I love me a well designed show poster or flyers so stumbling onto the Portfolio of Jon Smith was a nice surprise. I first saw Jon’s work at the Renegade Craft Fair in SF and have visited his site several times to check out what he’s been up to. The color’s in these posters are strong and the typography is solid as a rock so check out Jon’s site, read his rant filled blog posts, and pick up a poster or two.
Like how a lot of things “aren’t they way they used to be” these days, rave culture and visual cues that go along with it, aren’t the way they used to be (there’s a flyer from a more recent event after the jump). A one sentence summary of rave history: In the late 1980s, the word ‘rave’ was adopted to describe the subculture that grew out of the acid house movement. Activities were related to the party atmosphere of Ibiza, a Mediterranean island frequented by British and German youth on vacation.
What I think is awesome is that there are so many varieties of design approaches in these flyers- heavily illustrated, minimal typography, photographical. You can’t even tell that all these served the same purpose, whereas rave flyers today basically all look the same and probably use the same 10 steps in a Photoshop actions bundle (any readers have one?).Because they are minimal, they would have translated well to posters, banners, or even tees. I think the watering down of this scene could be comparable to the punk scene- degraded and chessified in both sound and visual design. I don’t know, this topic is definitely open to discussion- feel free to comment!