Mike Joyce, a graphic designer, embarked on a project that merged punk rock which has an anti-establishment ethos, and Swiss Modernism which is very structured- two unlikely movements. From studying under legendary Swiss graphic designer, Fred Troller boosted him even further, in that, he exposed him to the International Typographic Style.
The inspiration of rock and typography, two art forms that seem at odds, Mike became curious to combine these two art forms since Swiss modernists purged extraneous decoration to create clear communication, while punk rock took on self-indulgent rock and roll and stripped it to its core, thus emerged Swissted.
So, what exactly is Swissted?
“Swissted falls under the category of transformative art in that I’m commenting on an actual historic event, completely transforming the look and design of the original flyer, as well as not using any imagery, logos, photography, or branding of the bands and artists. Only the factual information from the original flyers is used,” Mike has remarked.
He has worked with bands and artists including: The Replacements, Iggy Pop, The Lemonheads, Morphine, Richard Hell & The Voidoids, Agent Orange, The Cars, New York Dolls, Natalie Merchant, American Standard, D-Generation, and so many other incredible acts.
This begs the question; how does one avoid unwanted repetition among pieces while adhering to a strict set of design principles?
According to Mike, “I can’t say I’ve been able to completely avoid repetition throughout the project—but I definitely try! Part of the project is an exercise in restraint as well as a challenge to create dynamic and interesting poster designs within such limitations. I hope it inspires other designers to see that you can do a lot with one single typeface and that you can create bold and vivid designs without a lot of bells and whistles”. For him, he gave himself only a couple rules, such as actually liking the band, and the show had to occur in the 1970’s, ’80’s and ’90’s.
With such a creative and inspiring project, Mike has been, “personally contacted by many of the bands, artists, and even record labels to say how much they love Swissted. Some of those artists include Bad Religion, Shudder to Think, Rancid, Superdrag, Jawbreaker, Angry Samoans, Jesse Malin, The Dead Milkmen, Richard Hell, and Heatmiser, as well as legendary record labels like Sub-Pop, Posh Boy, Enigma Records, Restless Records, and Kill Rock Stars”.