viva la poster design

Like most naive post-college Graphic Designers, I once had a dream, a dream of livin' it big as a poster designer up in Portland, hanging out with all my favorite indie musicians as they passed through my town. I envision them thanking me profusely for my brilliant designs which informed hundreds of fans to flock to their concert hall doors not to mention the major buckage I would earn at the merch table. I soon learned that not only was this the same dream as every other designer in my demographic but my dream career is not as glamorous as I imagined. The life of a poster designer is captured perfectly in the film Died Young, Stayed Pretty, directed, produced, filmed and edited by Eileen Yaghoobian. The film is a collage of interviews from many of the past and current stars of the underground poster movement. Designers such as Art Charney, Bryce McCloud and Jay Ryan. We find that there designs are not fueled by money or fame but instead by the need to fuel the creative spirit, shock your parents, freak the establishment and see the occasional free show. They also talked about the importance of GigPosters.com, an online community that brings poster designers (many of whom come from small towns in the middle of nowhere) together. My only criticism of the film was it made the poster design community look like a big boys club. There are plenty of examples of greats women poster designers such as Tara McPherson, Diana Sudyka, and Joanna Wecht. You can check out screening times on the official website and if you happen to live in NYC you can come to the New York Premiere at the IFC CENTER Friday July 17-Thusday July 23rd. There will even be a special appearance by Eileen Yaghoobian and some of the designers opening weekend.

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