A Brief History of Concert Posters

Believe it or not...concert posters have gone hand in hand with the growth and expansion of the modern music industry. They started appearing years before most of us were born. Custom commissioned concert posters were first used to advertise classical music at the advent of live performances in the United States. These posters were typically created by local artists and were distributed by hand or posted in public spaces. 

During the 1920s and 1930s, concert posters began to take on a more familiar look that we see today. This was due in part to the rise of the Art Deco movement, which emphasized bold lines, bright colors, and geometric shapes. These posters often featured images of the performers and were designed to be eye-catching and attention-grabbing.

In the 1940s and 1950s, concert posters continued to evolve as the music industry grew and became more commercialized. Posters became more sophisticated and began to include more information about the performers and the concert itself. Many of these posters were created by professional graphic designers and were printed using offset printing techniques, which allowed for more detailed and colorful designs.

During the 1960s and 1970s, concert posters underwent a major transformation. With the rise of the counterculture and the youth movement, concert posters became more experimental and artistic. Many of these posters were created by underground artists and were heavily influenced by the psychedelic and surrealist art movements. Some of the most desired collectible concert posters are known to have come from this time period. 

In the 1980s and 1990s, concert posters continued to evolve as the music industry became more diverse and commercial. Many posters were created by professional graphic designers and were printed using advanced digital printing techniques. These posters often featured a wide range of styles, from the traditional to the avant-garde.

Today, concert posters continue to be an important part of the music industry. Many musicians and bands commission artists to create unique posters for each concert or tour, and these posters are highly sought after by collectors. In addition, many concert venues and promoters also create posters to promote their events.

In summary, concert posters have a rich history that spans over a century, from simple hand-drawn advertisements to highly sophisticated and artistic designs. They have been shaped by art movements, cultural shifts and technological advancements. As a result, concert posters have become an important piece of cultural history and a treasured collectible for music fans.

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