Indie Rock Poster Artists Get Their Close-Up

DYSP.jpgIt’s proving to be a banner year for designer documentaries. In the wake of such must-see films as Valentino: The Last Emperor, Objectified, and Milton Glaser: To Inform and Delight comes Died Young, Stayed Pretty, a raw look into the underground world of indie rock poster design. Iranian-born Canadian filmmaker Eileen Yaghoobian spent four years shooting the film, which screened at this year’s South by Southwest Film Festival and has its New York premiere next Friday at the IFC Center.

DYSP takes viewers into the offices, studios, backyards, cars, and lives of artists such as Art Chantry, Brian Chippendale, Print Mafia, the Ames Brothers, and Rob Jones. Along the way, Yaghoobian harvests killer visuals (gig posters for everyone from Arcade Fire to Marilyn Manson as well as inspiration-soaked sojourns to carnivals, zoos, and the gigs themselves) and delightful—if occasionally profane—commentary, including spirited debates about the glut of octopus imagery in rock posters (great minds…) and memorable quotations (“With a band like Elf Power, can’t go wrong”). Of course, it proved impossible to choose just one poster for the film, and so there are six (Bryce McCloud‘s swashbuckling feline design, above, among them). Check out the film’s trailer, below, and then head to, the world’s largest historical gig poster archive.