Wow Zelig, that was very nice. I'm not sure if it's all that good or even deserves such analysis but thanks.
Not to toot my own horn or try and inflate my own ego but... I've been making a conscience effort on a lot of posters to use the paper color as a third color. When I did the Gossip poster I realized how effective it was to lay the black "mate/border" around the image, cause I originally designed it with no black mat and it really didn't work as hard. so, I always try to keep that in mind when I'm doing this shit - for the most part. sometimes I try to do the exact opposite and see how that goes too, like on the We Ragazzi poster. Ok, I'll shut up now.
Hynes, I tried on that new poster of mine to not use black, but it didn't work out. Too much white all around, and a general lack of focus over-all. I gave both versions to the band to choose from (black & blue, dark-blue & blue) and they chose the black one because of the contrast. I guess it is more difficult than I imagined.
This really works beautifully because he really balanced the colors well and made the white the focal point (which is really brilliant because it pushes the silly picture he was forced to use more into the background and brings your eye into the heart of the poster, down, and out). Really well thought out execution under unusual duress.
Like Zelig said with the security blanket part - it is hard to visualise without black. Possibly because of the nature of graphic design and the idea of simplifying the visual, If the basic design doesnt work in B&w then it probably wont be very strong in colour. It's an ingrained view of visual communication and I find it hard to break from.
I don't know if posters without black are that difficult. I think the main problem is a lot of people hold onto black like a security blanket. It's hard for them to see their stuff without it (I know that's my problem). I have to do a two color this weekend, and this poster is making me think of trying to break away and experiment. I think I've only done one poster without black, sad to say.