Kii Monroe Arens is something of a design legend when it comes to gig posters, creating over 250 pieces of poster artwork for the likes of Radiohead, Tame Impala, Sonic Youth and even Dolly Parton.
What is fascinating about Kii’s artwork is his ability to cross genres of music, encapsulating the personality of the band at hand but also maintaining a signature style. Whether it be a poster for Lana Del Ray or Babes In Toyland, his use of colour palette, typography or humorous references result in a cohesive set of posters once viewed together.
Influenced by both cartoons and a passion for music from a young age, Kii turned to design. According to his biography, “his career as an artist was substantively set in motion with a design gig for the Woodstock ’94 festival. Originally brought on as a hotel coordinator, he was invited to attend meetings about the festival’s design direction, and raised concerns with what he saw as an overly nostalgic festival look (one that recalled too closely the Woodstock ’69 festival)”. Designing a Woodstock poster as your first creative commission is no mean feat, and set the designer on a pathway of established design from there on in.
Now settled in California, Kii opened his own gallery La-La Land in 2004. The gallery often promotes the local pop art scene as well as exhibiting Kii’s own work. Since 2011, the designer has additionally dipped his toe in directing music videos after working with the band Devo.