Whenever I see a good flyer, I nab it into a folder that I sort through at the end of the year. I started posting these curations on Instagram, then I made a flyer collection as part of my outer ][ space book, and now I find my passion for this medium continues to grow. I want to elevate this artwork and make room for these pieces to breathe away from the confines of social media. There's incredible graphic artists and designers in nightlife putting out beautiful, hilarious, and witty pieces that deserve more attention.
The rave flyer is an essential part of the nightlife ecosystem, even as urban legends of the algorithm set a trend of more selfie-oriented promotion. A great flyer builds anticipation and expectation, it sets the tone of a party before we even walk in the door. At its best, the poster screams out in coded language that only its intended audience can hear, pulling in the exact crowd the party is meant to host. Yet it's a flexible medium; it can be stone-cold serious, or it can be playful and flippant. Whatever the party needs.
I hope this collection reflects this range of purpose and showcases the talent in our community. Most of these come from parties in Brooklyn, but there's a separate section for flyers from other cities. I've done my best to identify the designers and artists, but a few are still unknown. I'll continue updating this as I find more credits. If you can help fill in the blanks, please drop me a line!
Some context for the imagery in this flyer: The cards featured in this poster are taken from a Korean card game called Godori or "go-stop". The game originated in Japan the 14th century when Portugese traders introduced their card games. The Japanese government banned these cards and the numbers were erased and replaced with drawings of flowers to disguise the cards.
In the 19th century during Japan's 35-year occupation of Korea, the cards and the gambling with came with them were introduced as a way to sedate and distract the Korean population. Even with this historical context Godori remains one of the most popular card games in Korea.
A few selections from outside my neighborhood, found by following my favorite artists as they tour. You can probably guess which artists I'm keen on.
Please let me know if you can help identify the credits for the remaining pieces!