In a world rendered only in back & white, there were few graytones and bitmapped reigned supreme.
I remember the olden days when everything was on black and white (unless it was printed on colored paper stock). Before color printers were all the rage (and affordable), us event-marketing types (aka poster-flyer makers) did all our posters in single color: black on white. Simple graphics for simpler times, they were....
While searching back for some deja blu flyers, I unearthed some rock show flyers I had designed back in the early '90s.
This collection includes:
> 808 State at the ICON
> Ladies Night Saturdays at the ICON
> The Headhunters at Nietzsche's
> A 1991 double bill of The Headhunters & the Steam Donkeys at the Little Harlem
> Gil Scott Heron at the ICON
These flyers were build on a combination of either a band's press photo or something scanned from a magazine-- usually vintage Life magazines or a '90s rock rags like R-Stone-- and some typographic magic. The one up top-- the Double Hoedown (at the Little Harlem, a vintage Buffalo soul & jazz club that burned to the ground and was demolished in 1999) has titles generated in 'Typestyler', an early font manipulation program that was used to create effects now common in ALL graphic design programs. These crazy effects included: drop shadows and outlines. Wow. Heady stuff back in 1990. The graphic computer tricks that seems so basic on computers today, were a byte-churning event back then. Typestlyer was known to take a few minutes-- yes, a few MINUTES- to create a text effect! This DBHD! poster includes a hint at my early obsession of stars on rock posters. I still haven't kicked that habit.
For a band building a reputation at the time on the blips and bleeps of early acid house-techno-- 808 State-- I tried to get 'super electronic & computery'. This flyer was built upon a photo scanned from a science textbook that had some state-of-the-art Photoshop magic -- a noise filter, glow and drop shadows-- added to it. Wow (again).
This other Headhunters poster was a simple one, but it is my favorites from this bunch. Not a lot of computer tom-foolery on this... just a simple closeup of rock legend Chuck Berry lighting a cig, darkened to give it's shadows a bit of a sinister undertone. It had the most basic of event details overlayed in a blocky font. I remember going for something to compliment Terry Sullivan's band's real rock-&-roll sound and I wanted a paste-to-the-wall vintage feel- I think this one has really stood up over time. As the Ladies Night -- with a cleavage peaking, cig-smoking Isabella Rosalinni-- looks dated (Good God Stretched Type! Argggh!!), I think this one and the Gil Scott still look good. They might look nice printed in a 20 x 30 format?
To think these were created on a Mac SE-30, often transferred by floppy disc to my job at a local service bureau and printed to Photostat Paper to create a 'master' hard copy ($8 each). You couldn't print your own-- laser printers wern't all that good back then.... they were printed by the bar owner (or the band) at Kinkos on 8-1/2 x 11" white bond paper. Though I think the futuristic 808 State flyer was printed on neon yellow paper.
Click for larger views:
The Headhunters at Nietzsche's (updated)- Classic rock image for a great Buffalo rock band.
808 State at The ICON (1993)- British electronic comes to Buffalo early '90s.
Double Bill Hoedown featuring The Headhuters & The Steam Donkeys (1991)- Great late night show of local Buffalo bands in an unlikely venue. Nice giant rock hair, Mr. Matt Smith!
Saturday Ladies Nite at ICON w/ DJ Unlimited (1992)- alternative, progessive, wave! club flyer, Buffalo, NY. "Gals," "Girls," "Women" & "Ladies" drink free!
Gil Scott Heron at ICON (1992)- The revolution was not televised, it was live! This was one of those ICON shows where the garage door was open and the side room was filled with folding chairs.