Jan 15, 2014

R.I.P. Gary Grimshaw, Psychedelic Poster Artist and Political Activist

Gary Grimshaw, noted psychedelic poster artist and political activist, passed away January 13 in Detroit at the age of 67. Grimshaw created many of the late 60s posters for the Grande Ballroom in Detroit, and was also closely identified with the band MC5, art directing their first LP cover and designing many of their posters and flyers. Grimshaw was a longtime political activist, serving as the Minister of Art in the White Panther Party and designing posters and book covers for White Panther leader John Sinclair. He later worked as an art director for Creem magazine.


I was heavily influenced by Grimshaw’s work when I was young. I loved his typography, which had a much more cartoonish/commercial feel than many other psychedelic poster designers. Grimshaw kept designing posters throughout his life, including the 2003 White Stripes concert pictured here.


See a full collection of concert posters designed by Grimshaw here. All posters pictured are by Gary Grimshaw and are courtesy of Louder Than Love, the Facebook page dedicated to the history of the Grande Ballroom.