Inside the World of Mondo Poster Art » The Poster Collector

Inside the World of Mondo Poster Art

| Poster Collector | 8 Min Read

Who are Mondo and how did it all start? In 1997, the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema chain was founded and opened its first cinema in Austin, Texas. The building was located in the warehouse district and at the time was being used as a parking garage. To distinguished itself from all the other cinemas they offered a food and drink service inside the cinema, including cold beers. The seating was arranged with rows of cabaret style tables in front of each row of seats, with an aisle between each row to accommodate the waiter service. Customers would write their orders on slips of paper, which are then picked up by black-clad waiters.

Tim League Quote

In July 2004, Tim and Karrie League sold the brand, including the brand name, intellectual property and rights to all future Alamo Drafthouse expansion to the Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas CEO Terrell Braly, John Martin, and David Kennedy.

The current CEO and Founder Tim League then opened a t-shirt printing business in 2004 and called it Mondo. As the Drafthouses became more popular, Mondo became involved in printing the various posters for events being shown. Soon, the posters became more popular than the t-shirts and that part of the business became irrelevant and Mondo grew into what it is today. In the words of Chief Operating Officer, Jessica Olsen, Mondo is a company that “specialises in limited edition screen-printed movie posters by contemporary artists.”

Tim League

Mondo has a very loyal following, you call it a cult following with enthusiasts eagerly awaiting the latest releases. The release dates and official photographs are released through the company and various blogs, but no time frames are ever given, which helps to build a hype and hysteria among enthusiasts resulting in people around the world being glued to their computers, waiting for the link online to purchase. Mondos official Twitter account (@MondoNews) is manned by Mondo Creative Director and CEO, Justin Ishmaelby where the links are released. Once that link goes live the race begins: the eternally long 60-second sessions of pressing F5 and fumbling to add that print to the cart, then checkout before it’s too late. If you miss it you can be sure to pay exponentially more in the secondary market.

The Art of Mondo BookNow the Mondo team have moved into galleries and have recently opened their own gallery space, which means, even more, high-quality prints and original artwork from some of the best artists in the world. We have trawled through their impressive back-catalogue to compiled some of the most-wanted, most-beautiful and hardest-to-find Mondo prints produced so far.

In partnership with Insight Editions, Mondo have released a book highlighting the best Mondo art produced in full-color and features a look back on the history of Mondo posters with foreword from director Brad Bird and introductions by Alamo Drafthouse founder & CEO, Tim League. The book was released in October 2017, is available now to order on Amazon. It is currently #1 Best Seller in Graphic Arts Posters section.

Some of my favourite artists who feature prominently in the book and as regular Mondo artists are Ken Taylor, Laurent Durieux, Olly Moss, Rory Kurtz and Phantom City Creative. In a 2013 interview Mondo’s Chief Operating Officer, Jessica Olsen, revealed the process for creating a poster, how they match an artist to a particular film, why there are variants of a poster and how they obtain the licences for the films.

What’s the process of creating a Mondo poster?

Once you have a license for a particular film, can you create a number of posters for that film, or just one?

Star Wars Set By Tyler Stout
Star Wars Set by Olly Moss

How do you match an artist with a particular film for a poster?

How much collaboration is there in figuring out what the poster will be?

For some posters, you release variants. Why is that, and how do you decide which posters get them?

Iron Man 2 By Tyler Stout

What licenses have been particularly tough to get?

What film would you love to see a Mondo poster of, and which artist would you put on it?

How often do you have Gallery shows? What do you have on the walls between shows?

If I were you, I’d make sure to grab a copy of every poster before it went on sale?

Django by Rich Kelly

Taxi Driver by Martin Ansin

Jaws by Laurent Durieux

Beetlejuice by Ken Taylor

Featured below is some of my personal favourite Mondo far, highlighting the artists work to produce an outstanding and visually stunning piece of art. Do you have a favourite print design, a favourite artist or even a personal favourite print not listed here? Let us know in the comments.

We don't have adverts, random pop-ups or nagging messages to subscribe to our newsletter anywhere on Poster Collector and we intend to keep it that way. All we ask is you share the with a follow/like on Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest.

If you liked the website, found it useful and would like to help with its continued ad-free development, you can make a donation via PayPal. Small or large, it doesn’t matter, every little helps!
We thank you for your continued support.

If You Liked This Post, You May Like These Too!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.