In catching up on blog updates, I realized I hadn't yet announced the start of my new design podcast with my colleague Brandon Schaefer, The Poster Boys. We're four episodes into a series of long and casual conversations about important poster artists, designers, and movements in graphic design history. The hub for The Poster Boys is our Tumblr page, theposterboys.tumblr.com, where we attempt to solve the problem of making a visual topic aurally stimulating by showing you the images and posters we're talking about, all in one tidy and chronological spot. Check it out and follow us.
Posters by Brandon Schaefer
As Brandon and I both design movie posters, our conversations naturally veer into this area as we discuss the challenges and rewards of working in that particular industry. Brandon and I met designing movie posters online for fun and have remained friends since as we both moved into the world of professional design. You can see his great work at seekandspeak.com.
Our first topic was an obvious choice: Saul Bass, legendary designer of movie posters, title sequences, and short films. Such a towering figure of design that we had to take two full episodes to stretch out the conversation (hear Part One here, and Part Two here). We discuss his work with logos and corporate branding, his film icons and posters, his industrial films, his artistic collaborators, and his philosophy about what makes good design.
Episode Three looked at a different kind of movie poster legend: painter Drew Struzan. Anyone of my generation knows Struzan's work from a variety of 80's and 90's adventure posters that adorned the theater halls of their childhood, including his iconic work on the Back to the Future, Indiana Jones, and Star Wars films (we saved Star Wars for a special "galaxy far far away" episode coming later this year).
In Episode Four, we switched gears to less of a household name, but one that we hope will be known by all budding designers: Bob Gill. Gill outlines a concise, refreshing, and potentially game-changing philosophy of design problem solving in his various books and talks, and we celebrate his rules and vocabulary in this episode. Each episode we also open up "The Flat File" to look at the posters for a particular film that were produced by different designers and artists around the world for various purposes, and here we have a particularly interesting and sobering example of the artist's eternal struggle with the marketing machine.
Which brings us to Episode Five, coming later this month, on the Polish Poster School. It's a mammoth topic, and I'm sure we'll only just scratch the surface of this influential movement in design, where Polish artists and designers of the 40's and 50's worked through the post-war social realist era and gave birth to an entirely new and daring language of film poster design. I'll be sure to post again when this episode is up, and you can click around on my blog here (or use the Categories section on the right) to find a whole slew of Polish poster posts.
To keep up with what we're doing, subscribe here on iTunes, and if you can, leave a rating and/or review to help us reach a wider audience. And keep your browser aimed at theposterboys.tumblr.com where you can listen to episodes and view all relevant and related visual materials for the episodes. We're also on Twitter at @PosterBoysShow and on Facebook as well. Have a listen, stay in touch, and let us know what you think.