My first encounter with letterpress was in the mid-90s, at a craft fair. It was a poster by Yee-Haw Industries (then known to me as the cool stuff that my college roommate’s sister made). And while I don’t remember the exact poster, I suspect it was of Loretta Lynn. What I remember was that I loved the posters because they were totally different than any other band posters I’d seen. (more…)
Along with the rest of the music business, the merch booth — that sanctuary of stickers and shirts — is also in flux. Unlike sales of recorded music (which are dismal), merchandise is booming. In October of last year, Billboard.biz reported, “U.S. album sales are down 4.4% to 218.4 million units for the first nine months of the year.”
Then again, bands haven’t been getting rich off CD sales for a long time. If ever. Merchandise is where bands are able to make money selling everything from T-shirts to posters, and backpacks. In a recent article, Diffuser.fm, named stickers, hoodies and T-shirts among the most profitable merch items for bands to sell. (more…)
Artist and designer Greg Mike is the founder and creative director of Atlanta-based multi-platform studio ABV, and serves as art director for, electronic music festival, Camp Bisco. He grew up in Connecticut where he found inspiration in skate culture and was “always obsessed with the boundless energy and crisp line work of iconic American mid-century cartoons.” Here, Mike talks to Creative Allies about his own artistic inspirations and sheds some insight on the Create Official Black Light Poster Art For Camp Bisco 2013 contest. (more…)
We often think of the muse as a single-minded inspiration. It (she? he?) brings songs to songwriters, colors to painters, shapes to sculptors and images to photographers. Or something like that. But it turns out that art begets art, and many of the artists we know best as musicians are often inspired, themselves, by dabbling (sometimes as a hobby, sometimes as a profession) in multiple mediums. Some (like Michael Stipe and Melissa Auf der Maur) capture images of the musicians the admire. Others, like Richard Butler and Victoria Williams, paint about subject matter completely separate from their music yet though their visual art seems to find its way onto album covers as well as gallery walls. Here’s a look at five musicians and the artwork they pursue off stage. (more…)
Fireflies, ocean phosphorescence, those glow-in-the-dark stars that stick to the ceiling: most of us learn as children that glow in the dark things are always cool. And the blacklight art of the 1960s borrowed a page (if not consciously) from the childhood spirit of exploration.
The aesthetic of a band is is made of more than just the sounds on their album. It’s also encompasses their live performances, the band’s interviews, their website, their social networks and their cover art. When a music fan first tries to contextualize a new band, visual cues can often be just as revealing as hearing the first song.
So, it is not surprising that designers who work with bands often reference art from the past when creating a new album cover. As vast and subjective as music is, references are a necessity. They help people make connections between the known and the unknown, offering a glimpse of what a new album or band might sound like. (more…)
Long before The Factory, the $100 million sale of the “Eight Elvises” painting and the expression “fifteen minutes of fame,” Andy Warhol — he of pop art infamy — was a draughtsman. Which sounds downright pedestrian, considering the films, the scandals and the attempted murder that made Warhol’s life and work in the ‘60s so salacious and unforgettable. But many of the works he’s best known for, like the Campbell’s Soup screen prints, explore the relationship of artistic expression and advertisements.
One of rock’s all-time icons turned 66 on January 8. And to celebrate, he stunned the world—rather than selling it this time.
David Bowie released his “Where Are We Now” single seemingly out of nowhere as a birthday gift to us all. It was the first song off “The Next Day,” the icon’s first album in 10 years. He was long presumed to be in some sort of unspoken retirement. Yet somehow, Bowie managed to keep the entire thing a secret and surprise today’s content-hungry, always on, media. (more…)
While I was in Paris last spring, I visited the exhibition White Drama at Les Docks Cité de la Mode et du Design. It featured the works of two fashion houses — Balenciaga and Comme des Garçons. And, while the Balenciaga apparel was wonderful for its history, it was the Comme des Garçons pieces, culled from the spring/summer 2012 collection and designed by Rei Kawakubo, that really grabbed me.
Adele’s win for “Skyfall” as Best Original Song at the Oscars in February was the latest success in a long line of star-studded collaborations between the James Bond movie franchise and popular musicians.
However, no Bond song is complete without the opening animations that accompany these classic films. The famous opening sequences for 16 of the first 18 films were designed and directed by Maurice Binder. He’s perhaps best known for the “gun barrel sequences” in which Bond steps into the viewfinder, fires his gun, and blood runs down the screen.