Concert Poster Design

Concert poster design certainly did not originate in the 1960’s. But , I would say that between the years 1955-1971 were the golden years of famous rock concert posters. Early on (if your old enough to remember) posters for events such as wrestling, boxing and musical events were very mundane and predictable. They were usually just a 2 color printing job and plastered on telephone poles near stop lights. For the times, this type of  concert poster design was exciting and caught your eye. Very bold and you got the message quick.

However, if you compare the posters of music, sports, and other events of the time…they all had a similar formula.  Also, they were cheap to produce.  Therefore you could print in high quantity to get the message out.  Most of them had this same look and feel as the James Brown poster featured here.

I have a sentimental feeling for these type of posters (from a graphics artist /historical viewpoint).   But, when you realize the multitude of posters produced with the same elements it was over kill and kind of boring after a while.  These type of 2-3 color events posters were produced mainly in the 1950’s. Concert poster design would get turned on it’s ear during the next decade.  No more restrictions on color – no more stamped out clones of posters.  There will be a revolution of art and music coming in the 60’s.

The type of original music created (mainly to compete with the British Invasion, a la “The Beatles”) would bring a new creative and colorful posters to represent it.  Also, notable artists, cartoonists and graphics people were on board for this art explosion.  Speaking of which, i just had a nice hand bill sent to me for apprasial.

Wow, it is nice.  I cant say that ive ever seen this particular piece for  “An American Music Show At The Rose Bowl”  I can tell you it must have been some event in 1968 with the muscial line up that was presented.  Joan Baez, The Byrds, Big Brother & The Holding Co. – the list goes on and on.

This looks to be from an underground cartoonist to me. But, I cant place it.  Anyone have a clue? If you have any info on this postcard/handbill or this event send me something back on it.  I am currently doing some research on this concert poster design and would welcome some advice info or help.

Keep On Truckin’ !!



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