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“Poster Girl” Félicité Landrivon’s Wonky Type + DIY Flyers for Lyon’s Underground Music Scene

“I’m not the girl who poses in a bikini on posters. I’m the one who designs them.”

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.”

1
Mississippi Records tour + SIDA + Shearing Pinx + Besoin Dead, September 2014

“This was one of the first shows I booked and set up all by myself. That poster is seminal for me, in terms of assembling elements together, finding balance, and tickling the imagination. I feel like it reflects what my inspirations are, while also representing my personal visual identity.

“Given the limited resources I had, I often use a standard black and white, A3 poster format. With this poster, there was so much information to fit on it that I had to split it into two A3s and then stick them together. I wanted it to look like a newspaper or picture story gone wrong, and I used a Unicode font that’s still one of my staples. Eventually, I silkscreened this on A2 paper.” 

2
Lithics + Tôle Froide, September 2018

“I’m a big fan of Lithics, a punk band from Portland, Oregon, and I’d been eagerly waiting for them to tour Europe. When I finally got to book their show after two years of anticipation, I knew the poster had to be memorable. As an in-joke, I used pictures of friends who were equally as much of a fan as me, and I added genuine quotes from them as if they were rock critics rating a five star band on the back cover of a punk zine. The fonts are Times and Windsor.” 

3
Bitchin Bajas + Bravo Tounky, May 2018

“I used to always work independently on posters, until this first collaboration with Harrisson, a graphic designer and teacher based in Brussels. We were hanging out one day and I had to come up with a poster for the next show I was organizing. He was also a fan of Bitchin Bajas, so we started brainstorming together. He came up with a grid that I gradually filled in before handing it back to him to edit, and so on. After this collaboration, we repeated the same process for dozens of posters and designs, letting our styles and ideas merge together.” 

4
Westerns de Camargue, April 2018

“I work with an independent collective from Lyon named Météorites that sets up film screenings—we’ve done over 60 so far. I lay out its paper program and there’s a silkscreened poster for every screening. These physical copies are stuck up in the streets and sold for €5 to help fund the events.

“For this one, I redrew a Moscoso font by hand and used Baskerville that I wore out by adding blur and trembling, and then flattening it in bitmap. It’s something I do a lot so fonts don’t appear too sharp. The photograph was taken from a Crin Blanc book (which tells a famous story about the friendship between a young boy and a horse in Camargue). I’d been trying to use that picture for years and here it was, the perfect match. I collect hundreds of images, but I try to wait for the most perfect opportunity to use something instead of using images randomly.” 

5
Simon Crab + Nocturnal Emissions + Tunis Alpha, October 2017

“I had been contacted by the Velvetyne Type Foundry, which asked me to design a poster using its latest open source font—called Trickster—for the launch. I was going to make a poster for a Simon Crab show, so it was good timing and I combined the tasks. A second time I used Trickster was on a poster also for an electronic/techno gig, and despite its medieval vibe, I find it more fitting with that genre of music than anything rock ’n’ roll.” 

 

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Poster Picks