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My devotion to gig posters is far from a secret (from both volumes of New Masters of Poster Design, to 1000 Indie Posters, and all the way back to Maximum Page Design) but it goes further than my writing. Creating these short-run screenprints for my college band, as well as friend’s groups, I have been designing them for more than 20 years. We didn’t call them gig posters back then, and we didn’t have a worldwide community to alert us to other like-minded souls, or to push and pull our creativity. Spurred on by the papering bans in cities like Seattle, and the explosion of the internet, a small scene began to grow, connecting three to four mavericks in each town with co-conspirators nationwide.
Eventually, they would all meet face to face at the first Flatstock. The formation of the American Poster Institute, taking Flatstock all over the globe, and most acutely, the poster nerd playground that is the excellent gigposters.com, meant that more and more people were exposed to the joys of the poster world. As more people were exposed, more people wanted to get in the game. As with most things design-based, it’s often 51% talent, and 49% knowledge. So, while I can’t provide the tipping point, I can give you a great head start on the other side of the equation. Old hands might even read on and find an inspiring moment or six. Let’s get started!