Thinking Big and Banging It Out – Poster Design for Michael Pollan at The Crocodile
TONIGHT – Thursday, May 16th at the Crocodile, we have a super-tasty show covering a few of the acclaimed Michael Pollan’s best known books. You should go to it. And now…
If you’ve been to any Bushwick Book Club Seattle event in the last 3 years, what you probably haven’t heard us ask you as much as we should is: how did you hear about the show? Maybe you heard Geoff on the radio. Maybe you know one of the songwriters, musicians, or performers. Maybe you got a Facebook invite from a trusted friend. Maybe you wrote the book.
From now on, whatever the motivations for gathering your book loving butts up from your comfy armchairs actually are, when anyone asks why – you say, “Because of that F’ing Rad Poster.” That will make me feel awesome. Or it will make Michael Wallenfels feel awesome. It’s not important who gets to feel awesome as long as it’s one of us. The performers get to feel awesome all the time either by leaving the stage to a raucous applause, or by leaving the stage without having died of anxiety, or by getting all the chicks, etc. – c’mon, they will be fine.
I know that sounds like a designer saying, “Waaah! We don’t get anything!” Yes, but that would also be what we call “roping you in to a blog post.”
So actually, to be honest, we designers get all kinds of respect and recognition, and a ridiculous amount of praise, especially when like-minded artistic types are involved. But I had to find a way to start writing about the idea of a gig poster as something integral to a successful show. Really, it is very important, but its importance is intrinsic – it’s built in. You can’t not have a poster, or at least it’s not wise not to. Years of experience has taught me the only thing truly impactful about gig posters is whether or not you have one (and also if you distribute any).
Obviously that is simplifying things a bit – there is a wonderfully intricate landscape of gig poster history, from uncommonly awful to absolute works of art. But, The Bushwick book Club Seattle shows are a special kind of opportunity for everyone involved – the grand ambitions vs. reality tug-of-war of putting together something so quickly is not much different than the process all Bushwick performers know so well – a pressure cooker of great ideas and limited time.
Each event brings its own unique experiences for both performers and volunteers and audiences, so today we’re kicking off a regular segment meant to share a little more of that with you. In my case it’s the agony and ecstasy of show poster design, Bushwick style.
Follow along after the break with the (somewhat) less verbose story of the Michael Pollan poster.
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