook Client: Self Size: 841 x 1189 mm Printing Process: Digital Number of Inks: 4-Color Process I have to confess that I was giddy like a schoolgirl upon hearing that Jonathan Barnbrook and Vaughan Oliver were assembling a collection of British design luminaries to create a gallery full of posters.
Designer: Timothy O'Donnell Client: Snowden Size: 11 x 17 inches Printing Process: Offset Number of Inks: 4-Color Process Timothy O'Donnell is a name I had seen often, hiding in the shadows of the credits of some of my favorite album sleeves.
Designer: Anthony Dihle Client: Pleasant Pops Size: 16 x 26 inches Printing Process: Screenprint Number of Inks: Six When you combine like-minded creatives willing to go the extra mile, no matter what their business, the results can be sublime.
Designer: L-ABLE and QB Client: Intramoenia Extrart - Eclettica Cultura Dell'arte Size: 70 x 100 cm Printing Process: Offset Number of Inks: Four-Color Process Some people always amaze me with their devotion to going the extra mile in seeing through a concept.
Designer: James Flames Client: Mogwai Size: 18 x 24 inches Printing Process: Screenprint Number of Inks: Four The average gigposter designer is so prolific these days that, at times, it can make it difficult to honor individual pieces within a greater body of work.
Designer: Masoud Agahei Client: Mehregan Charity Institute Size: 70 x 100 cm Printing Process: Offset Number of Inks: One There are two things I am a sucker for (well, three, if you count photos people post of their dogs on Instagram): hand done typography, and a curling moustache.
Designer: Zafer Lehimler Client: Marmara University, Faculty of Fine Arts, Graphic Department Size: 70 x 100 cm Printing Process: Digital Number of Inks: 4-color process Hearing about the Reggae Poster Design contest, I was skeptical about what would result.
Designer: The Little Friends of Printmaking Client: Warner Bros.
Designer: Andrew Vastagh / BOSS CONSTRUCTION Client: Mudhoney Size: 18 x 24 inches Printing Process: Silkscreen Number of Inks: Two The posters that make their way out of the BOSS CONSTRUCTION design oven over the years have always been piping hot, and to make them all the more delicious, designer Andrew Vastagh is as nice as they come, mixing his southern charm with a true appreciation and passion for design at all levels.
Designer: Jesse Tise Client: Self Size: 9 x 12 inches Printing Process: Digital / Silkscreen Number of Inks: 4-color process / Three One of the most exciting illustrators/artists I have come across is the enchanting mix of sophisticated whimsy in Jesse Tisse's work.
Designer: Noah Woods Client: Chicago Tribune Size: 18 x 20 inches Printing Process: Offset Number of Inks: Four-Color Process One of the joys in my career has been having projects that allow for the opportunity to work with some of my favorite illustrators.
Designer: Nate Duval Client: Lotus Size: 18 x 24 inches Printing Process: Screenprint Number of Inks: Four Long admiring Nate Duval and his quirky color palettes and intersecting (and at times incongruous) images, to the point of staring at his vegetable/fauna/animal head series and his intricate owls for hours, enjoying every tiny detail, it was no surprise to me when he branched into projects that fully exploited his love of patterns and detail.
Designer: Aesthetic Apparatus Client: Andrew Bird Size: 18 x 24 inches Printing Process: Screenprint Number of Inks: Three When they first formed, the duo of Michael Byzewski and Dan Ibarra donned the name Aesthetic Apparatus and quickly set about redefining the look of the gig-poster world.
I know this column is supposed to feature a single poster each week, but sometimes current events dictate that the rules bend a little, and this is a case where I am certainly willing to make a whole new set of rules if need be.
Designer: Post Typography Client: Post Typography Size: 24 x 24 x 18 inches (arrow is 18 inches long) Printing Process: Digital Number of Inks: One Every once in a while, it is good to be reminded that a simple idea will trump anything you might be able to throw at the wall style-wise (literally, in this case.
Designer: Jennifer Sterling Photographer: Jurek Wajdowicz Client: Jennifer Sterling Design Size: 26 x 30 inches Printing Process: Offset Number of Inks: Six During the years when I would argue for days upon days about the merits of various designers (I have mellowed a touch since, just a touch), none was as polarizing a figure as Jennifer Sterling.
