by jack diablo
Years ago, during the psychedelic movement of 1960s, a new art from was born. Concert posters designed by the likes of Wes Wilson and Rick Griffin promoted bands such as the Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane playing at San Francisco’s Fillmore Auditorium. These colorful prints quickly became hot collectors items that remain an iconic reminder of the times. Since then, bands and promoters have continued to use concert posters to advertise their shows and the prints themselves have only grown in popularity.
Concert posters serve as the perfect souvenir from some of those memorable concerts. They are relatively cheap and act as a reminder of good times past. I personally will buy a well-designed poster on quality paper before any other form of merchandise. Albums and t-shirts can be purchased online, but gig posters are typically limited in number and therefore harder to find if you don’t get them while you can.
Dog & Pony Showprints is one of only a few outfits making gig posters in the Jacksonville area. The creative team behind Dog & Pony is Sean Tucker and Tim McGugan, two designers who share a common passion for print-making and visually striking design.
Sean Tucker came to Jacksonville from South Florida to attend the University of North Florida. During the day he is busy in the advertising department of the Dalton Agency, but in his free time he designs concert posters to sell at select shows.
Sean was inspired to design and screen-print his own posters by the work of contemporaries Aesthetic Apparatus and Methane Studios. “All through college I had been completely enamored by the revival of the rock poster,” says Sean. “Once I learned how to print, it was a natural progression to actually make my own posters.”
Dog & Pony quickly formed a symbiotic relationship with Ryan Dettra, the man responsible for bringing some of the best music through Northeast Florida both at Cafe Eleven and the St. Augustine Amphitheatre. “We call Cafe Eleven home. Ryan appreciates the art and is so awesome to work with,” comments Tucker. In addition to making regular appearances in St. Augustine, Dog & Pony also occasionally designs posters for the San Marco Theatre and even a small theater in Duluth, Minnesota.
One of the perks of the job according to Sean, is getting to hang out and chat with the bands he designs for. “The great thing about Cafe Eleven is the absence of a ‘backstage’ area, so the bands usually hang out with us at the merch table.” This has allowed Tucker to rub elbows with everyone from the Handsome Furs to Dr. Dog to Against Me! “When it comes down to it, we’re really just fans of these bands that happen to know how to design and print posters. To get to talk with them about their music and our art is an honor and really exciting.”
Dog & Pony typically select which musicians they want to design for out of the many that come through town. After designing and hand screening the prints, they show up to the venue with a stack of posters which they sell for around $10. Typically the promoters use the images in a mutually beneficial arrangement that allows Dog & Pony to display their art while providing a unique promotional tool. Recently, country-punk band Lucero’s management commissioned a design from Dog & Pony Showprints for their upcoming show. “That was a big honor,” says Sean. “[We’re] crossing our fingers that [that] starts to happen more often.”
In the spirit of keeping it local, Dog & Pony has collaborated with some of the area’s best designers including Squid Dust, Karen Kurycki, Crystal Floyd, Kendrick Kidd and others. You can view their past projects on their website (www.dogandponyshowprints.wordpress.com).
Dog & Pony Showprints may not be musicians, but they love music and by creating visually stunning posters, they contribute to the Jacksonville music scene in their own way. Their work on the cover of this edition is further proof that the line between art and music is as blurry as ever.
poster boys of jacksonville
by jack diablo