During the early 2000s, artist Craig Howell designed concert posters with his unique style that now reflects the time period. Forging a style all his own, Howell assembled eye-catching, fantastical poster designs with an emphasis on graphic design. Howell’s creative efforts have been tapped by major musical acts, such as Coldplay, Godsmack, Rancid, Tenacious D, and Snoop Dogg. Because of Howell’s design prowess, his art reaches well beyond the world of live music. His client roster includes comedians, video game publishers, and brands like Star Wars/Lucasfilm. Let’s get familiar with Howell’s style.
Howell’s design aesthetic draws heavily from his graphic design background by using images and characters made to blend with the particular theme for each poster. Take for example this Foo Fighters poster from the Fillmore Auditorium in 2003. Because Howell put characters from the cantina scene from Star Wars in traditional sombreros, he was able to project a party vibe that a Foo Fighters show in 2003 was sure to provide. Finally, Howell rounds out the design with the headline and guest acts in recognizable Star Wars fonts that convey the information in a familiar manner.
This design for the English musician Fatboy Slim from 2001 draws inspiration from the psychedelic poster designs of the 1960s that were common at The Fillmore. Because Howell chose similar fonts, and a bright geometric pattern it evokes designs from the 1960s. The design is made dynamic by overlaying a turntable in the center, and that implies Fatboy Slims musical styling. Slim helped popularize the electronic Big Beat genre in the early 2000s.
2000’s and Beyond
Howell started the art direction and illustration studio Cheeba Productions in 1999 and has been creating incredible visuals for ad agencies, record labels, and film companies ever since. Howells studio has designed everything from album covers to product branding for products on shelves across the country.
For me, these designs bring me back to a different time instantly. And that’s exactly what art is supposed to do, elicit some sort of response. Evoke a feeling or memory, whether it’s from a certain time, place, or feeling. That’s why I collect. If you are interested in seeing more work from Craig Howell check out his design studio: Cheeba Productions.