60 Concert Posters From Ten Amazing Artists

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When scouring the design field, searching for stand-out artistic expression and fluid composition, one area that should always catch the eye, is poster design. Moreover, concert poster design, which has produced some truly revolutionary artists and works for generations now, should be paid particular attention to. Fluidity of design is especially key in poster layouts, as there is a finite space, and numerous points to capture and pass along within these confines.

The designer must encapsulate not only the band’s attitude and tone with the work, but also impart the feel of the album or tour that the poster is announcing. And speaking of announcements, the posters must seamlessly incorporate the typography that tells the reader the names, dates, and places of import. All the while maintaining the impact of the piece, and not overworking or overfilling the area and detracting from it’s overall arrangement.

So many shining examples of this exist in the art community, and in this episode of Monday Inspiration we present 60 inspiring concert poster designs from 10 amazing artists. The links at the bottom will take you to sites dedicated to showcasing other wonderful works from the concert poster genre.

Emek Link

Emek1 is an awe-inspiring artist with a natural depth and vibrance to his work. From stunningly styled typography to intricately carved creative designs, Emek’s work shines out among his peers, and was an easy addition to this inspiring bunch.

Moe by Emek2

The Mars Volta by Emek3

Peeping Tom by Emek4

The Pixies by Emek5

Coheed and Cambria by Emek6

The Distillers by Emek7

Mike Klay Link

Mike Klay8 is a stellar stand-out in the field of concert poster design. His simplicity of style and nature packs so much of the message in such compact creations, using clean, crisp vectors to achieve his task without using all of the available space. Saying so much with so little, is an awesome feat, and Mike Klay achieves this with ease.

The Mountain Goats by Mike Klay9

Bob Marley's Wailers by Mike Klay10

Simian Mobile Disco by Mike Klay11

The Faint by Mike Klay12

Wilco by Mike Klay13

Fu Manchu by Mike Klay14

Jim Phillips Link

Jim Phillips’15 singular voice and untethered style give his work such a varied and boundless feel that it’s easy to see why his work has spanned generations, standing firmly against the tests of time.

George Clinton by Jim Phillilps16

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers by Jim Phillilps17

Robert Cray Band by Jim Phillilps18

Zero by Jim Phillilps19

SF Arts Show by Jim Phillilps20

Billham by Jim Phillilps21

Rex Ray Link

Rex Ray’s22 eclectic work in concert poster design combines a retro feel with a piercing, modern attitude that explodes from within his work and captures the attention while tickling the imagination. Rex Ray’s stimulating style can not, and should not be ignored.

Beck by Rex Ray23

Nine Inch Nails by Rex Ray24

PJ Harvey by Rex Ray25

U2 by Rex Ray26

Bjork by Rex Ray27

Oasis by Rex Ray28

Jermaine Rogers Link

Jermaine Rogers29 is one of those raw expressive aritsts whose work makes you feel like an addict. It seeps into your skin and excites your senses with it’s bite and it’s dark beauty leaving you longing for more. With his sharp and edgy style, Jermaine Rogers’ work will be inspiring artists for years to come.

Ween by Jermaine Rogers30

The Deftones by Jermaine Rogers31

The Mars Volta by Jermaine Rogers32

Tool by Jermaine Rogers33

Morrissey by Jermaine Rogers34

Radiohead by Jermaine Rogers35

Frank Kozik Link

Frank Kozik36 stylishly blends a punk rock attitude with intense colors and textures to stamp an imaginative mark on the design community. His no-holds-barred and uncompromising approach to his work, make it easy to see why this creative giant has been credited with reviving this lost artform.

Iggy Pop by Frank Kozik37

Red Hot Chili Peppers by Frank Kozik38

Sweet Vine by Frank Kozik39

Emo's by Frank Kozik40

The Beastie Boys by Frank Kozik41

High On Fire by Frank Kozik42

Chris Shaw Link

Some artists’ work has an aura about it, that creates a tone which radiates from the piece and infects the environment around it. There are not many artists with a voice this vibrant and alive, but Chris Shaw43 is one of them, and a concert poster list would not be complete without giving this titan of artistic style and complex composition a nod.

