concert poster

Pedestrians Kentucky Blues Concert PosterPedestryans

Lexington, KY

Here’s a retro concert poster that I designed for a 2022 show at Lynagh’s Irish Pub in Lexington. My friend Destry is a classy lady who sings and plays guitar in the blues based alternative rock band Pedestryans. Her selfie game is on point, and she often rocks a variety of vintage styles, so I thought featuring a classic 1950s style pin up girl would fit.

Retro Concert Poster Story

When I chose the vintage style pin up girl photo from my extensive stock image collection, I knew that I wanted to bathe it in an aqua blue tint. I overlaid the whole image with a wavy “static” pattern, so as to imitate vintage TV interference. Also, I envisioned wrapping the band names around the black vinyl record that she is holding. The bright pink and orange hues of the names help them stand out over the wax circle.  

For the date at the top, I manually jumbled the letters in order to give it a retro, playful feel. I also jumbled the letters at the bottom of the page that spell out the venue name. The bright yellow date is encased in a typical 50’s “futuristic” style black curved shape. I then added a subtle gradient that fades the aqua blue to purple at the bottom in order to highlight “At Lynagh’s”. Other event information floats to the left and right of the pin up girl in black. I added a wave warp effect to it in order to give it some movement and also to increase the kitsch factor.

Contact Me If You Need A Retro Concert Poster

Are you holding an event that would benefit from a retro concert poster design? I love incorporating vintage 1950s elements into promotional ads! Contact me today to get started.

LGBTQ Fairness Benefit Poster Design

Fairness WV

Huntington, WV

West Virginia based band Jay Parade offered my band Sempervivi a spot on this benefit show they were holding for Fairness WV. The guys liked my poster design for another show we did together, so they asked if I would donate my time for this cause. I happily agreed to provide this LGBTQ fairness poster design.

LGBTQ Fairness Poster Design Story

Josh from Jay Parade gave me all of the information about the equality event, such as the bands performing and the starting time. I contacted the venue, as well as Fairness WV, to obtain their logos. Since the organization had confidence in my skills, they did not insist on any specific design elements for the layout. Although I knew I wanted to include a rainbow in some way, I didn’t want to stoop to cliches or pandering. When working on a project such as this, it is easy to make it too cute. I wanted to create an eye catching, bright poster that clearly announced what the event was, as well as its goal.

Using negative space for some of the typography was another goal. White “paint” splatters create that negative space in front of the rainbow color gradient background. I reversed out both the logos at the top, as well as the date and other information at the bottom. Then I added a rad rocker jumping with his guitar as the focal image. I reduced the image down to black and white, so it would stand out in front of the rainbow background. Once I added a motion blur filter, the guitarist was complete. Each of the band names features a perspective warp to give it some motion as it wraps around the guitarist.

When I put all of those elements together, I thought it was good, but not quite complete yet. In order to complete the LGBTQ Fairness Poster Design, I shrunk everything down and centered it. Then, I created an homage to the Appalachian mountains shared by West Virginia and my home state of Kentucky. I added some black and white mountain photos to make the new background. Now, the rainbow scheme really pops!

Contact Me For Your LGBTQ Fairness Poster Design

Will your fairness campaign hold a fundraiser soon? You need a professional graphic designer to help draw attention to your benefit event.  Contact me today.

Sempervivi music poster design with wrestling themeSempervivi

Lexington, KY

I created this music poster design for my band Sempervivi’s crowdfunding campaign. We were raising money to release our first full length album, “Can’t Please Everyone”. I contracted comic artist Chris Schweizer to bring my concept to life. The band would be shown wrestling my childhood teddy bear Flash. The results were even better than I’d imagined.

Music poster design with wrestling theme

While brainstorming perks for our backers, I determined that posters would be ideal. The old school wrestling theme could include many aspects. However, I decided to mimic a pivotal event in my childhood, Wrestlemania VI in Toronto. The larger than life Hulk Hogan met The Ultimate Warrior for the WWF Championship in Toronto. Posters depicted them dwarfing a frozen mountain range. In order to faithfully hearken back to this classic image, I had my work cut out for me.

