Posters that were once produced simply as advertisements and promotional pieces for gigs and concerts have become a serious art form and collectible. Gig posters say almost as much about a music scene as the music itself.
Many music scenes and social movements have become synonymous with the poster art that was created around it. The psychedelic licks of the ‘60s conjure the LSD trip imagery, awash with kaleidoscopic colors, the effusive text bearing the names of bands, venues, dates. Then you have the distinctly different aesthetic, but familiar convergence of music and printed matter seen in punk circles of the late ‘70s. Imagery that radiates dissidence, dissatisfaction with cultural norms and the political status quo; punk only really ever needed a few chords, some loud amps, and a pissed off vocalist with an axe to grind. The artwork echoes that. The intricate design skills and rich color palette of the ‘60s was no longer a requirement for creating punk posters. Like DIY-style of the music made by musicians still figuring out how to play, punk posters are striking, often monochromatic, cut+paste, ephemeral, and unsentimental.
Gig posters are a celebration of the music, the band, the fans, and the community that envelops each. Many bands use their collaborations between poster artists across different mediums as an additional creative outlet to the music they create. As the author of Art of Rock and Art of Modern Rock, Paul Grushkin says of poster artist, Leia Bell (and many of her peers), “She is creating art that is the equal to any art being created anywhere in the world in terms of its imagination, interpretation of what’s happening in music. Music is changing. People are taking control of it on their own.”
Music Posters on Discogs
Discogs is seeking to highlight that connection between music releases and the posters that surround those bands, artists, music scenes and movements by including music posters in the Discogs Database. You might have noticed the addition to artist pages on Discogs, now offering several tabs for collectibles that relate to these artists.
By cataloging posters alongside music releases, we’re aiming to offer music fans and collectors a broader range of music collectibles. Music posters also contribute to our ongoing mission to build a complete picture of music history through data. Gig posters can tell us a lot about where and when bands have performed, with what kind of frequency, on what kind of bills, the relationships between artists, as well as reveal stories about iconic venues that hosted these performances.
Music Poster Submission Drive
We’ve made a pretty strong start to cataloging music posters on Posterogs, but we need your help. We’re running a week long submission drive for posters between August 19-25; add your posters to the database, help us fill the gaps in our catalog, and dominate the leaderboard. Whether you’ve got gig posters, album promo posters, inserts, festival posters, handbills or flyers, they’re welcome on Posterogs.