Pearl Jam by Chris Shaw44

Primus by Chris Shaw45

Hole by Chris Shaw46

Matchbox Twenty by Chris Shaw47

Widespread Panic by Chris Shaw48

Violent Femmes by Chris Shaw49

Nel ‘Jagmo’ Jacobson Link

Some artist’s style speaks volumes with the depths of their designs, and the intricate weaving of different elements throughout their work. Nel Jacobson, known also as Jagmo50, is the type of artist that can accomplish these amazing feats with ease and simplicity. This inspiring artist consistently uses minimalistic design elements, and then fills the space brilliantly incorporating massive typography with balance and skill.

Grace Face by Jagmo51

Dee Lite by Jagmo52

The Proclaimers by Jagmo53

The B52's by Jagmo54

Bob Dylan by Jagmo55

Dead Kennedys by Jagmo56

Craig Howell Link

For nearly a decade, Craig Howell57, has led a charge through the concert poster design community leaving a vibrant and explosive mark in his path. His highly original work has kept his name circulating throughout the industry, and has kept this talented artist in popular demand. With an unmatched voice, and unparalleled vision, this behemoth of beauty is destined to be a classic in the field.

Jay Farrar by Craig Howell58

System of a Down by Craig Howell59

Godsmack by Craig Howell60

Coldplay by Craig Howell61

Phish by Craig Howell62

Fatboy Slim by Craig Howell63

James Rheem Davis Link

As far as insipiration goes, the work of James Rheem Davis64 is that rare breed of designer that adeptly captures the very essence of beauty in the dark and macabre. Flawlessly conveying the desired message with near nightmarish representations of a twisted take on the world around. With morbid and melancholy tones to match the images, Davis’ posters have a haunting effect on the viewer.

Poison The Well by James Rheem Davis65

The Devil Wears Prada by James Rheem Davis66

Flyleaf by James Rheem Davis67

Slayer by James Rheem Davis68

Tool by James Rheem Davis69

Bleeding Through by James Rheem Davis70

Last Click Link

Again, with Chris Shaw’s amazing talents having inspired so many artists in the field, we felt the last click should go to him.