Wrestlemania VI promo art this music poster design is based on

Wrestlemania VI promo art this music poster design is based on

I had already created a parody style logo based on the classic Wrestlemania logo. Next, I carefully reproduced the original metallic chrome and gold gradients. My striking tribute caught old school wrestling fans’ eyes. The retro neon pink and green subtexts also jumped off the landscape.

I then added images from our album art. The “Match of the Century” was on! Chris’s drawings show Flash with his championship belt. Meanwhile, the band stood in the locker room vowing revenge.

After arranging the foreground images, I then built the fantasy background scene. I successfully paid tribute to the original 1990 WWF poster without outright copying it. Victory!

Contact me if you need a music poster design

All in all, this music poster design is one of my favorites. I always enjoy when I can combine my interests into one ad. Can I interest your band, record label, or music festival in a poster graphic design? Perhaps you’re a wrestling promoter needing high end promo art. Contact me today.

Rick Danko concert poster design (The Band) by Lexington, KY graphic designerLynagh’s Irish Pub

Lexington, KY

Since 1981, Lynagh’s Irish Pub has hosted many local and national concerts here in Lexington. The owners commissioned me to create a series of posters to commemorate many of the famous acts they have hosted over the years. I created this Rick Danko concert poster design for one such act, the bassist of the legendary group The Band. He performed solo at Lynagh’s in 1999, just weeks before his untimely death.

Rick Danko concert poster, along with another event flyer I used the template for.

Rick Danko concert poster, framed along with another event flyer I used the template to create.

Rick Danko concert poster design story

I sought out to create a vintage style poster simulating screen printed art. First, I found a suitable photo with a creative commons license attached. I then simplified it down to just black, and cut out the elements of the background, leaving only Rick, his microphone, and bass in the shot. After that, I added a solid green shade back in for the background of the photo. This made the image pop.

After laying out the focal image, I added all of the show information. As with many old school posters, the layout of the text blocks is important. Of course, I made the name of the headline artist the largest and set it in the heaviest weight. The supporting artists list in the accent color green, with a horizontal rule above it to further emphasize the headliner’s name. Varying weights of the same font create continuity, while still keeping the information distinct enough not to get lost. Finally, I reversed out the show date from a black block. The block containing the Lynagh’s logo balances it out at the top. I surrounded said logo with a celtic knot pattern on either side. This is a nod to the Irish theme of the bar.

Lynagh’s asked me to create a template from this design, which we would use for future events. Essentially, I can just replace the main photo, change the accent color, and the specific information. Thus far, I have used this for a handful of events and everyone loves them.

Like my Rick Danko concert poster? Contact me for your own event poster design

This Rick Danko concert poster design is one of my favorites. Do you need a graphic designer for your next event promotion? Contact me today!

Louisville, Kentucky CD release flyer by Bluegrass poster designer

Misty Mountain String Band

Louisville, KY

I have worked with my prize clients The Misty Mountain String Band on many projects, from T-shirt designs to vinyl banners. After creating the CD layout for their 2018 album Kentucky Bound, I was honored to also design the CD release poster. I am proud of my reputation as a Bluegrass poster designer, so this project was very satisfying.

Kentucky CD release show flyer by Bluegrass poster designer

The Bluegrass quartet gave me the option to either base the design off of the album artwork, or create something entirely new. I chose the former. The vintage paintings of nature elements, as well as the roots instruments, perfectly compliment to the old time feel of MMSB’s music.

The original illustrator supplied several large images to choose from. I, being the Bluegrass poster designer, chose to incorporate two robins, which I cut out of a larger composite image. Also, I cleaned up her painting of a collection of different flowers. Then, I combined them and arranged them so that they creep around the bottom of the posed photo of the band. I recolored the photograph as well.

Both the sepia tint and the grunge overlay give it a worn, vintage look. I used a single font throughout the piece, the decorative title SwistInk Moabhoers. The banners in each corner feature sandstone textured backgrounds.

