De Melkweg and Paradiso posters > Martin Kaye, designer of Paradiso posters

Lucifer, David Ireland, 1976.

Among the many artists who designed Paradiso posters, Martin Kaye (1932-1989) stands out most: he was Paradiso's longest serving in-house designer and screen-printer (1972-1983) and had a decisive influence on defining Paradiso's image. Martin Kaye was born in London. As a boy of fifteen he was apprenticed to a sign writer, who taught him how to create advertising posters and billboards. In Japan, he learned the art of serigraphy. In 1968, he came to Amsterdam, where he worked as a silk-screen printer, making posters for events and happenings in the Vondel Park.

After some time, Martin Kaye got his own studio in the Paradiso basement. While famous and less well-known artists performed on the stage upstairs, Martin Kaye designed and printed his posters, which, incidentally, he never signed. His style was easily recognizable and he succeeded in adapting it to the various kinds of music played in Paradiso and the ambiance that reigned there. He chose a large, easily legible typeface to enable people to read the text as they rode past on their bicycles. And he distributed the print run of about 120 copies himself through Amsterdam.

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