When she’s introduced at conferences or exhibitions, it’s not uncommon for people to refer to Lyon-based graphic designer and gig promoter Félicité Landrivon as a “poster girl.” “I’m glad to be identified in such a way,” she laughs. “They don’t mean it in the sense that I’m the girl who poses in a bikini on posters. Rather, I’m the one who designs them. It’s a bit like a feminist recuperation of the term.”
Her approach to poster design is heavily influenced by DIY aesthetics and promotional material from the past. Scrolling through her Tumblr is like delving into an archive of French New Wave film posters muddled together with powder pink and low-fi flyers for ’90s bands. It’s only on a closer look that you realize these prints are indeed contemporary, constructed from new typefaces such as Velvetyne’s 2017 Trickster or 2018’s slinky Syne, and advertising gigs that took place in 2018 (not 1965).
While growing up in Lyon, poster and flyer design became a way to take part in the local underground music scene without actually playing music. “I continue to work from the point of view of a music fan who books bands that I love,” says Landrivon. “So my designs are a mix of amateurism, enthusiasm, and sincerity. The designs that I look at sometimes date back to the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s, not because I fetishize vintage, but because I find that they age well, unlike a lot of trends.”
For this week’s Poster Picks, we asked Landrivon to take us through the stories behind five of her designs. “Usually a poster is promotional material for an event, so it’s ephemeral—more than a record cover, for instance,” she says. “But I think it also outlives the event and can hold collective memories. That’s why I want to give it my best shot every time.”