Visual Vitriol Contest Winner!

October 21st, 2011

Well, while we didn’t have the quantity of entries we would have liked, we did have the quality!   So I’m happy to announce that David Ensminger, author of the great new book Visual Vitriol:  The Street Art and Subcultures of the Punk and Hardcore Generation, has selected the winner and 2 runners up in our Figment Visual Vitriol Contest.  I’ll turn it over to David to announce who won:


Mine Shaft Gig Flyer

created by thehoseman

David:  For me, this flyer sums up much of the traditional punk flyer street art aesthetic in a nugget form, compressed and purposeful. The band names are cut and paste jobs, each lifted from different typography, the dates and gig location are hand-scrawled, and the imagery —  Dada-punk collage style — reinforces several longlasting punk tropes, including boomboxes, which Joe Strummer of The Clash used to drag around in New York City in 1981, and gas masks, signaling the apocalypse or nuclear war. The fish head feels both mutant and like a warning: will we die like radiated fish upriver from a nuclear plant? Have our heads already been chopped off? The skulls, typical in punk art, harness the dark side of horror punk, it’s fascination with killing fields…One of my favorite records by The Red Aunts is called “Ghetto Blaster,” while one of my fave At The Drive-In records, “Vaya,” features a ghetto blaster on its cover, so I warmed to this flyer right away.


David decided to award a tie to the other two poster designs.  We will award each player who designed the posters with 30,000 pieces of Lucre each!

Baked Sale Tour Poster

created by FuriousGrace

David:  The Baked Sale Tour poster features really rough punk vernacular action as well. I like the rhetorical use of text, the ponderous questions, the ironic diet clichés, juxtaposed to the fat-drenched bake sale, the cake in the foreground, and the alliteration of the D sounds in the decadent clipping.  The typography is insistent, scrawled, stolen and battered, but it lacks the searing historic links avidly embedded in Mine Shaft.

Live at the Zebra Bar Tour Poster

created by Halokitzen

David:  The Live at The Zebra bar is an enticing slice of vernacular color art, hand-drawn, enigmatic, and inventive, but it seems more like an indie rock flyer, due its choice of funky off-blue color washes, biomorphic body types, and candy-colored lettering. This woud make for a terrific Guided by Voices or Pavement poster. Funny, humorous, but lacking in bile, vitriol, and punch. I do like the blemished appeal, the irony, and the raw spirit.

Thank you, all three, for contributing your work.

Congratulations to all three of our participants!  thehoseman will be receiving 50,000 pieces of Lucre and a copy of David’s book Visual Vitriol.  Furious Grace and Halokitzen will be receiving 30,000 each.  Thanks to all three for taking the time to create these great DIY posters.

3 Responses to “Visual Vitriol Contest Winner!”

  1. theHoseman Says:

    Great work FuriousGrace and Halokitzen!
    I was really hoping there would be a slough of entries, but I do understand (as has been stated) this type of design is not everyone’s cup of tea. I had a lot of fun putting together the various pieces of the Mine Shaft gig flyer. (incidentally, the boomboxes were the last thing added…almost an afterthought. Damn glad I included them!)

    Thank you David for taking the time to judge this contest and for your insightful reviews of the designs. I am seriously looking forward to reading (and seeing the designs in) your book!!

  2. Furious Grace Says:

    Thanks to all, and congratulations to Hoseman & Halokitzen! Hoseman, you most certainly deserved to win this, my contribution paled by comparison! haha

    I too would have liked to see more contributions, perhaps future contests will yield more results. Thanks to figment & David for taking the time to do this! Cheers!

  3. poppinfresh Says:

    Congratulations to all three winners! They all did great work. I really love seeing all the creativity on figment!

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