Music, like the way you prefer your toilet paper roll (under or over) or the condiments on your turkey sandwich, is a severely personal matter.
As a matter of fact, I often choke on my words when people ask me what type of music I devour. Sure, I listen to music throughout the day, but when asked what kind, I can never spit out an answer. Thankfully, I know I’m not alone in this feeling. At least that’s what I tell myself. But I’m always baffled how designers can create concert posters that perfectly and eloquently visually describe music for the masses. How can something so individualized and unique to oneself get boiled down to a poster design? It’s miraculous, truly.
Concert posters have been around for centuries, but with each new music movement, new art and techniques came with them. As a result, these posters have seen the days of everything from purely minimalistic styles to over-the-top completely psychedelic and vibrant designs.
The history is rich regarding concert posters, and today we’re sharing the top five concert poster designers that you need to follow on Instagram.
Mishka Westell | @mishkawestell
Based in Austin, Texas, Mishka Westell is an artist, designer, and illustrator. Having created concert posters for Metallica, Jack White, Mavis Staples, the Alabama Shakes, and countless others, you could say that she’s quite the eclectic artist. Each of her concert posters highlights the depths and aesthetic of the band, but she still manages to slip in her personal style that leans towards something I’d like to coin “trippy minimalism.” Think bright colors and movement balanced with geometrical outlines of more intricate designs. Don’t know what that means? Check out her feed, and you’ll instantly understand Westell’s extensive skill set.
Jason Munn | @munnjason
Jason Munn began his career in 2009, working for local venues and independent musicians under the pseudonym The Small Stakes. Now, however, Munn works under his own name for huge clients such as Death Cab for Cutie, Flight Of The Conchords, and The Postal Service. His artistic style is so distinct you could spot one of his posters from across the concert and instantly recognize it as one of his. They’re geometrical, often monochromatic, and purely intellectual. It’s hard to create a simple design that also makes a lasting impact, but Munn’s concert posters do just that. One of my favorites is his concert poster for vocalist and guitarist Ben Gibbard, as the design is simple yet so intrinsically entwined with more profound thought and precision.
Justin Santora | @justinsantora
With a degree in studio art from Northeastern Illinois University, it only makes sense that Justin Santora paved a path in the world of freelance illustrating and screen printing. His professional life of screen printing posters, creating art, painting, and drawing began in 2008, and he hasn’t looked back since. His Instagram feed is proof that he has an immense artistic ability when it comes to concert posters and with everything he creates. Most of his work centers around quiet, soft settings focusing on architectural elements and muted color palettes. The artists he’s created concert posters range from Childish Gambino, LANY, John Prine, Phish, and countless others. However, a personal favorite is a poster he created for Childish Gambino’s 2019 Lollapalooza performance that features a nostalgic scene of kids jumping through the stream of a fire hydrant gone rogue. If it didn’t sell out, I’d have purchased one for myself.
Gregg Gordon | @gigartsf
Gigart, founded by the artist Gregg Gordon, was founded back in 1996 and since has created work featured in magazines, newspapers, on TV, and in national ad campaigns. With clients from Twitter to ESPN to DreamWorks Records to TBWA/Chiat/Day, to say this brand is booming would be an understatement. Gregg’s Instagram is overflowing with inspirational prints, posters, and designs filled with vivid colors, intricate line work, and unmatched originality. In addition, he’s worked with artists such as Dead & Company, James Taylor, and Megadeath to create concert posters that truly represent that bands. With almost 4,000 posts on Instagram, you can lose yourself in the scroll.
C.m. Яuiz Bautista Dominguez | @cmrtyz
Let’s talk about an eclectic artist, better known as C.m. Ruiz Bautista Dominguez. Dominguez can seamlessly swap between elegantly detailed watercolor paintings to poster designs that are intentionally rough around the edges. To have the skills to change your aesthetic from piece to piece altogether is something not many artists have. Dominguez, however, is one of those skillful creators, which makes his feed an adventure to scroll through; you truly never know what you’re going to find or see, making it a true thrill. His concert posters are nitty, gritty, surreal, and genuinely creative.