Punk on paper

However respectable they may appear now, some of design’s heavyweights cut their teeth in the gritty sphere of punk posters and DIY aesthetics. Haunch of Venison’s London gallery launches an exhibition this week celebrating the rich visual heritage of Punk posters, which has been curated by artist and designer Toby Mott.

Buzzcocks poster with collage by Linder Sterling and typesetting by Malcolm Garrett

Banned by TV and daytime radio and largely ignored by the mainstream press, the Punk movement found a cheap and effective way of communicating with the public in the form of the poster. The outrageous style that the Punk movement centred around meant that many graphic designers could experiement with racy or exciting imagery that their day job wouldn’t allow.

As well as iconic works from Jamie Reid, who fashioned many a poster for The Sex Pistols and work for the Buzzcocks by Linder Sterling, the exhibition will show posters crafted by Neville Brody, Malcolm Garrett and Gerald Holtom, who designed the Nuclear Disarmament logo.

Jamie Reid’s poster for the Sex Pistols’ first single Anarchy in the UK

Another Jamie Reid poster, this time for the Sex Pistols’ single Pretty Vacant

Mott’s collection also includes National Front propaganda, material from the Rock Against Racism and campaign and graphics that inspired the Punk scene such as patriotic memorabilia from the Queen’s Silver Jubilee – showing the breadth of the Punk aesthetic and its sprawling influences.

Buzzcocks promotional poster for Beating Hearts, designed by Linder Sterling

Mott says, ‘I began this collection as a teenager in the 1970s. I loved Punk music and the attitude that went with it, but I was equally taken with the subversive way the bands promoted themselves – Jamie Reid’s famous Sex Pistols poster of the Queen with a safety pin through her nose being a stand-out example.’

In-store promotional poster for The Clash’s fourth single Clash City Rockers

Poster for Alternative T.V, artist unknown

Loud Flash: British Punk on Paper, The Mott Collection runs from 24 September – 30 October at Haunch of Venison, 6 Burlington Gardens,
London W1S.

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