A pass lasts a long time, and will spend most of its life at home in the memory box after the tour. For the short amount of time that it is an active credential for a tour or event, the design & content is crucial.
We have all heard stories of chancers and blaggers, making up some fake passes simply by taking the artwork from the tours advertising posters, and adding ‘AAA’ in a random font to the front, taking a chance that designers have been lazy, and the security staff aren’t paying much attention.
Over the years, our old friends Deaf Havana have become masters of having some fun with their pass designs. Taking the design away from their current album / tour / promo branding can only help. If your live credential design is as eye catching a holographic Danny DeVito, it’s safe to say that it will stand out and make any other pass easy to spot.
When I first started working with touring bands, I was designing the tour laminate as a hobby. I liked to keep the laminate imagery fairly far away from the bands album / campaign artwork. When you look at it as a security credential, the design you want is one that no chancers could ever get close to without even trying; just using the tour or album cover and adding AAA might just work. (Note: none of this matters if people post photos of pass online!!!)
This You Me At Six 2009 European tour was their (and mine) first real trip across the Channel. I got the idea for this after getting into images old circus posters.
On the front you can see three male faces at the top, with comedy hats added. I’m on the left, Rob Highcroft (TM) is in the middle, and Henri Pickersgill (merch & bands best mate) is on the right.
On the back I love the bands first very simple logo, just typed in Arial I think. The font was always red and black/bold to help the reader out with the whole “does it say ‘meat'”? thing..
As usual I always preferred to put the DAY of the week on the list of dates, it’s really helpful when you’re using it on the tour to see when the next weekend show is, or work out what day of the week your day off is.
I don’t want to write many anecdotal things in these posts, but I searched for videos from the Cologne show @ The Underground (RIP) on this tour, and aside from the fact it made me really miss this green sparkle Truth drum kit, it brought back a vision from later that night in the make-your-own-bed backpacker hostel we stayed in afterwards, that I didn’t want to ever remember
You know when you see an email come in, and you spot something amazing written in the subject line? Well, seeing ‘5IVE VIP passes’ made me shout ‘IVE GOT THE FEELIN’!
This was a simple ‘same both sides’ pass, and enjoyed listening to their 1998 debut album whilst working on this one. Just looking at the many hit song titles written around the edge of the pass, it’s easy to see how popular an artist they still are.
The VIP + Meet & Greet world has become much more popular in the past few years, acts are putting a lot more effort in to the experience. Every pass can be totally different, with variable data. It could have the individual name/date/event, with directions / instructions on the reverse. It can even have different colours and backgrounds if you need to split a big VIP group into colour coded sub groups.