Book Review… Swissted

Swissted is an graphic design poster book that takes rock concert posters from the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s and remixes and reimagines them through a Swiss modernist lens. The result is some of the best poster designs I’ve ever seen!
Swissted is an ongoing project by graphic designer Mike Joyce, owner of Stereotype Design in New York City. Drawing from his love of punk rock and Swiss Modernism, two movements that have (almost) nothing to do with one another, Mike Joyce redesigned vintage punk, hardcore, new wave, and indie rock show flyers into International Typographic Style posters.


The book features over 200 posters from legendary indie, alternative, and punk bands such as The Clash, The Pixies, Green Day, The Ramones, The Sex Pistols, The Replacements, Dead Kennedys, Public Image Ltd., The Cure, Danzig, Pearl Jam and Nirvana. Every single one of these amazing shows and lineups actually happened, at the places and times in the posters, which makes me insanly jealous of the lucky people that were there to see them. Each poster also comes perforated, and so are perfect for framing and hanging on the walls, which I’ve done with the posters for The Misfits and The Cure.


I was particularly drawn to this book and the designs of Mike Joyce as I share the same interest that inspired him to start this book. Like him I am a huge fan of both Swiss style design, which I discovered when I started college, and punk rock/alternative music which I have loved since my early school days. A lot of my favourite bands, especially the ones that are listed above, were included on the posters in this book, which instantly drew me to it and I made sure to picked it up when I saw it.


Each poster design was based on the original posters/flyers for the shows, and is set in lowercase Berthold Akzidenz-Grotesk medium—not Helvetica, as the designer is very keen for everyone to know. All of the posters are museum quality Epson prints, on enhanced matte cover stock, and printed with archival inks. Each design is even more beautiful in print than online and they all have a really nice matte texture, while maintaining very bright colours.


Each poster is also available seperately from the Swissted website. These separate posters are available in a variety of sizes, some of which are much larger than the book, so you can—like I am planning to— choose your favourite posters and get them at a much larger size than the book version. Mike Joyce has also continued to develop this project in his spare time and the collection of posters has grown well beyond the 200 posters that are shown in this book, so the website is well worth a look.


I can not reccomend this book enough for graphic designers, design students, artists and lovers of punk rock and alternative music. The book offers an amazing source of inspiration for poster design layouts and is also a fantastic reference for designers interested in Swiss Style (International Typographic Style) designs. I  As the description on Mike Joyce’s website saids “Get 200 Swissted posters for 20 cents each.”



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