We might live in an increasingly digital world but event flyer and record sleeve design are in equally rude health. Browsing Spotify or iTunes, reducing album artwork to a mere thumbnail obviously has its impact, but for people buying physical music, in particular vinyl, the accompanying visual element often proves the determining factor on whether you’ll give it a listen. The same applies to event artwork – I can’t tell you how many times I’ve skipped over an event listing because the design didn’t quite line up to what I commonly associate with my taste in nightlife. In short, it’s fairly easy to ascertain whether something’s catering to your tastes with a sideways glance at the aesthetics on show.
Before the advent of social media, visual collateral attached to musical endeavours seemed to be valued on similar terms, but today, it does feel somewhat under-appreciated. In response, we’ve been taking the time to celebrate some of our favourite designers plying their trade in 2018. More than likely to be lauded as visual artefacts in the not-so-distant future, here’s the third instalment…
Incorporating elements of the found imagery and photocopy aesthetic mainly seen in older zines or ’80s-style corporate design in his use of typography, Parks Perdue’s output evokes a feeling of vicarious nostalgia that is all too common in modern flyer design – after all, how many times has that zine aesthetic been appropriated to death by people who have likely never laid their hands on the source of their inspiration? The thing is, despite his young age, the 22-year-old has been injecting a new vitality into those well-worn design tropes.
Laying garish, often neon, colourways over dark backgrounds, Perdue’s work is undeniably tongue-in-cheek, combining things like religious iconography or neo-classicism with an absurdist approach. Never failing to grab your attention, his online portfolio features work for labels like Origin Peoples and Tram Planet Records alongside his own endeavours, namely his production alias, Intimacy, and label, DM Hardware.
As far as originality goes, 12th Isle crew member and Firecracker Recordings affiliate Al White stands head and shoulders above most. His designs are somewhat crude and primitive, but also wonderfully psychedelic and engrossing – there’s no mistaking his work for anyone else’s.
Blurring the line between commonplace objects and surrealism, the screen-printing techniques used render almost uncanny results. From the record sleeves sheathing music often as outlandish as the designs they bear to the flyers he’s done for parties like Disco Ma Non Troppo, there’s a rawness to Glasgow-based artist’s work, but it also allows its viewer to lose themselves a bit, should they choose to.
Matthew Miller is a painter and practitioner of mixed media techniques, and while he doesn’t have too much featured on his portfolio in the way of design work linked to music, we really love what he’s produced for London-based party and record label Let’s Go Swimming. With no two quite the same, the striking use of colour, intelligent use of space and collagist approach have given us some of the freshest flyers seen in recent memory. Combining elements of photography and digital design with his painterly brush strokes, we look forward to seeing what he serves up next.