For the past 10 years I’ve had the absolute pleasure to play bass with Mount Orchid (formally Dreamboat). Last Friday, April 12, we played our final show, a bittersweet moment for sure. Playing music with Billy Pogany and the band has been so rewarding. Together we recorded, three albums, played countless shows across Colorado, opened for Collective Soul, and were the first band from Western Colorado invited to play the Open Air show on Colorado Public Radio.
Playing in the band as a designer has also been a lot of fun. I’ve made countless band posters, buttons, and album designs for all iterations of the band, from Dreamboat through Mount Orchid. It’s some of my favorite work, primarily because it was for my own passion project. Here’s a collection of my favorite band designs.
• Mount Orchid Smokey the Bear button design by 464r7h4
• Bronco Country / Mount Orchid poster design by Andrew Watson
Designers are always looking for total creative freedom. When approaching a project, nothing is more appealing than the phrase “do whatever you want.” While that attitude doesn’t work out so well for commissioned projects, it always plays when making concert posters.
Concert posters are a blast to make, and since I play in a band (Mount Orchid) and hang out with a lot of musicians, I get the chance to make a lot of them. My general approach is to be as wild as possible, no limitations.
Wild color schemes, fun font treatments, and weird art make for an eye catching combo. I’m a fan of taking art out of context and reusing it in creative ways. This three-armed gorilla for example, was a piece of art I found on a vintage Czech circus poster. With some color adjustments, hand-drawn fonts, and an expressive brush palette, it’s now a fun advertisement for a concert.
The stakes are pretty low when designing concert posters. They are temporary ads that are not meant to last forever, like a commissioned logo. I think that’s why I like making them so much. It’s total freedom and the chance to be creative just for the sake of being creative.