Billy Idol by Chris Shaw71

Resources Link

Footnotes Link

  1. 1 http://www.emek.net
  2. 2 http://www.emek.net/posters/m/moe1.html
  3. 3 http://www.emek.net/posters/m/mars3.html
  4. 4 http://www.emek.net/posters/p/peeping.html
  5. 5 http://www.emek.net/posters/p/pixies1.html
  6. 6 http://www.emek.net/posters/c/coheed.html
  7. 7 http://www.emek.net/posters/d/distillers2.html
  8. 8 http://www.powerslidedesign.com
  9. 9 http://www.gigposters.com/poster/74897_Mountain_Goats.html
  10. 10 http://www.gigposters.com/poster/57671_Wailers.html
  11. 11 http://www.gigposters.com/poster/95074_Dave_P.html
  12. 12 http://www.gigposters.com/poster/100622_Faint.html
  13. 13 http://www.gigposters.com/poster/80527_Wilco.html
  14. 14 http://www.gigposters.com/poster/76009_Fu_Manchu.html
  15. 15 http://www.jimphillips.com/
  16. 16 http://www.jimphillips.com/jimpix4.htm
  17. 17 http://www.jimphillips.com/jimpix2.htm
  18. 18 http://www.jimphillips.com/jimpix2.htm
  19. 19 http://www.jimphillips.com/jimpix2.htm
  20. 20 http://www.jimphillips.com/jimpix.htm
  21. 21 http://www.jimphillips.com/jimpix6.htm
  22. 22 http://www.rexray.com
  23. 23 http://www.rexray.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=11_12&products_id=42
  24. 24 http://www.rexray.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=11_12&products_id=53
  25. 25 http://www.wolfgangsvault.com/dt/live-poster/BGP125-PO.html
  26. 26 http://www.wolfgangsvault.com/dt/u2-poster/BGP167-PO.html
  27. 27 http://www.wolfgangsvault.com/dt/bjork-poster/BGP271-PO.html
  28. 28 http://www.wolfgangsvault.com/CatalogDetail.aspx?ItemNumber=BGP141&ProductTypeID=PO&CategoryID=&aid=34642
  29. 29 http://www.jermainerogers.com/
  30. 30 http://www.gigposters.com/poster/89417_Ween.html
  31. 31 http://www.gigposters.com/poster/73018_Deftones.html
  32. 32 http://www.gigposters.com/poster/96358_Mars_Volta.html
  33. 33 http://www.gigposters.com/poster/69694_Tool.html
  34. 34 http://www.gigposters.com/poster/81870_Morrissey.html
  35. 35 http://www.gigposters.com/poster/97136_Radiohead.html
  36. 36 http://www.fkozik.com/
  37. 37 http://www.gigposters.com/poster/19107_Iggy_Pop.html
  38. 38 http://www.gigposters.com/poster/7130_.html
  39. 39 http://www.gigposters.com/poster/6342_Sweetvine.html
  40. 40 http://www.gigposters.com/poster/6909_.html
  41. 41 http://www.gigposters.com/poster/6318_.html
  42. 42 http://www.gigposters.com/poster/71251_High_On_Fire.html
  43. 43 http://www.wolfgangsvault.com/ar/chris-shaw/9372.html
  44. 44 http://www.wolfgangsvault.com/dt/pearl-jam-proof/BGP083-PF.html
  45. 45 http://www.wolfgangsvault.com/dt/primus-proof/F124-PF.html
  46. 46 http://www.wolfgangsvault.com/dt/hole-proof/F170-PF.html
  47. 47 http://www.wolfgangsvault.com/dt/matchbox-twenty-proof/F405-PF.html
  48. 48 http://www.wolfgangsvault.com/dt/widespread-panic-proof/BGP241-PF.html
  49. 49 http://www.wolfgangsvault.com/dt/violent-femmes-poster/F291-PO.html
  50. 50 http://www.jagmo.com/posters/index.html
  51. 51 http://www.jagmo.com/posters/90_021.html
  52. 52 http://www.jagmo.com/posters/91_012.html
  53. 53 http://www.jagmo.com/posters/89_006.html
  54. 54 http://www.jagmo.com/posters/89_021.html
  55. 55 http://www.jagmo.com/posters/90_dyl.html
  56. 56 http://www.jagmo.com/posters/84_005.html
  57. 57 http://cheebaproductions.com/posters.html
  58. 58 http://cheebaproductions.com/farrar.html
  59. 59 http://cheebaproductions.com/posters.soad.html
  60. 60 http://cheebaproductions.com/godsmack.html
  61. 61 http://cheebaproductions.com/coldplay.html
  62. 62 http://cheebaproductions.com/posters.phish.html
  63. 63 http://cheebaproductions.com/fatboy.html
  64. 64 http://www.giantsumo.com/
  65. 65 http://www.gigposters.com/poster/82489_Poison_The_Well.html
  66. 66 http://www.gigposters.com/poster/96221_Devil_Wears_Prada.html
  67. 67 http://www.gigposters.com/poster/82491_Flyleaf.html
  68. 68 http://www.gigposters.com/poster/67006_Thine_Eyes_Bleed.html
  69. 69 http://www.gigposters.com/poster/82487_Tool.html
  70. 70 http://www.gigposters.com/poster/56086_Bleeding_Through.html
  71. 71 http://www.wolfgangsvault.com/dt/billy-idol-poster/BGP266-PO.html
  72. 72 http://www.wolfgangsvault.com/
  73. 73 http://www.gigposters.com
  74. 74 http://inspiredology.com/graphic-design/part-1-125-concert-posters/
  75. 75 http://inspiredology.com/graphic-design/part-2-125-concert-posters/
  76. 76 http://flickr.com/groups/concertposters/pool/
  77. 77 http://www.bittbox.com/news/tons-and-tons-of-design-inspiration-concert-posters/

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Rob Bowen is a staff writer for Web Hosting Geeks and Top Web Hosting, a longtime freelance designer, and burgeoning videographer and filmmaker whose creative voice and works can be heard and found around the web.

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  1. 1

    Funny this was posted today. Last week a blog did interviews with Mike Klay & 7 other poster artists: http://stickersanddonuts.com/tag/poster-party/

    -1
  2. 2

    Nice, good post, but something tells me it’s loads of the same… pitty

    1st btw, lol :P

    0
  3. 3

    dude, that just sooo awsome!

