This came up in talking about posters for this Saturday’s joint show with Leannan Sidhe at the Dreaming. (6pm, 5225 Univeristy Way NE, Seattle, hope you’ll be there.) What matters more in a poster graphic: relationship to music or dynamism?

I had came up with this poster design:


The background image is from a comic, drawn comic style, which makes sense because hi, comic book and gaming store, and we’re doing some related songs, so it all works. I think it’s quite dynamic and eye-catching, which was my primary consideration.

Shanti, quite correctly really, felt it didn’t relate to her music, and she came up with some other imagery for the background. That’s what made the official poster:

Godking Owl Has No Pity For You

It’s a good image, I like it. It is more evocative of her music. It’s also lower contrast, and less dynamic from a distance. The eyeflow is still good, but… as a designer, I think it’s less attention-grabby.

So, as someone seeing these posters, which matters more to you? A graphic that is more grabbing (but not as evocative of the music style), or one that grabs less attention (and thus makes people less likely to see it) but which is more evocative of the music on some level?

And does it matter if you already know the music or not?

I tried to fit this into a poll, but couldn’t quite get it together in my head. So I’m just asking outright, in text. Do you think relationship of poster graphic to music is more important than eye-catchiness in show posters? Would you even think about the two if you went to a show, or would you forget about it as soon as you walked in?