SmartShanghai posted 1,914 events in 2009. All of them totally fantastic. Myself and the SmartShanghai graphic designer went through all the old event listings to come up with this list of flyers that we liked the best from the year. Basically, I was looking for anything mildly amusing and he was looking for nice designs. Here they are in no particular order. Come back tomorrow for the worst of the lot, at which time the hate shall set you free.
Aug. 7: Pause:Play @ The Shelter
When you're looking at bad photoshoped soft-core models and press images of DJs in shutter shades all day, a hand-drawn flyer really sticks out. This is from one of those Pause:Play parties.
Most of the flyers on this list are from independent promoters who use more unorthodox images to advertise their events. This is not to say one is more worthwhile than the other, but giving a nod to people trying to do something different or weird or interesting is sort of the point of this list.
Speaking of hand-drawn flyers, no one produced the quantity that the Baijiu boys did in 2009. We picked this one because I think it was the only one with color. It was an alright gimmick that they had going, with each flyer adhering to a central slipshod aesthetic. Good times.
Aug. 5: Ourself Beside Me @ Yuyintang
This is from whoever it is in Beijing that does the images for the various bands on the Maybe Mars label. I think his stuff is interesting, well-done, and always slightly gross. It holds your attention more than a press photo of the band with some tour dates around it.
Here's the Antidote flyer we liked best this year. It's a strange photo. Lick the walls.
Dec. 12: Lady Killer @ Dada
This one's from that Lady Killer party. Actually, the SmartShanghai graphic designer did this one himself, but he got a lot of compliments on it so I thought it wouldn't be too lame to add it in.
He was going for mystical, electronic succubus.
Jul. 31: Mic Park 11 @ Anar
It's either a creepy space alien or some sort of monster from Greek mythology, but he's throwing up the Bloods gang sign and the bitches are lovin' it.
It was for a hip hop freestyle event and is the most un-rap poster of the year. Good for them.
Feb. 20: Cosmic Invaders @ Volar
It's about time someone started plundering '70s futurespolitation.
The graphic designer liked this one. He says it's "really nice design". I think the "collectors issue" cut-away promising "Oriental Beauties" is pretty funny.
Jul. 31: Italo Disco @ Shanghai Studio
There's a lot of things going so right with this flyer. It has Tom Selleck. It has the DJ's name written in his chest hair.
But also, if you look closely, Tom is taking his call on a land line receiver that's been disconnected from the actual phone.
Who are you talking to on that thing, Tom? The president?
May 8: D.I.Y. Bananas @ The Shelter
This one was Banana's most optimistic gimmick of the year. People were supposed to draw their own flyer on there, fill out the mad lib press blah blah, and the best one was to win a beer or free entrance or something. Yep. Not a bad idea.
Dec. 10: Boing Boom Tschak @ C's
Good for these guys on getting the jump on werewolves supplanting zombies to be the "it" monsters for 2010.
Sept. 11: Opening Season @ Martini Bar
This one is here because it's a super intense, well-done photoshop job. The layout is really good as well, so even though its one of those busy, collage flyers, it looks intricate but ordered. You can see it better in a larger format (click here). Check out that snake that's been photoshopped in and around all the stuff in there. That must have been aggravating to do.
Aug. 6: Karma Koma @ The Shelter
Karma Koma had a lot of good flyers this year. A lot of them have a sort of a traditional Chinese art inspiration, like this one here. This one was the graphic designer's favorite one.