• PrintMag

Blood Work

By: Steven Heller | July 19, 2010


I for one, am not only feint of heart, I faint at the sight of blood. So this tale of design madness makes me more than a little queasy. Dear reader, stop right here if you feel the same.


The poster for the Swedish “Black Metal” band Watain (above) was designed by the Paris-founded, New York-based designer, Metastazis, and was silk-screen printed using real, human blood. There is not much more to say except: whoever said designers invest blood, sweat and tears in their work, did not mean it to be taken so literally.


This poster goes the extra mile. And the entire process is documented here and here.


Metastazis says his studio is “dedicated to the most scandalous yet refined forms of expression.” Founded in 1999 By Valnoir, and joined by “almost nazi-gay illustrator DJ Holowestcoast and recently by the post-soviet arrogant doll Anastasia Ilyna,” they have shined up Black Metal with high production values and theatrical staging (see here). Their work bridges design and performance in a manner that is becoming more frequent these days.


However, is the act of using human blood scandalous yet refined? You be the judge. In the “end of print” era it seems that spectacle is becoming as significant as content (although the poster is impressive). I’m reminded of Raymond Lowey‘s “Most Advanced Yet Acceptable” measuring stick for novel design. Maybe “scandalous yet refined” is the 21st century corollary.

(Thanks to Mirko Ilic for bringing Metastazis to my attention.)


If you missed Saturday’s post on Mad Men go here.

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