Behind the scenes at the poster design studio

Last year, designer and gig-poster enthusiast Tom Booth released the beautiful e-book The Wall, which proved that the art of the gig poster has by no means been lost to soulless online promotion.

The Wall

Now, Booth has created The Wall’s follow-up, uncovering what goes on inside the poster studio.

This gorgeously simple poster for Andrew Bird was created by Atlanta-based Methane Studios. ‘Personal favorite posters are those that have a narrative, have a unique point of view and stick with you well beyond the encore’, says Methane.

Andrew Bird

These colourful shelves of paint belong to LandLand, a poster studio based in Minneapolis. Housed in the basement of a warehouse, the founders often find themselves sleeping on  a matters in the space.


DKNG, based in Santa Monica, California, made these posters for The National. Echoing, perhaps, the thoughts of many designers, the studio offers this sage advice, ‘Don’t be discouraged by difficult clients. As far as we have noticed, it’s something you just have to get used to. It’s an art in itself to understand other people’s perspectives and from what I can tell we will never be perfect at it.’


The studio describes its space as ‘a weird fusion of a storage room for inventory, a shipping station, and a workspace.’


Over on this side of the pond, we also get an insight into the workings of brilliantly-named Leeds studio Army of Cats (AKA Graham Pilling). Pilling’s work is stunning, and it’s interesting to learn that the founder had no design or art education at all. 

Describing his working process, Pilling says, ‘I will listen to the band and make notes on interesting references or lyrics, and then produce a series of incredibly shitty-looking thumbnail sketches. Somewhere in there an idea will jump out and I’ll start building it up on the computer. Sometimes it works out and sometimes I’ll end up scrapping ideas and starting again.

Work by Army of Cats

‘I find that reminding myself “It’s just a bloody poster!” helps me avoid wasting hours on meddling with the details and forces me to admit when something is finished.’

If for any reason aspiring poster-designers aren’t quite inspired enough by the incredible images of The Wall, perhaps the book’s foreword by Jeff Finley, founder of Weapons of Mass Creation Fest, will ignite your poster passion.

‘Keep the poster art freak alive inside you’, he says. ‘Allow yourself some time to simply create and explore. Relish those opportunities and let your creative juices flow…Use the gig poster medium as a chance to put your style on the map.’

The Wall: Inside the Poster Studio is released on 21 August priced $19.95 (£13) in print and $13.95 (£9) as an e-book. For more information visit

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