Simon Tripcony is practicing the classic art of taking something old and creating something new and exciting out of it. The UK-based graphic designer has channeled his love for hardcore into a series of images that recently got No Echo's attention.
On his Instagram page, Simon has been taking old hardcore show flyers and reimagining them through the lens of his graphic design touch. While it's always fun to check out OG punk flyers on the internet, these newly designed ones deserve your attention.
I spoke with Simon about the project, and his passion for the bands and scenes he's paying tribute to.
What were some of the bands that initially sparked your interest in hardcore punk?
It was when I was 17 (way back in 1989) - at the time I was mostly listening to the likes of TAD, Mudhoney, Seaweed. One day, an older friend of mine gave me a mix tape.
I can’t really remember what bands were on it now but I do remember that Dag Nasty was one of them.
On my next trip to the record store I bought Wig Out at Denko's and Boogada Boogada Boogada. And on my next trip I added Can I Say, Milo Goes to College, and No Control. Then one record just led to another.
Like most people, I found that scanning the thank you lists and the production credits practically told me what to buy next.
Tell me a bit about your graphic design background. Are you formally trained, or did you learn on your own?
I’ve been a graphic designer all my working life. I was pretty good at drawing from an early age and not very good at much else so it was clear I was always going to end up in some sort of art career.
Strangely though, for an artist, I didn’t do too great in my school art exams! However, when I left school I studied a 2-year course in graphics and during the second year I was given a work placement at an advertising agency, which led to a job offer.
The first few years at the agency were in the days of cut and paste - the one computer operator would print out blocks of text and some photos then I’d cut it all up and arrange it on paper with a scalpel and spray mount.
It was probably 4 years before I got my own computer and I picked up how to use the programs day by day on the job.
I stayed there 8 years until the business closed down then moved into my current design job where I’ve been since 2002.
How and when did you get the idea to start this flyer redesign campaign?
Listening to music has been my one constant enjoyment and I have always thought how great it would be to have a job in the music industry, especially on the artwork side.
The flyer idea had very small beginnings. In late 2016, just for my own enjoyment, I designed some posters based on a UK band that had just completed a 20-year reunion tour. I had been a big fan of this band in the pre-hardcore days back when I was 15, 16 years old.
I put the posters on Facebook and they got a handful of ‘Likes.' But the band also happened to see them and that quickly led to me doing a lot of work for them, designing multiple cover images for archived live shows on Bandcamp and layouts for numerous DVD copies of their reunion shows.
I did this in my spare time for about 2 years.
In late 2018, I started to upload a few of these Bandcamp covers to Instagram. I still wasn’t really planning on taking it much further - I just liked doing it as a hobby but I did enjoy the thought of more people seeing them.
I was also listening to a lot of Nothing around this time so I began creating posters of their old shows and that was when I got a little bit of recognition, probably due to the fact that Nothing have such a large fanbase. I was only getting 15-20 likes a poster, but I appreciated every one of those likes. Each one was like a virtual pat on the back.
So that little bit of recognition drove me on to produce more posters, sometimes one every day at some points.
It was then that my number of followers began to rise quite rapidly and in 2019 I began working a lot with the Belgian band, Slow Crush, on various posters, shirts and and eventually, an EP cover.
But it wasn’t until this year that I began to concentrate almost solely on hardcore shows. Up until then it had been more of a mix, some hardcore bands but also other bands that I was listening to at the time.
Have you heard from any of the bands/musicians you’ve covered yet?
Yeah, I have. In March this year, after I created a flyer for a Field Day/Be Well show, Doug Carrion (Field Day, Dag Nasty, Descendents) contacted me which then led to me creating the artwork for 2.0. It kind of snowballed after that. Mike McTernan (Damnation A.D., Battery) messaged to say how much he liked a Damnation A.D. flyer I did. (We now speak to each other on a regular basis.)
Daryl Taberski from Snapcase messaged to say he liked what I was doing. I’ve also had a few online conversations with Tim Singer (Deadguy, Kiss it Goodbye, Bitter Branches), who I’m a big fan of, both music-wise and graphics-wise. I remember buying Fixation on a Co-Worker when it came out and thinking how amazing the artwork was.
This year I’ve had the opportunity to work quite regularly with Oise Ronsberger at End Hits Records and I’ve also created a number of shirt designs for Brian McTernan and Be Well which has been a real pleasure. Like his brother Mike, Brian is always so complimentary - he always puts a smile on my face!
Even John Yates got in touch to say how much he liked my work. I didn’t even consider that it could possibly be the John Yates. It wasn’t until later that I realised it actually was him, which was a bit embarrassing.
I had to get back to him and apologise! But he was very nice about it. It was such a compliment that someone with his design background would take the time to get in touch with me.
The fact that people I’ve been fans of for 20+ years are now fans of mine is just crazy - I still find it hard to believe really.
As far as your next project, can we expect it to be in the hardcore realm again?
To be honest, I really don’t have any plans for a next project! I’m having some success with what I do now and there are a thousand more designers on Instagram who can do other things better (or should I say differently) than I can.
I think all designers have one area that they are better in than others and I think this is mine.
So I’ll just continue down this road until people lose interest and see where it leads. I have a few things to keep me busy of the next few months at least.
But the response I’ve had so far and the friends I’ve made is something very special to me.
And if no one likes another poster of mine from this day on, at least I can look back on this time as a fantastic experience and something I’ll always remember.
Here’s a list of things I have worked on, which have all been a result of posting my flyers online:
Slow Crush, Ease (Deluxe) EP
Slow Crush - shirt designs
Better Than a Thousand - shirt design (End Hits Records)
Be Well - shirt design (End Hits Records)
Be Well - shirt designs (Equal Vision Records / Evil Greed)
Boysetsfire - shirt designs (End Hits Records)
The Casting Out - shirt designs (End Hits Records)
Field Day, 2.0 (UWW)
Field Day, Opposite Land EP (UNITY Worldwide Records)
Field Day - shirt designs
OHHMS - record release show poster
Black Friday Death Count - digital release
Damnation A.D. - BLM charity shirt design (Revelation Records)
Orange 9mm, Tragic vinyl release package (Thirty Something Records) released January 2021
Ryker’s/The Eulogy, Split 7 inch (UNITY Worldwide Records) released January 2021
Crossed Keys/Essex Coffee Roasters - charity shirt design
Cinepunx podcast - shirt design
I am also in the middle of some really exciting projects that can’t be revealed yet!
See more of Simon's work on his Instagram page.
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