College for Creative Studies: Art Practice (Fine Arts)


Mark Arminski

Independent Poster Artist

Self Employed

Developing his own sense of style and format, Mark Arminski has found a way to rock on as an artist - literally.

As perhaps the foremost rock poster artist in America, Arminski's long list of clients include The Beasties Boys, Aerosmith, Smashing Pumpkins, The Who, and BB King.

He's also one of the first rock poster artists to format his work, setting a 10 1/2 by 22 1/4 inch poster size that has become an industry standard for record stores wishing to display posters in window spaces.

"I feel lucky to be able to do what I'm doing and make a living at it."

"I think my work is so popular because I've worked hard at getting myself out there." said Arminski from inside his studio, the Rockhouse.

Arminski got his start in the rock poster industry by designing flyers and handbills for local bands. Pleased with the poster he designed for Blues Traveler, the band recommended him as the artist for the HORDE Tour poster in 1996. Since then, his career has skyrocketed and Arminski has done more than 300 pieces - a collection that has earned him worldwide acclaim. Arminski's commemorative posters for the Doors and Jimi Hendrix are on a rotating archive at Cleveland's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Influenced by Warhol, an intense use of color sets Arminski's work apart from other designers. He first creates the art in black and white, and then adds the coloring. Some galleries exhibit his posters under black light because the vibrant colors create a psychedelic effect.

Although the posters need to attract the eye, Arminski said he never lets his artwork overshadow the poster's purpose, usually to announce an upcoming show. Readability is as equally important as the images, something he learned while studying graphic design at CCS.

"I've always viewed them (the posters) as advertisements - as soon as you look at them, you should see who's playing, where they're playing and the date," said Arminski.