First Melbourne Fringe Festival poster
Poster for the first Melbourne Fringe Festival
Circa 1980
Two colour screen print on MG litho paper
51 x 76 centimeters
Collection National Gallery of Australia

I don't recall who asked me to design this poster for the first Melbourne Fringe Festival but I do remember printing it, together with some volunteers, at a poster workshop called Redletter Press.

A man who later became a famous radio personality volunteered his services to the festival and insisted his name be mentioned on the poster, I happily declined to do this because all the other volunteers helped unacknowledged. Instead I inserted, in a small font, Urban Skinner, a guerilla style project I was associated with.

Fringe Network is still, I believe, going strong. Roar Studios made the careers of several people but both the Artworkers Union and Urban Skinner had very short lives.

This poster has never been a favourite, however in retrospect I like the slanted composition and dripping spray paint lettering shoved into the top left of the sheet but the event details text and the silhouettes of the audience members is sloppily made. This reflects the speed with which the poster was designed and the fleeting access to facilities used to produce it.

The background of the graphics