Hooked By Graphic Design!
Back in the day, when I eked out living as a struggling musician and there was no such thing as social media, promotional tools for local bands consisted of a flyer, a staple gun, and a telephone pole. Every reachable inch of the pole would be papered over with info about who was playing where and when. Every now and then the “authorities” would come along and tear it all down.
Just like today’s crowded marketplace, it was challenging for anyone to get noticed and stand out among all of those handmade posters. But one band always did. For reasons I didn’t quite comprehend, local outfit Rizzz always rose to the top of the pole and grabbed my attention. I didn’t know it at the time, but I was being successfully seduced by quality graphic design. Looking back, I see just how effective highly designed promotion can be in influencing the unschooled, unsuspecting observer.
Rizzz had a secret weapon in Rick Couto. An excellent drummer and percussionist, Couto was also a talented graphic designer, and his work, from the band’s colorful logo through countless posters and promotional items, gave them a real leg up on the scene. Admittedly, the fact that they were a terrific ensemble didn’t hurt, but I was hooked by their visuals before I heard a note. Thinking back, this was also the day when I would purchase an album purely based on the cover art. Hooked again by graphic design!
Of course, after 13 years running a graphic design and communications business, I’m much more familiar with graphic design and graphic designers. In fact, I’m privileged to collaborate day-to-day with one of the very best. I’m continually blown away by the power of quality graphic design to make a difference, to stir hearts, to move the needle, and yes, to change the world.