Concert poster design is where my two main interests in life dovetail. I have been playing guitar and singing in bands since 1998. I have also booked bands for countless shows and festivals. When doing so, my responsibilities include designing flyers to promote concerts. I also often print and distribute them myself. It’s a very important part of being a successful independent musician.
I love to create full color, large format printed posters. It is very fulfilling to find the right visual image for an upcoming gig. Sometimes, I like to create black and white handbill variations. They can also be effective promotional tools.
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Are you in a music group that has a big local show or festival gig coming up? Perhaps you are a regional or national concert promoter looking for the perfect poster designer. Contact me for a striking design to promote your event.
Before the pandemic, my band Sempervivi booked a show in Lexington with our friends Just a Test. Since it took place at our favorite watering hole Lynagh’s Irish Pub, I decided to make it a theme event. The styles of our bands were different enough (pop punk and thrash metal) to be the main selling point. I noticed that vintage 80s “space grid” fantasy scenes were trendy, so I tried my hand at it. This metal concert poster mixed one of those grid layouts with hand drawn figures and retro fonts.
Metal concert poster design story
First, I drew images of Will and myself running for our lives in pencil. I referenced photos of Will to confirm his typical dress and facial features. Then, I drew the two headed dragon freehand. After I finished the initial sketches, I scanned them in and “inked” them using my USB drawing tablet. Then, I used Photoshop to color in the figures and combine them into one scene. Pointy Jackson guitars appeared in our hands to emphasize the “80s metal concert poster” theme. I added shadows in order to create depth.
Are they “good” drawings? No, but that’s not really what I was going for. I wanted to combine a lo-fi “doodle” with the retro fantasy scene in the background.
I had a lot of fun with the poster’s typography as well. Mainly, I leaned on the manic title font made famous in the horror film franchise Friday the 13th. For the word “Punk”, I scattered a stencil font. I typed “Metal” in another vintage font reminiscent of the AC/DC logo.
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Are you planning a future concert event? Punk and metal concert poster art is my bread and butter. Contact me today so we can plan the right promotional art together.
My punk band Sempervivi scheduled a local show at the fabled Al’s Bar for March 2020. Some bands we were friends with based in Lexington and Louisville also joined the bill. I blocked off time in between my clients’ projects to draw up a special poster for this event. Since Josh, the singer and guitarist from Them God Damn Bangs, was an emphatic collector, I decided to create a Funko Pop poster design. This would be an ambitious effort that would allow me to flex my creative muscles and try some new techniques. It also was the first poster I had ever planned multiple variants for, so I was excited to spend all the time I could on it.
Funko Pop poster design – “Josh” variant
Funko Pop poster design story – base toy and package templates
I began this print project by seeking out Funko Pop templates. Fans can go to Funko’s website to create their own avatars in the form of these vinyl collectibles. First, I worked up base images for the three most visible members of the band, Dawn, Josh, and Nails. These images were low resolution images, which also did not include the packaging templates. Most collectors prefer to display their Pops in the boxes on their shelves, rather than taking the toys out of them. Because of this, I also sought out packaging templates to start recreating the boxes.
Once I found the right packaging and toy templates to base my work on, I began adding little details to further personalize the flyer. First, I added the band name, along with the member names and their roles to the packaging, using the Bebas sans serif font in different weights and styles. I numbered each box 01-03, and parodied the word “POPS!” in the top left corner with the word “AL’S” for the venue. A grey background added the illusion of depth, and a faint, transparent grey simulated the clear portion of the packaging.
Each of the band members needed their own accessories and outfit modifications for authenticity. For instance, Nails and Josh play very distinct instruments. While I did not aspire to reproduce every tattoo and nuance of their appearances, they had to be easily recognizable.
Funko Pop poster design – “Dawn” variant
Adding personalization to the figures
Nails usually plays a white Eastwood bass guitar, which is modeled after the vintage Univox Hi-Flyer. Since this is not as widely played as popular models like the Fender Jazz Bass or the Ernie Ball Stingray, I could not find any vector images for it online. I started with a photograph of the instrument, and drew up a simple approximation of it using Adobe Illustrator.
In addition to her bass, I added details of Nails’ personal style. This included adding the brown lowlights to her hair, as well as her lip and nose piercings. Her red star tattoos line her left eyebrow. Considering that Funko Pop vinyl figures do not include mouths, I find it funny that her non-existent lip is pierced.
Since Josh is the biggest Funko Pop enthusiast in the Lexington music scene, getting his figure mods perfect was the most important of the three. Josh often plays a very rare orange Fender Cyclone II onstage. While I was able to find a simple outline of the model, I needed to edit it and add several details in order to make it authentic. From the correct shade of orange to the Fender logo, I had to make it just right.
