Frank Kozik has two rules for making band posters: no puns and no photos of the band, “unless they absolutely insist.” In case you’re not familiar, Kozik is the genius behind some of the most memorable band posters of the ’90s. His time in Austin, Texas, led to gigs with Sonic Youth, Nirvana, Nine Inch Nails, and more. Kozik’s collage aesthetic combined with hand-drawn cartoons worked to extend the identity of the bands he worked with into spaces you wouldn’t necessarily expect. (That’s thanks in part to his rules.)
Now, Kozik’s expanded his oeuvre beyond poster making and into the limited-edition art toy world, where he acts as chief creative officer for Kidrobot, an appropriate medium considering Kidrobot’s cult status among artists, art lovers, and collectors, plus folks bent on simply owning the best of the best. Like Kozik’s posters, the work he’s done with Kidrobot occupies a special place within collectors’ minds.
The dawn of computer-generated posters hasn’t killed off the medium just yet, though. Kozik still lends his vision to bands like blink-182 and events like Lollapalooza. “This enormous renaissance in the art of the poster kicked off around ’91, ’92, and continues to this day,” he tells us. “It’s a huge, huge specialized scene.” Like all things ’90s, though, the era of poster making will never be quite the same. Let’s look back at some of Kozik’s most famous works to see just how far we’ve come.