Designer: Raymond Biesinger Client: The Manual Size: 16 x 22 inches Printing Process: Screenprint Number of Inks: 2 colors Raymond Biesinger has long been one of my favorite illustrators (his preferred title, as opposed to that of a designer) with his highly graphic imagery, throwing in just the right balance of modern and retro influences, to create a unique path that is all his own.
Designer: Johnny Selman Client: Penn-Shank Memorial Foundation Size: 16 x 24 inches Printing Process: Screenprint Number of Inks: 3 colors "The Rooster Walk Music and Arts Festival is a scholarship fundraiser in Martinsville, VA.
Designer: Jim Mazza Client: Golden Voice Size: 19 x 25 inches Printing Process: Screenprinting Number of inks: 3 colors, including metallic silver There is a certain sub genre of the gigposter world where some of the finest illustrators around almost numb you to their talent through a constant barrage of stellar work.
Designer: Andrew Lewis Client: Self Size: 70 x 100 cm Printing Process: Digital Inks: 4-color process Some people are born to make posters, and some are born to wear luchador masks in every formal photo ever taken of them—British Columbia's top design maven, Andrew Lewis, was born to do both! One of my very favorite things about Andrew, and there are many, just check out my profile of him in the first volume of New Masters of Poster Design, is that the man will make a poster at the drop of a hat.
Designer: Dale Edwin Murray Client: V&A Museum Of Childhood Size: 48 x 72 inches Printing Process: Digital Number of Inks: 4-color process Bringing modern whimsy, to a retro-style execution, London's Dale Edwin Murray has often made me smile with both his illustrations, and choice of subject matter (check out his Hip Hop Head prints).
Designer: Mehdi Saeedi Client: Shams-E-Tabrizi and Maulana Foundation Size: 50 x 70 inches Printing Process: Offset Number of Inks: 4-color Process Mehdi Saeedi has long been one of my favorite poster designers, not just for his ability to simplify complex religious imagery and icons and translate them back into artistic joys, but even more so for his almost lyrical use of typography, making the culture of Iran, which can seem impenetrable at times, accessible and inviting.
Designer: Bircan Ak Client: Self Size: 50 x 70 cm Printing Process: Monotype Number of Inks: 1 As I was viewing the slowly revealed images, stark in their black and white appearance, as well as their interpretation of the subject matter, I arrived at one of the most stunning pieces I had encountered in years.
Designer: Melinda Beck Client: Spur Size: 15 x 20-inches Print process: Screenprint Number of inks: 3 For an exhibition of their combined work at the Spur Gallery (run by a like-minded couple in illustrators Dave Plunkert and Joyce Hesselberth) entitled Before or Since, designer/illustrator Melinda Beck used her silhouette style to depict herself and husband Jordin Islip as a two-headed person, adapting their daughters Chloe and Simone into a hungry climbing bug and freshly hatched baby chick respectively.
Designer: Joanna Górska + Jerzy Skakun (Homework) Client: SFP Size: 68 x 98 cm Print process: Offset Number of inks: 4-color process Homework's Joanna Górska and Jerzy Skakun have been producing some of the most brilliant posters the world has seen in the last few years.
The one and only Jesse LeDoux emerged as a major talent during his time working at Sub Pop Records (you likely have some of his sleeves in your record collection, assuming you have good taste in music, or design, or both) and then took to a little world travel, only to return as a force in both the illustration and whimsical fine art fields via his LeDouxville studio.
Designer: Ron Liberti Client: Nick Kulp / Far-Out Fangtooth Size: 12" x 17" Print process: Screenprint Number of inks: 2 colors (with split fountain) My admiration for Ron Liberti has stretched across many books, including a profile in the upcoming New Masters of Poster Design: Volume Two, so it is no surprise that he would turn up here.
Designer: Zach Hobbs Client: Amanda Rose Cagle / Mast-Head Productions Size: 12 x 18 in Print process: Digital Number of inks: 4-color process Zach Hobbs and the Young Monster crew have been experimenting with pulling apart faces and reassembling them for the past year, often with thrilling results (a lot of those can be seen in New Masters of Poster Design: Volume Two, mentioned below) but the poster that caught my eye recently was the one where Hobbs tore it apart, then left the pieces to survive on their own.
Standing before me is decades of musical genius in the form of a face bleating red from the strain of elongating the final syllable in the word "Chicago.
Stefan Bucher is one of my very favorite people.
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|Overlooked||Playing with Color|
|Playing With Type||Poster of the Week|
|Take the Edge Off||Undercover|
|Design Reference||Environmental Design|
|Pattern & Palette||Product Design|