The National Poster Retrospecticus
Over 100 Artists! More than 300 Posters! The National Poster Retrospecticus is a traveling art show that celebrates the made-by-hand aesthetic through poster design. With origins that go back as far as 2006 and a reboot in 2012, I've put everything I've got into this project in terms of booking the shows, curating work, installing shows, selling and shipping posters, branding, front-end development and all the rest!
Touring around the country with The NPR has been one of the greatest adventures of my life. It is through this adventure that I am able to combine my design skills, show planning background, love for community based events, enthusiasm for travel and passion for posters into one amazing experience. I am also fortunate enough to meet some of the most genuine and kindest people while on the road—most of whom share the same enthusiasm for posters. This enthusiasm is like fuel that helps keep me going while we make those eleven hour drives through crazy weather and deserted stretches of highway, hang 300 posters and host a packed show for one-night-only in each city.
Retrospecticus is a funny word. The translation comes out to something along the lines of "to look forward" and "to look backward". Combine that with imagery from early American lore and we have the all seeing eye of providence. The brand is flexible enough to fit the needs of a 1" button, an extensive website, a poster series or a giant banner.
The design for the website has evolved right along with the needs of the site. My first pass was just something to announce and document the second coming of the show in 2012. The second, third and fourth passes were ways to document the tours, do a little lifting in the marketing department and do a better job of explaining what the heck this crazy show is all about.
Booking & Promotion
This is where the heavy lifting comes in. Booking a cross-country art tour isn't standard fare—especially for one-night-only events. I've found that my previous experience booking bands came in handy. The logistical puzzle of booking consecutive shows, promoting each event across the interweb and in all of the local news and art publications can get heavy but I love digging into complex problems like this!
The NPR is one of the largest projects I've ever tackled. If not for the involvement, support and encouragement of the following people this ship wouldn't sail half as true. Big thanks go out to the following cats for pitching in and doing some heavy lifting at some point over the show's history!