The flyer is fine art. Growing up in the shadow of the baby boomers, I spent my youth hand drawing 8.5 x 11 posters for punk rock shows in San Francisco. At $25 a flyer, I would spend hours in Dirk Dirkson's office at the Mabuhay Gardens, and on the floor of record stores drawing, and cutting out images from magazines and news papers to assmble flyers which would be photocopied and stapled up to telephone poles all over the San Francisco bay area. I loved that this art was temporary, to be covered by other flyers, removed, burned away, torn down, and often cited by the police as illegal and littering.
In the anti-tradition of the elaborate posters of the Fillmore Ballroom from the late 1960's and into the 70's, my poster art began as disposable, inelegant, and the tradition of "if you don't know, don't go." The poster is something to get excited about, something to gently take down from the pole, bring home, and add to your bedroom wall. A reminder that you are not alone.
There is nothing about a poster or a flyer which actually makes or breaks an event. It is simple advertising, little more than the littering the police consider it, but when you connect with a poster, it becomes information in your head - knowledge. Where the inter-web, with all her unwanted emails, and ever present advertising, it is easy to overlook even the most annoying of moving graphics. They are annoying because we don't want to see them, and often make the choice not to even open an email with a dubious subject. Modern propaganda asks us to define ourselves more specifically, and thus the marketing we receive is better taylored to what we like, the events we attend, and information we - presumably - want to see. This method works on the subconscious, and it taxing and illegitemate. When confronted by a simple spash of red typography on a basic black and white flyer on a telephone pole, the imagination is fired, you have our strict attention. Style over content is the rule, as if to acknowledge the passerby with a sweet wink, and a kind of innocence that no other form of media can produce.
In the digital age, the hand out flyer, the windshielf wiper applique is dead. Twenty years ago people were lined up out in front of night clubs waiting to be handed flyers to underground events. Today, these are fodder for the recycling bin, or destined for the sidewalk. No one wants to be handed anything, or taxed any further than they already are. The leaflet hangers are no less than the homeless -- asking for a dollar. No thank you. Philisophically speaking, the flyer today must be either fine art, something beautiful to be hung on your office wall behind you, or it must be something which whispers to you somehow, drawing you into the content.
Weekly Poster - Print and Web
For the last 7 years I have personally waged war on the art of the slick, the glossy, the wasteful, and the profane. Every week the event Sunday Soul produces a new flyer and poster based on a theme. The themes range from latin, or arabic phrases, to simple words. My job has been to reflect this theme in a poster, to communicate the message of each week's theme at a glance.
Dubtribe Sound System
Tour Posters, Flyers, Leaflets - Print and Web
I decided in 1993 that Dubtribe Sound System was a feeling. An electronic band from San Francisco, Dubtribe were nothing to look at. So I concluded that they were simply a logo. I developed a logo which would be unmistakable, and when you saw it, your heart would leap with that feeling which only the physical experience of Dubtribe could produce - a memory.
Over the years, I have printed dozens of tour posters, designed flyers, booklets, press kits, and all forms of propaganda meant to communicate one simple message: Dubtribe. Naturally I lead with the chin, and chose always to use this unmistakable logo.
As the years passed, and the band made its efforts to step forward in their careers, they began to use other designers, and other forms of media to communicate. Magazine covers with their pictures on it began to appear, and this confused people, disconnected the band from the experience, and as the result the experience itself became convoluted, and confusing. I stand by my initial philosophy that Dubtribe are a visceral experience, a memory and a feeling - a logo.
Imperial DUB Recordings
Event Posters, Media Campaigns, Release Posters, Flyers - Print and Web
Imperial DUB Recordings was a project based on the do-it-yourself spirit of the reggae movement during the early 1970's. The label's ethics were to never say anything in english, never take returns, and only release music they absolutely loved (or had made themselves.)
The media campaigns included posters for events, releases, and tours, flyers, inserts, banners, packaging, cover art, letterhead, and a quarterly printed publication. I began this campaign much the same way I had imagined Dubtribe - with a logo. I hand cut the letters, enlarged a crown from a dictionary engraving, and pasted it up on a mock up board to be scanned. It wasn't until 1997 that I realized that to knock out the logo and use colors to theme the subjects that the logo was something which people didn't even see. So we began to stress type. From that moment on virutally all of the Imperial DUB media was simply words on paper with a simple logo at the top. We found that people were actually reading the flyers, taking in the information, and holding us accountable for the content.
Unlike Dubtribe, where the logo represented a physical experience, the IDR logo was like a watermark saying, "May I have your attention please?"
R. Wellington Cameron BFA, BA
Project Management, Consulting, Graphic Design, HTML, CSS, PHP
Items of interest
The Human Immuno Transversarium A Pied Deficiency Syndrome pdf
soon to be a minor motion picture