So recently I was provided with a perfect oppurtunity to do an experiment to test my beliefs about the creative process behind making and appropriate poster. A label i have been working for for nearly 5 years asked me to do a poster for a showcase gig they have coming up. I was told I could do anything I wnated with the poster.
The first thing I designed was done in a "designery" style. I tried to go with a concept that would fit the bands and label while trying to push the generaly accepted idea of what a punk/ metal poster should look like.
This is what I came up with.
They thought it looked gay. They didn't think it fit the label or bands at all. They said.... draw a skull or something cool. That people wouldn't "get it" and they would potentialy lose their core audience. They really drove home how important it was that this show be well attended. They have a big year coming up and this show is the first major piece of what they want to achieve. They also drove home the fact that it was a very expensive show for them to put on and that every single person that came to the show was crucial to the shows success
So I did this one ( the color version isn't finished yet). They freaked out and told me that it was perfect.
So, what I learned was that when the actual band or label is involved with what we do they REALLLY DO CARE that a poster be appropriate and cater to their core audience. At least in the punk/ metal world anyway. Had I been left to do what I wanted with no approval from the people directly affected by the poster I might have fucked up and done something that would have made them unhappy..
I did this experiment not just because I wanted to be right ( well I DID kind of want to be right) but mostly because I am a learner. I wanted to know if I was totaly wrong in my thinking about how posters are made. I wanted to test my beliefs. I would have been just as happy if I were wrong believe it or not. I actualy kind of liked the first poster although deep down I knew it wasn't gonna be right for them. I still think it captures the feel of the show while not being totaly obvious.
So now I REALLY feel that when the band or label is not directly involved in the process it is definetly my responsability to try and make a poster that represents the show and style of music. It may not always be the case, but I will try to keep this in mind when designing my future posters. If I decide to do any more posters. Going off and doing whatever I want might not be the best way to handle it.
All in all it was a pretty interesting experiment.