    0
  4. 4

    More great posters and flyers can be seen at: Vera Groningen. A local underground club with a really cool homeprinted magazine and great posters.

    1
  5. 5

    Great collection, but i still think, you forgott this one:
    http://www.rockcandyposters.com/catalog/1d04_1_290_1.JPG

    0
  6. 6

    agreed with Jurryt – too much of the same, but also a lot of inspiration.

    0
  7. 7

    İnteresting,thanks. | Turkey

    0
  8. 8

    Some really excellent work, but a lot of that is really awful.

    I understand that a lot of gig posters are designed to commemorate the gig, rather than advertise it, but the first thing you notice should be the band’s name, then the date, then the venue – not the artwork.

    Also, a lot of these are really out of keeping with the band’s image.

    And, where were the Small Stakes?

    1
  9. 9

    I would have to say Rock posters are one of my biggest inspirations, So it was cool to see some artists in there that I didn’t know along with the heavy weights.

    I do think a great artist to mention would have been Rick Griffen, as he was obviously a big influence on a lot of these guys.

    0
  10. 10

    Aussie artist Ken Taylor deserves a mention here.

    0
  11. 11

    Good!I like it

    0
  12. 12

    Okay… two in a row. There is nothing unique about any of these artists nor should their work be highlighted and published like this out of the blue. These guys know what they’re doing ( Link ), if you’re looking for influential poster art. You, however do not. Smashing, what happened to the quality posts of old? I used to check your site every day for inspiration. One more BS ad to soak up advertising like this, and I am crossing you off my list. I advise and young and aspiring designers to do the same if you see what I see. Your work suffers when you waste your time on crap like this, I promise you.

    Am I expecting too much?

    0
  13. 13

    thanks! i loved the first two. very inspiring. the others looked pretty much the same..

    0
  14. 14

    FAIL – every day that you put photos or random things like this I don’t click ads. When you put free icons, or fonts, or tools, good tips, lists of applications that help us or other good posts, I click at least 3 ads in one day, and refresh my page 10-15 times.

    0
  15. 15

    You are missing one of the great poster designers of our time: Derek Hess. I’d even throw Modern Dog in there too, despite the fact that they are a design firm, their gig posters are great.

    0
  16. 16

    Mike Klay’s work is awesome! Can’t belive it’s already Monday. :)

    0
  17. 17

    Well, there goes my day! Concert posters — and album covers — are two of my favorite sources of inspiration. Thanks for the fun links!

    @Samuel Cotterall – I disagree. This is 2008, not 1968. We have the internet, tv, and advertisements everywhere: we don’t need such info prominently displayed on the poster anymore. If you want to know when your favorite band is playing, you don’t look for a poster, you go to their website. Posters are for the fans already at the show.

    Concert posters are one of the few remaining places where an artist can truly go wild with creativity; I, for one, love it!

    0
  18. 18

    What?! No mention of Alan Forbes? I call shenanigans….

    0
  19. 19

    mind freshing ..twister art work

    0
  20. 20

    Dude!…. This post is mind blowing! Good an fun time invested. Though I miss many real good poster of pearl jam. BTW you should do the same here but with concert tickets.

    0
  21. 21

    amazing. nice post
    ty 4 Brazil

    0
  22. 22

    Thanks for all the feedback. Sorry to those who think that this is too much of the same, but I have to disagree. I think this is a nice variety of artists and styles. Also, I like the fact that you can see shared influences in some of their works. To me that feeds the inspiration, but again, that’s just me.

    @ mikemike – Sorry you don’t like the inspiration posts, I find them helpful, and well, inspiring. :)

    @ Daniel – Alan Forbes, and fans, please forgive the transgression.

    0
  23. 23

    sausage fest.

    0
  24. 24

    No Aaron Horkey? This is terrible. And this deceivingly gives the reader the idea that all great gig poster artists do work for shitty, awful bands.

    0
  25. 25

    Nice collection, Smashing Magazine are expert in their own way….

    0
  26. 26

    It’s fine, but the title should like – horror collection

    0
  27. 27

    Failed to load any images.

    0
  28. 28

    no derek hess? wtf?