Finally, all of the elements rest on a black background adorned with a cracked texture. This background reminds me of the weathered Formica countertops in my grandmother’s house. The outdoor event was a huge success. It attracted over 200 attendees. I received a lot of great feedback on the 11×17″ poster from the band, as well as their fans.

Hire me to be your Bluegrass poster designer

Are you promoting a Bluegrass concert or festival? You need to hire the best concert poster designer in Kentucky. Contact me today.

Custom concert poster design for Guided by Voices bandGuided by Voices

Dayton, OH

The legendary indie rock band Guided by Voices scheduled a tour date in my hometown of Lexington, KY. As such, they were in need of a custom concert poster design for it. Their New York City based management company found me via Google search and then contacted me to pitch a unique proposition. I was to be the official Guided By Voices poster designer for this event!

The group asked me to design, print, and hand number a limited edition of 100 show posters. After approval of the design, I would then mail one copy to management. I also was required to hang a few copies at the concert’s host venue, The Burl. Finally, on the day of the show, I could set up a table next to the band’s merch station and sell the rest. I am always selling my own services. Therefore, I jumped at the chance to take part in this project.

Guided By Voices gave me carte blanche creatively. It was totally up to me to determine the poster’s artistic concept, as well as the subsequent design. The band had only rejected one poster art in their 30 plus year existence. They had developed a keen taste for quality design over their many years in the business. My reputation locally here in Lexington, KY for concert poster design preceded me. It felt great to know that both the iconic rock band and their management had so much confidence in me.

Custom concert poster design story – Guided By Voices Poster Designer

First, I Googled other posters that were designed for the band’s previous tour dates in order to do some research. Most of the other graphic artists sought to emulate screen printed designs. Thus, they only featured three or less colors in their posters. My planned design necessitated more colors. I wanted to create a flat, cartoon style illustration. It had to convey the necessary information while staying both fun and unique.

From the start of the project, I knew I wanted to incorporate an equestrian theme. Also, I intended for the piece’s concept to tip it’s proverbial hat to the culture of my home state of Kentucky.

I felt that it was a bit too cliche to use an image of a horse race as I initially had planned. All of my favorite concert posters incorporate a striking, slightly odd focal image. I had to think outside of the box. I traveled down to the uncanny valley by drawing a rowdy bartender wearing a rubber horse mask. Those who know me are well aware that people wearing realistic animal masks make me very uncomfortable. However, I resolved to face my fears by drawing this poster’s focal image.

Straight (bourbon) from the horse’s mouth on a custom concert poster design

The masked bartender brandishes a bottle of bourbon in one hand and a can of beer in the other. These containers mimic native Kentucky brands Maker’s Mark and West Sixth Brewing respectively. However, they incorporate the band’s icon logo and name instead. The main character stands behind the bar and in front of the The Burl’s signature wood paneling. Also, I framed her popping out of a circular, bright red and blue stained glass design. This is similar to the club’s famous circular window, which has been seen glowing on stage behind many iconic musical acts over the years.

Finally, I topped the main image off with a faux red wax seal. This seal resembles the one that is used by Maker’s Mark for their branding. However, it showcases the GBV icon logo instead of the Maker’s text. I achieved this effect by using an SVG Emboss filter in the Adobe Illustrator application.

Finishing touches on the custom concert poster design – font and color choices

Selling posters at Guided By Voices merch table

Selling posters at Guided By Voices merch table

I splattered the light brown background behind the main elements with various black spots. This gives it an appearance similar to a cork board. The entire poster is framed in with a thick black stroke. This ties all of the elements together and adds just enough weight to it. Last of all, I highlighted the text with a darker shade of the electric blue featured on the stained glass window frame.

I set the main title in a mix of both the Birch Standard tall serif and Thirsty Script Extra Bold fonts. To add depth, as well as emphasize the words “GUIDED BY VOICES”, I added a faint white shadow effect. I also tilted the main title to make it stand out and create the appearance of motion. I wrote both the date and location of the event in an old west style font called Captain Howdy.