Dawn’s figure, on the other hand, more straightforward to customize. I added her signature purple to both her hair and her glasses. Then, I added a zipper and a little bling to her black mini skirt. Finally, I redrew her arms so she could hold a microphone.
Funko Pop poster design story – finishing touches
The time had come to put the finishing touches on the poster. I added the event details to a sticker affixed to the red brick wall background. I created the sticker effect from scratch. A mixture of Adobe Photoshop filters and effects made it appear worn and peeled up.
Each poster design variant boasts its own distinct, bright color for the banner at the top, as well as the band names at the bottom. Dawn’s poster used a bright shade of blue. Josh’s info appeared in Starbucks green, while Nails’ design featured a purplish pink hue. I typed all of the information in the fun, kitschy Ad Lib font. I copied each band members’ figure boxes. Then, I set them three in a row on a white shelf bolted into the brick wall. I cropped the left and right boxes off of the canvas. I did this so the center image could be as large enough to feature it.
Unfortunately, due to the Coronavirus outbreak at the time, this show was cancelled, along with all other mass gatherings in America. The COVID-19 virus changed everyone’s lives worldwide. Specifically, it created a speed bump for independent musicians who needed live performances to fund their endeavors. Unfortunately, the posters could not attract concert goers to the event. At least I got a cool poster design to feature on my portfolio.
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Can I interest you in featuring a collectible toy motif on your promotional piece? I can add the “pop” you need to attract potential your audience’s attention. Contact me today so we can get to work on some serious fun!
I created this music poster design for my band Sempervivi’s crowdfunding campaign. We were raising money to release our first full length album, “Can’t Please Everyone”. I contracted comic artist Chris Schweizer to bring my concept to life. The band would be shown wrestling my childhood teddy bear Flash. The results were even better than I’d imagined.
Music poster design with wrestling theme
While brainstorming perks for our backers, I determined that posters would be ideal. The old school wrestling theme could include many aspects. However, I decided to focus on a pivotal event in my childhood, Wrestlemania VI. The larger than life Hulk Hogan met The Ultimate Warrior for the WWF Championship in Toronto. Posters depicted the wrestling superstars towering over a barren range of glaciers. Electricity pulsed amid twinkling stars. In order to faithfully hearken back to this classic image, I had my work cut out for me.
The original Wrestlemania VI promo art I based this music poster design on.
I had already created a parody style logo for the band based on the classic Wrestlemania logo. Next, I carefully reproduced the original metallic chrome and gold gradients. My striking reproduction caught the eye of old school wrestling fans. The vintage neon pink and green subtexts also jumped off the landscape.
I then added images from our album art. The “Match of the Century” was on! Chris’s drawings show Flash with his championship belt. Meanwhile, the band stood in the locker room vowing revenge.
After arranging the foreground images, I then put together the fantasy background scene. I successfully paid tribute to the original 1990 WWF poster without outright copying it. Victory!
Contact me if you need a music poster design
All in all, this music poster design is one of my favorites. I always enjoy when I can combine my interests into one ad. Can I interest your band, record label, or music festival in a poster graphic design? Perhaps you’re even a wrestling promoter who needs high end promo art. Contact me today.
Since 1981, Lynagh’s Irish Pub has hosted many local and national concerts here in Lexington. The owners commissioned me to create a series of posters to commemorate many of the famous acts they have hosted over the years. I created this Rick Danko concert poster design for one such act, the bassist of the legendary group The Band. He performed solo at Lynagh’s in 1999, just weeks before his untimely death.
Rick Danko concert poster, framed along with another event flyer I used the template to create.
Rick Danko concert poster design story
I sought out to create a vintage style poster simulating screen printed art. First, I found a suitable photo with a creative commons license attached. I then simplified it down to just black, and cut out the elements of the background, leaving only Rick, his microphone, and bass in the shot. After that, I added a solid green shade back in for the background of the photo. This made the image pop.
After laying out the focal image, I added all of the show information. As with many old school posters, the layout of the text blocks is important. Of course, I made the name of the headline artist the largest and set it in the heaviest weight. The supporting artists list in the accent color green, with a horizontal rule above it to further emphasize the headliner’s name. Varying weights of the same font create continuity, while still keeping the information distinct enough not to get lost. Finally, I reversed out the show date from a black block. The block containing the Lynagh’s logo balances it out at the top. I surrounded said logo with a celtic knot pattern on either side. This is a nod to the Irish theme of the bar.
Lynagh’s asked me to create a template from this design, which we would use for future events. Essentially, I can just replace the main photo, change the accent color, and the specific information. Thus far, I have used this for a handful of events and everyone loves them.
Like my Rick Danko concert poster? Contact me for your own event poster design
This Rick Danko concert poster design is one of my favorites. Do you need a graphic designer for your next event promotion? Contact me today!