    0
  29. 29

    Doublenaut in Toronto does really great posters. Check them out!
    http://www.doublenaut.com/work/posters/

    1
  30. 30

    @ #7 Rick Griffin should have been at the top, or most notable. There were definitely a few others during the 60’s and 70’s, that a lot of these artists borrow from. Rick Griffins work aside from concert posters is equally stunning.

    0
  31. 31

    @ Samuel Cotterall (September 28th, 2008, 1:39 pm)
    “Some really excellent work, but a lot of that is really awful.”

    I agree with this part of your post. Most of those are god aweful and I don’t understand how they ever made it to print. If I were to even suggest such rubbish to my customers (yes, a few are artists, although not (rock) bands) they’d go elsewhere before I’d finished talking. But perhaps it’s a culture thing, with such designs called good being rooted in the music style.

    Still, it’s good to see such posts as they remind us how many different “good” designs there can be, and it can help us to think outside the box to accommodate new potential customers.

    0
  32. 32

    Great list, though I miss the ones from Atzgerei (Atzgerei.com) for Sonic Youth, Melvins, Fu Manchu, Xiu Xiu, No Means No and many more. They are great! Have to be in the next smashing list!

    0
  33. 33

    Wow, thanks for leaving out Mati Klarwein, I guess you’ve shown the audience how limited your musical knowledge is; that’s what I’ve learned, and only that.

    0
  34. 34

    Justin (www.DotNetMushroom.com)

    September 29, 2008 12:23 am

    Whoa ! Now this is a truly interesting post !! I have an idea that you can do a blog post on – the creativity of Vinyl LP Sleeves – especially if you take the mid 60’s till early 70’s. Lots of complicated, intricate, phsychedelic freehand designs there. Let me start you off with Deep Purple’s The Book of Taliesyn ….

    DotNetMushroom

    0
  35. 35

    something is missing

    0
  36. 36

    you forgot robert marx!!

    0
  37. 37

    No Coop? Awwwww.

    0
  38. 38

    mmm, some are nice, but some are REALLY awful!!!

    0
  39. 39

    Why are you guys compalining ? If you really think you can do a better job then give us something… Instead of mentioning just one or two names… The guy been doing his research and compiled it for us, show a little gratitude… Critics are critics, but there are limits guys…

    Besides, the tittle is monday inspiration… If this post turns out didn’t inspire you then what’s wrong with that ? You can’t have the world always turn on your ways only man…

    Btw, great job to you Robert… Thanks Man… Cheers..

    0
  40. 40

    Loving the “Sweet Vine” poster – Very Alphonse Mucha – One of my favourite poster artists of the Fin de siècle.

    0
  41. 41

    @b (September 28th, 2008, 10:18 pm)

    “no derek hess? wtf?”

    My thoughts exactly. To me, Hess has always been the first artist I think of when it comes to concert posters.

    0
  42. 42
  43. 43

    Concert posters are crazy. Great gallery ! (and cool to see so many mars volta’s ;))

    0
  44. 44

    Yes they are of a very similar style! But with Concert Posters Especially American Events its all about the Venue and keeping that hand made photocopied feel and look. I agree the Cold Play poster made no sense but i love the Mars Volta Venue posters especially the System of a Down! Great Post

    0
  45. 45

    Mars Volta <3

    0
  46. 46

    Fantastic post! Love it!

    Chris

    0
  47. 47

    nice post, but so very incomplete…if I had to rate this post on a 1-10 scale, it would get a 1 for incompleteness.

    these are some great posters by some great artists, but there are even more missing…so sad.

    My favorite is Jeff Wood of Drowning Creek Studio in GA. He’s done posters for Conscious Alliance, Christmas Jam, Smilefest, Widespread Panic, and many many more!

    http://www.drowningcreek.com

    All that being said…one of my biggest inspirations is concert posters, the walls of my office are almost literally wallpapered with posters, as I look up above my monitor, there are 20+ right in front of me…so that being said, good post for inspirational source.

    0
  48. 48

    I am with the guy that called fail due to no Horkey.

    Well worth the time for anyone here to check him out.

    0
  49. 49

    Great post!

    0
  50. 50

    The Coldplay poster is a lot more exciting than the actual band experience. A credit to the artists.

    0

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