Rock Posters: Three Design Approaches

Be playful and create impactful compositions that reflect your passion for music and design

Dr. Alderete (@jorgealderete) is an Argentinian designer and illustrator established in the music scene of Latin America for his artwork, published in several specialized collections: Illustration Now and Latin American Graphic Design (Taschen); Illusive, Pictoplasma, Los logos series, Latino and Play Loud (Die Gestalten Verlag); Place (Actar), and Kustom Graphics (Korero), among others.

In addition, he has designed more than 100 musical artworks for bands all around the world, such as Los Fabulosos Cadillacs, Andrés Calamaro, and Daniel Melero (Argentina), Lost Acapulco, Twin Tones (Mexico), and Los Straitjackets (United States).

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Jorge Alderete
Rock Posters: Three Design Approaches 3
Jorge Alderete
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Jorge Alderete

Jorge Alderete’s artwork has been exhibited in various galleries around the world. Mexico's National Cultural Museum hosted his exhibition Tike' a Rapa Nui, an extensive investigation of Easter Island's culture.

Furthermore, he is co-founder of Isotonic Records, a record label and publisher of musical ensemble Sonido Gallo Negro, since 2010. With the group, he plays the theremin and presents his illustrations live on stage.

He shares a little of his experience by giving some tips to create original and impactful pieces in this field.

Print a good size

For Dr. Alderete, it is essential to print concert promotional literature to overcome social media and digital platforms' limits. Aim to print 100 copies ideally, and use standard sizes that work visually, as follows:

-60 x 47 cm
-57 x 87 cm
-70 x 50 cm
-60 x 90 cm
-70 x 100 cm

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Standard poster sizes, Jorge Alderete

Guidelines for creative freedom

One of the most significant advantages of designing rock posters is that there are no rules. This format allows for a lot of freedom as far as the creator's style is concerned. However, each designer needs to establish their limits in order not to get lost in the myriads of ideas that can come to their mind during the project.

- Limit your ideas for your convenience

- Establish content obstacles (decide, for instance, what will be the elements that should always or never be in your designs and eliminate banality in your graphics).

- Make sure that the graphics reflect the music style and the personality of the band you are designing for.

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Jorge Alderete

Exemplar work

See below three rock posters designed by Jorge. The posters did not make their street appearance simultaneously and were created several months, even years apart. The designer conceived them as a series from the start, with conceptual features and specific graphics that give them a particularly personal and artistic continuity.

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Jorge Alderete, case 1

Case 1

This image has nothing to do directly with the bands: a mystical Hinduist character visits the town that hosts the concert to give a course and finds that posters of his face are covering the streets. The artist thought it would be funny to play with this idea to create the graphic concept for promoting the musical event.

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Jorge Alderete, case 2

Case 2

A Russian band visits Mexico for the first time. In this case, Jorge decided to break his own rule. He included elements that refer to the band’s nationality and depicted an instrument used in their shows. (Jorge's basic rule is never to include obvious elements about the group, the musicians, or the gig itself).

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Jorge Alderete, case 3

Case 3

The third case was a poster used by a couple of Latin American bands on tour around Europe. Dr. Alberete decided to play with the legibility rule to focus on the enigmatic spirit and draw the spectator's attention, favoring this aspect rather than clarity. The result is brilliant: at the end of the gig, many of the concert-goers confessed that they did not know any of the bands. They had decided to go to the concert because the posters had intrigued them.

If you want to know more about the art of turning music into graphics, sign up to Dr. Alderete’s course Illustrated Rock Posters, in which you’ll learn to design stereographic posters with 3D effects.

You may also like:

- 10 Great Psychedelic Album Covers From the Late '60s.
- The Greatest Albums Covers By The Man Who Defined The Jazz Look.
- Challenge: Designing an Album Cover in 15 Minutes


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