Clinton Reno is a graphic designer renowned for his gig posters and T-shirt designs. He was not, however, named after Elvis’ character in Love Me Tender. Of course I asked. Q: Do you ever get sick of being hit up for free design work?
While I rarely ask for it I am compensated for what I do. Not only does this include getting into a lot of shows, but sometimes a T-shirt here and there. And I’m not sure I’ve been to a show where Billy Peake [of Miranda Sound] was that I wasn’t handed a beer or two. There have been a few bands that have even actually thrown money in my direction. While I don’t ask for it, I most certainly take it (after the required “you don’t have to do that” “no really” “all right!”). To answer your question I have yet to get sick of it.
Q: What design medium do you most enjoy?
I really do enjoy the posters, I must say. I like the posters because it’s fun to have them hang in places I frequent, and know that friends and people that I respect will see them and react to them in one way or another. Though I will say I enjoy the T-shirt design aspect as well — and if all goes well, 2005 will be an interesting year for me and my love affair with T-shirts.
Q: Do you prefer to go in with a blank slate or an artist’s input?
It’s a double-edged sword really. I have to be in love with an idea up front or my heart won’t be in it and I won’t be as proud of it, so to some degree I like having a clean slate and going to the band and saying, “This is what I’d like to do.” But there are exceptions. Some of my favorite posters are ones where the idea was presented to me and I ran with it. No band or individual has yet to really be too heavy handed in the process, which has been nice.
Q: Do you ever get stumped and is there anything that helps you kick the block?
I do indeed get stumped from time to time. If I am stumped I can start very simply with the band name; or maybe scroll through some lyrics. If I’m really stumped I’ll TRY to just sketch. Or perhaps, and this may be hard to explain, I’ll just try to look around, look at patterns, and see what shapes and forms jump out at me that get the imagination rolling. A recent poster I did for the Killionaires came from me staring at a graphic of some kind from across the room and mistakenly seeing the shape of a monster of some kind with several arms swinging its prey to and fro. That, obviously, sounds a bit more intense than the poster ended up being, but that’s simply because I’ll always try to approach the subject from a more humorous angle.
Q: Where can your work be seen online?
Currently I can be found on gigposters.com, a great site, I might add, under “designers.” Although very soon you’ll see the unveiling of galaxyreno.com. It’s in the process of being constructed by an insanely talented duo, hybrid37. Look for it within the next month.