62 excellent flyers from the underground rave scene of Brooklyn and beyond.
A great flyer builds anticipation and sets expectation; it establishes 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. Our experiences in nightlife may be ephemeral, but a good flyer can unlock memories years down the road.
This collection isn't a "best of" or ranked list, but a wide-ranging sample of high-concept compositions, clever typography, eye-catching illustrations, and a healthy dash of irreverence. My goal is to elevate this incredible artwork and the brilliant artists who often don't receive credit for their hard work. I want to make room for these pieces to breathe away from the confines of Instagram and place them in conversation with each other. Long-term, I hope this will serve as inspiration for designers and promoters as they plan their next party.
This year brought a new terrible trend to the landscape of party promotion: AI-generated art. Suspiciously smooth renders littered with hazy nonsense now compete with the increasingly dominant selfie in the creative race to the bottom on social media. In the spirit of honoring human creativity, I've excluded flyers that made visible use of AI (with two exceptions†). My only other strict criteria is legibility; a flyer needs to have all the basic information displayed at a reasonable size and contrast.
I've done my best to identify the artists and designers for each piece. If you can help fill in the blanks or if I've miscredited anything, please reach out!
† This OFFWRLD flyer used AI to generate the buildings and skylines, which were then further modified in post. Personally, I don't have an issue with AI used to create references or assets; this doesn't really harm working artists and allows for some interesting mashups and experimentation.
With each passing year, this section becomes a larger portion of this collection. Increasingly, I find this geographic distinction to be less meaningful. While there are distinct local trends and values in party aesthetics, designers work around the world. Next year, I'd like to find more meaningful ways to group flyers together.
† AI may have been used to generate the creature at the center of this card.
Please reach out if you know the design credits for any unknown pieces, or if I've miscredited anything.
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