London Design Festival show will explore value of design in music

Gig Poster Power, curated by consultancy Clinic, will showcase 40 new and old gig posters, and hopes to spark debate about what the future holds for music design.

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Designer: Luke Drozd. Musician: Walk the Moon

Consultancy Clinic has revealed that it will be presenting an exhibition exploring design in music at this year’s London Design Festival.

Gig Poster Power has been curated by Clinic co-founders Ken Ansell and Dave Dragon, and will showcase approximately 40 current and past gig poster designs.

Focusing mainly on print posters, the exhibition aims to make viewers question the “future of design in music”, says Ansell, and whether there is “room for the tangible in the world of digital”.

He says: “We want to exhibit posters in their printed form, so people see the value of something printed. Nowadays, we’re always looking at things on a phone, so it’ll be nice to see the designs in A2-size.”

Clinic is also completing the exhibition design, which will be “informal”, Ansell says. “We trying to think of something to emulate ‘rock n’roll’,” he says. “It won’t look too formal, and we may not frame the posters, but instead just use bull-dog clips to pin them to the walls.”

Posters will date back as far as the 1960s. The majority will be from the last 15 years.

There will be a few posters displayed as digital downloads. Designers included will be those from the US and the UK.

Ansell says he wants to highlight the gig poster’s function as a piece of art or souvenir, rather than a piece of advertising collateral.

“There was a time when a poster would be designed to promote a gig,” he says. “But the posters we’re displaying are pure merchandise. We’re hoping designers will come in and be inspired.”

He adds that he hopes the future of design in music will see print collateral such as poster and record sleeves become collectible again.

“As a record sleeve designer who worked with the 12 inch x 12 inch format, it was disappointing when the format changed to the more restrictive CDs,” he says. “Now, it’s got a little better again, with digi-packs, and the resurgence of vinyl.

“Young people currently buy vinyls and enjoy the tactile element of owning an album, but also the convenience of having it on download. I think special packaging will start to become a badge of armour for the music.”

He says that he hopes the “sub-culture” of selling collectible posters and record sleeves online will encourage people to become interested in other forms of printed artwork.

“There’s quite a lucrative market for selling gig posters online, and it’s quite an inexpensive way for people to start collecting art,” he says. “Hopefully these people will then move towards being more appreciative of design beyond music too. I hope exhibitions like this one might even encourage more silk-screen print shops.”


Gig Poster Power takes place 21 – 25 September, as part of London Design Festival at Clinic, 32 – 38 Saffron Hill, EC1N 8FH.

soundgarden
Designers: Sara and Bobby Rosenstock. Musician: Soundgarden, Justajar
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Designer: Bobby Evans, Telegramme Paper Co. Musician: Owen
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Designers: Dave Dragon and Ken Ansell. Festival: Maverick Festival

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