Thursday, September 27, 2012

Brief Exchange - Wait, Put Your Pants Back On!

I recently took part in an exhibition organised by my brilliant friend Noeleen, called Brief Exchange. Rest assured there was no knicker swapping involved, as the idea here was for a group of 23 designers/illustrators/whatever you're having yourself-ers to each write a brief for a poster design. The briefs were then mixed up and distributed to the group, so everyone had a new brief to work on. It was a huge amount of fun and the resulting exhibition enjoyed a great run in both Cork and Dublin. So now that the posters are coming down this evening, I decided to post my design here.

The brief I was given was to redesign one of the Top 10 Worst Album Covers Of All Time, which included delights such as Prince's wistful, elfin (oh, and NAKED) form reclining on some flowers on the cover of Lovesexy and Millie Jackson straining with her knickers around her ankles (with one shoe in her hand for some unknown reason) while sitting on the jacks for the charmingly titled Back to the Shit.

Also on the list however, was Michael Jackson's HIStory. It was an obvious choice for me, seeing as I love Michael Jackson. When we were younger, my brother and I used to call each other for dinner by singing it in the air of Thriller. i.e. "DINNERRRR! Diiinnerrrtime!" And neither of us are quite over the fact that Mam told us she was going to a Civil Defence meeting in 1992 when she was actually going to the Dublin date of the Dangerous World Tour without us. BETRAYAL. We were only small at the time, but still. BETRAYAL.

Anyway, here's my poster:

I ran with the slightly Soviet feel that the big statue on the old cover gave off, along with making it a sort of gallery of his most iconic looks from over the years. I was really happy with the end result, even though I ended up in a bit of a panic, as we had two months to get it done, so I was all "Oh, there LOADS of time sure, I don't need to start yet...OHJESUSTHERE'SAWEEKLEFT."

I think I'm particularly happy with the Smooth Criminal and Bad era Michaels. I like the Smooth Criminal one because it's so simple and I actually like the Bad one for the opposite reason, because it was so bloody complicated, what with the four million belts and buckles he was wearing.

So that was my poster for the project. The brief that I wrote for it was to design a public information poster dealing with zombie attacks, which went to Alan B, an absolutely brilliant illustrator. He took it in a great direction and designed a poster to publicise a book for children about dealing with the post-apocalyptic issue of zombie relatives, called Uncle Fred Undead! He knocked it out of the fucking park and I think you'll agree:

Super deadly, am I right? If you want to have a look at all 23 posters from the exhibition, there's an album on Facebook here.


  1. Great poster! I love the skin tone changes over time...

  2. That's brilliant! You should turn this into a tribute tshirt or something - I'm also a MJ fan, and like this better as a tshirt design than most of the official (and unofficial) ones I've seen so far!

  3. Are there prints on sale??

  4. Jess - Thanks! I like the green skin tone best. :)

    moonlitcactus - Thank you, you're very kind!

    Dee - There aren't really, but if it was my poster you liked then email me and I could sort something out after I figure out costs, or if it's Alan's poster you like, his email is alan[at]hybrid-vigour[dot]com

  5. I feel mean now but I took a look at the Facebook page and it's really the 'dogs in space' one I want!

    Please don't be mad....

    1. Haha, not at all you're grand!

      This is the organiser's email address:[at]gmail[dot]com If you contact her and let her know what you're looking for, she should be able to put you in touch with the artist and you can go from there. :)


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