Modernist Kicks: Swissted's Mike Joyce Discusses The Inspirations For 10 Of His Gig Poster Makeovers
In 1978, the Sex Pistols would have hocked snot at the idea of being associated with prim layouts and orderly type. Sublime's signature colors were not purple, pink, red, and gray; The Replacements had no ties to concentric squares. Dr. Know and Gorilla Biscuits never put pinwheels anywhere in their art.
Swissted, however, makes all those alternate realities come true. The project, orchestrated by Mike Joyce, launched in January with a fiendishly simple premise: Joyce combs through flyers of old-school punk, hardcore, and indie rock shows, retains the vital info, and uses that text to create Swiss Modernist-style posters that often incorporate geometric patterns. His work favors minimalism, and his only font is Berthold Akzidenz-Grotesk Medium (lowercase, natch).
The Manhattan-based designer casts Swissted's net of bands wide; Ramones, Weezer, 45 Grave, Warzone, and Teenage Fanclub are among his hundreds of subjects. Since Joyce prefers to avoid familiar elements (the Black Flag bars being one of the few exceptions), he's ended up with some compellingly unpredictable images. Currently, 225 posters are housed on Swissted, with several available in physical form through Print-Process.
The strict purposefulness of Swiss Modernist ideals tends to butt heads with the haphazard, defiant personalities and imagery of old punk and hardcore bands, and that clash is exactly what Joyce relishes. "The contrast is exciting," he says. "If there was a reason at all [for the project], it was to show contrast and that there could be beauty in these horrible names like Dirty Rotten Imbeciles and Crucifucks. That was interesting to make them beautiful because I actually think a lot of the music is beautiful." Ahead, Joyce discusses 10 of Swissted's most striking works.