Event: The Polyphonic Spree, April 7, at Venue
Poster artist: Jonathon Kimbrell
Dallas-based graphic designer Jonathon Kimbrell, who operates Napkin Art Studios, was asked to produce a set of posters for the Polyphonic Spree's upcoming tour. The 21-member Dallas band is known for its joy-filled concerts and matching choir robes. The result is a decidedly robe-free creation that's been dotting Vancouver telephone poles for the past week in anticipation of the band's long-awaited return to Vancouver. Kimbrell talked to the Courier via email to discuss his van-tastic work, the art of bringing Polyphonic cheer to the masses and the Dallas Stars' chances in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Courier: What inspired the idea for the Polyphonic Spree "You and Me" tour poster?
Kimbrell: When I was asked by the band's label to produce a set of posters for the tour, they gave me a general idea of what they wanted, i.e. some kind of tour van and some other stuff going on. The initial concept sketches featured a VW bus, but then we decided it was probably "too hippy." From there, the van kind of morphed into a good times van. This poster is for phase two [of the tour], so the band wanted a trailer being pulled behind.
Courier: Did you have to resist the urge to include people wearing robes in the poster?
Kimbrell: It's funny you ask. It never occurred to me to include robe-clad people into the design, not even in the background. It wasn't until recently that I became a fan of the band. I knew the name, but didn't really know much about them or their music. In that respect, I think it makes for a more interesting and fun challenge to design a poster for a band you don't know much or anything about. In a way, it's like being able to break rules you don't know exist, so the ideas aren't as limited or influenced had I been a rabid fan. Who knows what kind of design I'd come up with for Bob Dylan if he asked for a poster? Man... the pressure.
Courier: How do the vehicles relate to the Polyphonic Spree, since the band is probably too large to fit in just a van and trailer?
Kimbrell: It's almost like a clown car, isn't it? It would be humorous to see the entire band and all their gear pouring out of a tiny van and camper trailer. Who do we talk to about arranging that? It's got to be a lot of hard work to tour the country and play for fans, and I know the band works really hard to bring Polyphonic cheer to everyone. The van and trailer are sort of symbols of that hard work. Otherwise, I could have easily designed the poster with an RV.
Courier: Do you follow any set-in-stone dos and don'ts when designing a poster?
Kimbrell: Not really. I feel like I'm still at the early stages of my poster designing and printing abilities, so I'm still learning some things here and there. If anything, I try to design posters that won't physically kill me during the printing stage, since everything I print is completely done by hand, from 20 posters to 2,000. I'm always trying to challenge my design sensibilities with each poster, so I suppose that is my ultimate "do" if there had to be one.
Courier: What do you think the Dallas Stars chances in the upcoming NHL playoffs?
Kimbrell: They'll take the Cup in five.
To see more of Kimbrell's work, go to jonathonkimbrell.com.
Do you want your gig poster considered for poster of the week? Email a high-res version to firstname.lastname@example.org.
© Copyright 2013