Reinventing the rock poster
In Sunday's Arts & Books section, Scott Timberg writes about a group of artists and designers who are going beyond the tropes of classic rock posters to craft ads that incorporate a fascination with the past but with more creative twists.
Take, for example, the work of Bay Area graphic artist Jason Munn, who owns the design firm the Small Stakes and has made posters for the bands Built to Spill and, above, the Decemberists.
Unlike designers who extend the rock tradition of subversion and boundary pushing, Munn's work exudes a Zen-like serenity, a love of negative space and an almost religious reverence for typeface. "I try to pick up on little random bits of a band," said Munn, "and go from there."
Rather than being mass-produced, the images are printed in limited runs and are attracting some art-world attention.
Darrin Alfred acquired several Small Stakes posters for the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Denver Art Museum, where he is now a graphic arts curator. "With the waning of album art because of the disappearance of CDs," he said, "these posters are taking on a bigger role than they had before the digital revolution." In a virtual world, "People like me are looking for something tangible."
— Scott Sandell
Above: Jason Munn's poster for the Decemberists. Credit: Jason Munn