Famous Concert Posters
The most famous concert posters in history, will not evolve overnight. Poster advertising (à la posters on telephone poles riddled with staples) would start up in the early to middle 50s. They were called the “boxing style” type of advertising posters. Simply because many of them did actually promote boxing events or wrestling events.
Concert Posters Art
To keep them inexpensive (unlike famous concert posters) the “boxing style” type posters were usually printed in only one or two colors. Maybe sometimes they would use colored poster paper to print on. So, as you can see the designers of these posters (maybe a paste up artist in a print shop) would have to be creative with the very few elements at his disposal. This meant they had to make full use of display type (or fonts) and bold colors and graphic shapes to grab the attention of passerby’s.
You know, I must say at this point – that some of these “boxing style” type posters are rare and very coveted collectors pieces. They may not be as graphically beautiful and colorful as more famous concert posters, but they are part of history and the origin of rock poster art.
Iconic Rock Posters 50s – 60s
Rock and Roll music was in its infancy and many promoters were putting together shows to go on the road. For 1950s & early iconic rock posters (such as these) the “poster design” seemed like the perfect choice to get the word out. Usually plastered on telephone poles sides of buildings and bulletin boards, they usually inhabited the perfect spot where teenagers we’re sure to see them.
The 1960s come roaring in. The counterculture, art, music, fashion and social climate all take a drastic turn. There is a generation gap and what worked before, will work no more. This means reaching further for answers and solutions outside the box. Many iconic rock posters will be shaped and even memorialized by music being made in this era. Experimenting and taking it to the opposite end of what had been written before. This (along with the huge migration of young people to cities like San Francisco) produced huge concerts, new concert venues and famous concert posters to promote these events.
(In the day) Most of the time rock posters were kind of a throwaway item. Because new ones would be printed again for next week’s concerts. In the aftermath some famous rock posters (that survived all of these years) now hang in famous art museums as rare works of art. They are treasure and worth their weight in gold. These days it can be an investment opportunity not unlike trading rare stamps or coins.
Relive some memories by collecting or investing wisely in some fine vintage posters by following image links below – let it rock to your very soul!