Summer 2010

Formal lawlessness [EXTRACT]

Fragmentation in the music industry has aided the rise of rock posters – personal, ‘unbranded’, cool – sold directly to fans.

If there’s a teenage ritual that hasn’t been sucked into a computer screen’s warm glow just yet, it’s covering bedroom walls with printed matter that celebrates one’s musical allegiances.

A visit to, the online hub for rock poster art, confirms that more than a few creative types cherish this tradition: the site boasts a roster of more than 9000 site-approved designers. This poster design revolution is not moving out into the streets, though. Rather, it starts at a band’s merchandise table or on a designer’s website, and ends, often nicely framed, in a fan’s apartment or workspace.

The rock poster is and always has been a means for designers to channel their energies into what they love and preserve more creative control over their work, without ‘working for the man’ …

First published in Eye no. 76 vol. 19.