Protomartyr In Design

The design I chose is this one of a Protomartyr poster. It has always intrigued me and has quite a lot of depth and dimension in the image by using photo montage, photo cropping, and bleeding off the image page, creating an interesting impression to be mesmerized by. Not only this, but the choice of using multiple typefaces adds to the suggestion of this multidimensional use of space.

A portion of this piece that I find to be interesting is in the creation of the ‘goop’ leaving the individuals mouth in the top left landing on another individuals head in the bottom right. Having these images seemingly unrelated and bringing them in by photo manipulation leads me to question if or what this poster really represents. Upon some research, I found the album title this poster was released with, called The Agent Intellect, derives from a philosophical question regarding how the mind operates relating to oneself. In knowing that, the chaos of this image, which to me was a lot of images cropped together, begins to create an image that compliments itself as a whole.

Discussion — 3 Responses

  • Deb 02/02/2021 on 12:11 PM

    Wow! I love it! It reminds me of the old Jethro Tull ‘Thick as a Brick’ LP, which was designed to look like a newspaper (including huge fold-outs, ads, and funny stories about what was going on in the popular culture). Where did you find this Wild Design? It’s great!

  • Nina Long 02/05/2021 on 3:40 PM

    Oh, that’s a super cool reference! I see the similarity! This is from a Protomartyr show that my boyfriend went to a few years back- it’s now hanging in his house.

  • Bhavana Veeravalli 02/16/2021 on 10:42 PM

    I think that you got a really good find here Nina. I am especially intrigued with what you said about the goop and the function it plays in connecting the different photo images in the collage itself. I think that this poster is incredibly busy because of the photo-montage medium, but it is representative of the chaos that it is trying to reflect. The addition of the goop, therefore adds a reading route as to how this beautifully busy image should be read.

    Additionally, your description of the context in which this wild design was found also caught my attention. You mentioned that this was a poster that was hanging in your boyfriends house, and that makes me wonder more about what was the process and intended audience for this particular poster design. On its own, I think this is a fascinating poster, but I would not have guessed that it was for the Protomartyr rock band right away. My eyes immediately jump to the photo collage images and its composition, and to be honest, I would not have stopped and read the text on the left if I saw this in my day to day life on the street because of how dense it is. The photo collage leads me from the top left to the bottom right and then off the page. It begs the question if its intended purpose was solely for visual aesthetic and the attention associated with that, or was it to promote the band itself?

    If it was the latter, then I think that this poster’s power varies depending on its context. Someone like me who has never heard of this band before this post might not have stopped to see the fine print on this if I encountered this in an open environment such as a street or bus station. I would have simply thought, “oh, that’s an interesting collage,” and went about my day. However, if one encountered this in a more controlled context, such as a record shop, I believe this poster would be more effective in promoting the band’s music itself. This is because those that enter a record store are already walking in with the intention of noticing more about the music they are going to be exposed to and what they might buy. Encountering a poster like this would hook viewers in with the photo collage, but they would also more likely take the time to read the text on the left because of the context they are and the motivations they walked into the context with.

    Overall, this is a neat poster, and it’s surprising to think about how such a singular poster can create so many routes of exploration and questioning of intent.

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