THE POSTER ARTIST
ROCK POSTERS AND VALUE
The Poster Artist
Chicago native Nels Jacobson, a.k.a. Jagmo, has been creating rock
posters for 30 years. He moved to Austin, Texas in the late 1970s
and served as promotional manager at Club Foot, an Austin concert
hall featuring local bands and touring acts such as U2, REM, BB
King, and King Sunny Ade. After leaving Club Foot in 1983, Nels
founded Jagmo Studios, a design firm specializing in graphic art
for the entertainment industry. During the next ten years, he worked
with numerous local performers, promoters, and clubs - receiving
the annual Austin Chronicle Music Award for best concert poster
five times. He helped organize the 1987 Texas-U.S.S.R. Musicians'
Exchange and as tour manager accompanied the musicians to Helsinki,
Leningrad, Kiev, and Moscow. As original art director for the annual
South by Southwest Music Conference (SXSW), Nels designed the official
logo and oversaw conference graphics from 1987 through 1992. In
2000 he created the logo for Nashville's Next Fest music festival.
Nels has written a number of articles
on poster art, including a two-part piece titled "The Maverick Tradition:
Postering in Austin, Texas" that appeared in Wes Wilson's OFFtheWALL
poster journal, and "Armadillos, Pecadillos, and the Maverick Posterists
of Austin, Texas" which was published in Prints and Printmakers
of Texas, the Proceedings of the Twentieth Annual North American
Print Conference. In addition to his graphic design activities,
he has been practicing law since 1995. Licensed in California, Michigan,
Tennessee, Texas and with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office, he
practices primarily in the areas of copyright, trademark, and entertainment
law, and has written and lectured extensively on these topics.
Nels is a founding board member of the American Poster Institute
(sponsor of the Flatstock poster shows), and a director of The Rock
Poster Society and the South Austin Museum of Popular Culture. He
served for several years on the packaging GRAMMY committees for
the San Francisco and Texas Chapters of the National Academy of
Recording Arts and Sciences, and he has been Director of the SXSW
Continuing Legal Education program since 1997.
Rock Posters and Value
Over the past 40 years, concert posters have become increasingly sought after and collectible. In addition to their intrinsic value as compelling cultural artifacts, some concert posters have proven to be wise investments. Some posters, including many originally distributed for free, sell today for hundreds (and, in rare cases, even thousands) of dollars.
Many different factors may govern what a particular poster sells for, including:
the date it was created,
the venue and performers featured,
the poster artist who designed it, and whether its signed,
the originality and skill evident in the design,
how the poster was printed (for example, whether the poster was off-set or screen printed),
the total number of such posters printed, and whether this particular poster varies from the majority,
whether the poster design has been featured in a book or magazine article, and
the condition of the particular poster.
In the end, however, the real value of any concert poster is how much personal enjoyment the owner receives from it -- the extent to which the poster reminds him or her of a favorite performer, a memorable performance or a cherished venue, the extent to which it enriches and illuminates his or her visual universe, or the eloquence with which the poster expresses something he or she wants to say. Regardless of the price attached to any poster at any particular time, its real value is limitless and can't be measured in terms of dollars and cents.
All of the concert posters listed on this site were commissioned by the performing artists themselves or their agents -- managers, promoters, publicists -- for particular scheduled events or as tour posters. Most print runs were small. Typically 300 or fewer posters were printed. In only a very few cases were as many as 500 posters printed. Because most of the posters printed were hung around town or otherwise distributed before the advertised event, quantities currently available are necessarily limited.
Most posters were off-set printed. Many of the off-set posters were printed by legendary Austin printer Terry "Speleo" Raines on one of his Heidelberg presses. The paper used was generally .012, .010, .008., 80# coated cover, 70# offset, 65# carnival cover, or 67# Bristol. A few posters, typically the larger-format posters, were screen printed by Bee-Bop Printing.
Original art is available for most of the posters shown on this site.
To inquire regarding purchase, call Nels at (248) 885-8475 or by emailing
him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Postcards of some of the poster designs also are available; if interested e-mail Jagmo. Among the postcards available are:
The Band ($4)
Jimmy Cliff ($3)
Marshall Crenshaw ($3)
David & David ($3)
Jimmy Davis ($4)
Steve Earle ($4)
Dave Edmunds ($3)
Joe Ely ($4)
The Flatlanders ($10)
Jimmie Dale Gilmore ($10)
Butch Hancock ($10)
Hoodoo Gurus ($4)
Hunter & Collectors ($3)
Millie Jackson ($4)
Jagmo Fascinating Grass ($4)
Jagmo Gas Mask Card ($5)
Jagmo Roky Card
Jagmo Roy O. Card
Jason & the Scorchers ($3)
Eric Johnson ($5)
Lone Justice ($3)
Marilyn/Lautrec So. Bank ($5)
Omar/Ely/Timbuk 3 ($3)
Johnny Reno ($3)
Mason Ruffner/K&B ($5)
Thrashing Doves ($4)
TX-USSR Musicians Exchange ($5)