“Necessary Re-issue” Limited Edition Signed Art Print by Ward Sutton0001-4001-0471
Limited edition signed and numbered reprint of 1998 poster by Ward Sutton.
10 copies printed on foil paper will be sent randomly to 10 lucky customers who purchase the poster.
After graduating college in 1989, I got a job at a record store in Minneapolis, Minnesota. During my time working there, The Tragically Hip released their album, “Up To Here.” My coworkers and I were hooked, and we played the album in the store over and over.
So when I was asked to design a poster for The Tragically Hip nine years later, I was thrilled. A lot had happened to me during those nine years: I’d moved from Minneapolis to Seattle, and then from Seattle to New York City. I logged a lot of miles road-tripping on the highways between these places.
The TTH poster I was asked to design was for a series of three shows in Rochester, Albany and Syracuse in upstate New York. I realized these three cities were all along the highway I-90, and could immediately imagine a true fan following the band along this route; I knew I wanted to make that the theme of my poster design.
Instead of one, big, single image, I wanted the poster to be a series of vignettes that kind of told the story of fans trying to get from show to show. Some might hitchhike, some might drive, and some might have their cars break down along the way! I was really interested the history of graphic design at the time, and decided to play off the iconography of classic gas stations as well.
For that 1998 poster, I was thinking of early autumn in that area of New York and wanted to use the burnt orange (the color of fall leaves), the pale green (thinking of grass that begins to die in the fall) and a pale blue with a hint of purple, for the color of the sky as the seasons are changing.
Now 25 years later, I am thrilled to present a new, commemorative version of my TTH poster to celebrate the anniversary of those three shows. I chose new, vibrant colors to bring the design back to life: a golden yellow (symbolizing the “golden” memories of that time), a rich blue and a brighter orange. I wanted the colors to be classic, with just a hint of a retro feel, in a nod to those concerts of yesteryear, but at the same time fully modern for 2023.
This poster has always been one of my favorite designs that I’ve created, and I truly had a blast reimagining it. Many thanks to The Tragically Hip for having me create the original poster all those years ago (which, incidentally, appears in the background of the 2021 video for “Not Necessary”), and for having me bring it back for the fans now in 2023.
- Ward Sutton
Ward Sutton got his start designing black and white, xeroxed concert posters stapled to telephone poles in Seattle in the early ‘90s for local bands such as Gas Huffer and Silkworm. When an overzealous city councilwoman succeeded at making such posters illegal in that city, a local club decided to silkscreen one of Ward's designs in full color, and his poster designing career really took off.
Ward moved to New York City in 1995 and proceeded to create posters throughout the late ‘90s for musicians such as Beck, Pavement, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Radiohead, Blues Traveler and Son Volt. In 1996, he began designing posters for Pearl Jam (His most recent PJ poster came out in 2022). In 1998, he created a poster for Phish, and subsequently created illustrations of the band for Rolling Stone and Entertainment Weekly magazines.
Ward also creates cartoons and illustrations for such varied clients as The New Yorker, The Onion, The Boston Globe, The Sundance Film Festival, HBO and Broadway theater. In 2018, he was awarded the prestigious Herblock Prize for Editorial Cartooning, and, in 2022, he received the Berryman Award for Editorial Cartooning from The National Press Foundation. His work has also earned acclaim from American Illustration, The Society of Illustrators, The Art Directors Club, The Society of Publication Designers, and The Society for News Design.
He currently lives in Fort Collins, Colorado with his family.