Hey, remember when Jack Black and Mos Def sweded VHS movies in Be Kind Rewind? Well, Swissted is kind of like that, only with punk gig flyers…
Hey, remember when Jack Black and Mos Def sweded VHS movies in Be Kind Rewind (2008)? Well, swissted, an ongoing project by NYC based designer Mike Joyce, is kind of like that…
Only, instead of recreating feature films in a low-fi fashion, he recreates punk rock gig flyers as Swiss style posters. So basically he is taking the punk out of punk, and what could possibly be more punk than that! Odd, but brilliant. (As a loyal supporter of both punk rock and typography, this is right up my alley.)
The number of flyers Mike has swissted is nothing short of astounding – at the time of writing this there are over 200 examples in the gallery! Of course he also has some rules: all posters are 35.5 inches wide by 50 inches high, all set in berthold akzidenz grotesk medium, all lowercase and all the shows actually happened.
Here are but a few examples:
Gig flyers have always been a playground for design experimentation, but they are usually not very representative of great typography. I think this one is a step up and I’ll tell you why…
I found this flyer for the Cape Town Folk ‘n Acoustic Music Festival at a coffee shop on my way to work this morning:
Gig flyers have always been a playground for design experimentation, but due to their low-fi tradition and the fact that they are probably often created by musicians rather than designers, they are usually not very representative of great typography.
I think this one is a step up and I’ll tell you why:
- The informal and somewhat zany geometric display type used for Folk ‘n Acoustic is anchored nicely by the graphic elements (banners, shapes, icons) around it.
- The visual hierarchy of information is presented well by the size and weight of the type; first what, then when and where, followed by who, and lastly the sponsors.
- The list of artists’ names vary in size and colour, yet the typographic colour (overall density) has been well preserved.
- The strong horisontal structure remains unbroken throughout.
- Sticking to just two colours (black and red) was a good choice, especially since the background is textured.
- Although it is quite text-heavy, there is enough white space for the design to breathe.
Looking at it a little more critically:
- I like the fact that designers are breaking free of the old use-no-more-than-two-fonts-per-design mantra, because it does work in many cases, but I have to question whether using five different fonts on the front of the flyer (plus two more on the back!) is necessary? Perhaps exploring a few different weights of a single typeface instead of using different font families would offer a more consistent result.
- I’m probably being pedantic here, but the misregistered effect used on music festival is redundent in context of the treatment across the rest of the layout.