To make it resemble the font The Burl uses in their own logo, I modified the original font by closing in the characters’ open spaces. The word “in” repeats the usage of the popular Thirsty Script font, adding some variety to the bottom text.

Guided by Voices concert poster design – Purchase a limited edition print

Being chosen to be the Guided By Voices poster designer was such an honor. Everyone praised my poster design, ranging from the band’s rabid Facebook fan base to the owner of the club. What could be better than creating an effective advertisement that also doubles as a collectible art print? This was a very is fulfilling experience for me overall. As of this writing, I have a very limited stock remaining. Buy one for yourself!

      $20

Contact me for your own custom concert poster design

Are you a concert promoter or perhaps a touring band with a big date coming up? You need an original art piece that will turn heads and sell tickets. You need me to create your custom concert poster design. I have designed countless print ads to promote events since I started my own graphic design business in 1999. Contact me today to get started.

Rough Customers Concert Poster Design - Lexington, KY ska bandThe Rough Customers

Lexington, KY

Pick it up! The Rough Customers are Lexington, KY’s only third wave ska band – as far as we know! In 2014, my band at the time Analog Apostles performed with them and Nashville, TN soul rockers Ravenhill. Ravenhill made a tour stop in Lexington at the Sidecar, next door to Al’s Bar. The Rough Customers’ live show is all about fun, and that’s the vibe I was going for with this concert poster design.

Large format concert poster design

The featured photo of the classic pin-up girl and phonograph was given a “washed out” effect, which I made by reducing the colors using Adobe Illustrator. I then added the hypnotizing bright blue swirl in the background to enhance the kitsch factor.

I lettered the bands’ names in a watermelon red using the retro “Badaboom” font, since it always signals good times. Additionally, I used the “Cherry Cream Soda” font for the other text, completing the poster’s vintage 50s feel. Finally, I added a QR code to the concert poster design so that potential concert goers could RSVP to the event on Facebook by scanning the poster with their smartphones.

The Rough Customers never disappoint when they take the stage, and always draw a big crowd. This show was definitely no different, since we filled the small room to capacity. I would like to think that my eye catching design helped with that aspect.

I always design and print my own 11×17″ posters to promote shows and other events that I put together. The large format gives me more canvas to play with. It is also more eye catching than a letter sized flyer when I hang them in store windows.

Hire me to create your concert poster design

Are you a musician or band needing a concert poster design? Contact me!

Rock concert poster design - Concert flyer for Aireline in Owensboro, KY.The Brothers Pizza

Owensboro, KY

The Brothers Pizza was a great place to see live music and enjoy mouth watering Chicago style pizza. This rock concert poster design was inspired by my friend Andy (of Spirit filled metalcore kings A Plea for Purging)’s newly shaven head.

Rock concert poster design story

First, I started off with a photograph I had taken at a previous show of Andy’s newly bald head. Then, I removed the background and roughened the edges of his outline using Adobe Photoshop. I added some noise filters and also increased the saturation for an illustration effect. I used the paintbrush tool to spell out the band names in order to simulate shaving cream.

Between the information blocks, I placed black silhouettes of vintage straight razors as dividers. I set all of the text in a specialty handwriting style font. Finally, I added a series of purple silhouettes which depict modern disposable razors between Andy’s head and the black background. I arranged them in four columns at angles, which serve to draw your eye to the center of the composition.

A thick white frame boxes in the rest of the elements, but the modern style razors poke out in front of it. This technique helps to add depth to the overall piece. The pink, purple, and black combination creates a high contrast pop art feel. I have probably made hundreds of poster designs over the years. This is one of my favorites. Despite the head shaving theme having nothing to do with the show, it still caught people’s attention. The bands, the club, and many of the fans in attendance loved it. It also help drum up additional print design business.

Contact for your own rock concert poster design

Are you a concert venue or an event promoter? Are you part of an independent band? I will design a poster that is as unique as you are. Let’s turn some heads together. Contact me today to get started!