Designer Gianni Clifford popped up on our telly-box recently having immortalized some of our favourite Dublin watering holes in Lego. His creativity and attention to detail includes a particularly eye-catching model of the Hacienda, complete with a Lego-sized model of colourful owner ShayDuignan. In honour of the occasion we republish our interview with him from 2017, when he featured as part of our study on Poster Boys and Girls, highlighting the industrious work of graphic designers who ply their trade or a sideline in the visual communication behind that thing you have to see or hear.
From our 2017 Archive
Not just content with being a gent about town and former Totally Dublin cover star, Gianni Clifford does a mean trade in club and event posters for the likes of Hidden Agenda, Decce Series and Syrias Vibes. He’s also had his work featured on It’s Nice That. Fancy.
I am super lucky to have worked for some of my favourite DJs and bands to date, across festivals and individual shows, I am even luckier to work with great promoters like Hidden Agenda who give me such a free reign when it comes to developing the visual style for their shows, they book great acts, so it’s just a joy. When I am working on music projects I always listen to the artist I am working on as I work. So a great client is anyone whom I enjoy their music, but dream client would be someone I love, who already has a strong identity but which I can reinterpret and build on – Kraftwerk, Grace Jones, LCD Soundsystem, Kendrick Lamar, Dr Dre (You did say dream )
Thoughts on the poster design here at the moment?
I always like to keep a close eye on what’s going on with music/gig posters in Dublin especially, and with every new group of promoters/DJs, there is a new young designer making stuff, which is great that they’ve the opportunity to design things lots of people will see. Some of it is great but there is lots of gack too. Props go to certain clubs and promoters who constantly have amazing artwork like Subject, District 8 and Choice Cuts.
Cardinal rule when it comes to a brief?
Ideally, for a gig poster, the brief should write itself. “The artist is X — create something in line with their style, our (the promoters) style and make sure it’s legible”. Simples. The designer should take it from here.
The poster you are most proud of?
I am not sure that I can pick just one singular poster, but my work for Hidden Agenda over the last 3 or 4 years has kept me super engaged due to their combination of solely black and white artwork and constant booking of great acts. It’s got me some great feedback and attention on a global scale. Also working with the Syrias Vibes guys is nothing short of humbling – Calvin James and his brother Andrew’s work is amazing, so to help them in any way possible is very positive.
I have a huge amount of design heroes across all areas, so it’s a toughie, but to keep it focused and local, props to Al ‘Billie Barry’ Kennington, Jonny ‘Blaze’ Costello, Jon Averill and Dave Darcy.
Words: Michael McDermott
Photos: Killian Broderick