When it comes to items musicians and bands use to promote themselves, there is nothing quite as iconic – or useful – as printing posters for concerts. Though ephemeral in nature, it’s not uncommon for them to be collected and saved, with well-designed gig posters serving as both event advertising and merchandise.

Posters for Bands – Rock and Roll Roots

Up to the mid 1960’s, posters for local happenings were largely typographic. Big block letters, simple yet effective, told passers-by of events in a straightforward manner.

A remarkable shift in poster design for music happened in California around the time of Rock and Roll’s golden age. One key new design feature was type warped into wild forms, or following an outline to make the words fill the form of an illustration. Posters influenced the evolution of type design so it was only fitting that type design influenced the evolution of the poster.

These gig posters, produced in San Francisco by Bill Graham, hit the scene in the mid 1960’s. Their influence can be seen in poster design for classic rock acts such as The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, The Rolling Stones and more.

Many of the Bill Graham posters were printed for shows at famous venues such as Winterland and the Fillmore. Before long, the style spread across the USA to New York City, where the same big acts played at the world renowned Fillmore East. Design trends followed the bands and music around the world – and gig posters where never the same.

Posters at a show often advertised for the next weekend’s event, as they were made to direct fans (and ticket sales) to the next concert. People began to collect and trade the posters, usually to get the ones that advertised the events they actually attended. The popularity of these posters led to the production of reprints for sale, which is considered by many rock and roll historians to be the first cases of posters used as merchandise.

 Poster Printing – Diverse Utility

Posters are fantastic for bands that are on tour, because one design can be used to advertise multiple events. This allows for quick production and distribution to venues in different locations, and also shows fans where else they can go to see the band

Similarly, a single poster for a large multi-act event can effectively advertise for multiple bands. Many people will attend a concert or festival just to see one or two bands they love, so displaying all of the headliners is often important. From a business perspective, this also means a single poster can be used as merchandise for fans of multiple bands.

Printing posters for bands and musical events are not just for “pros”. Small, local acts should also consider the benefits of putting up quality printed posters to get attention for their event. A small flyer won’t always get the job done, and there’s good reason posters have become a standard medium for music promotion. Posters are far more visible, and memorable, than the alternatives.

Are you getting ready to tell the world about your band’s next show? Putting on a solo performance or taking part in a musical festival? No matter the scope of your gig, Caboodle will help you get it on the wall with high quality poster printing at great prices. We have free templates and you can always phone us for a quote and support.