• Main

    Damien Poulain: The Vaccines Come of Age

Graphic Design

Damien Poulain talks us through his powerful, ubiquitous Vaccines artwork

Posted by Rob Alderson,

For several weeks, you couldn’t move in London without coming across these posters for The Vaccines’ new album. The unnerving gaze of the scary girls seemed to stalk me across the city and it was no surprise to learn the posters were the brainchild of long-time friend of the site Damien Poulain. In fact, the project is one of the new works on Damien’s super-shiny relaunched website and we caught up with him to find out a bit more about working with such a big-name band…

Have you worked with The Vaccines before? If not how did this come about? How involved were the band in the creation of this identity?

In the past, I have worked on a few album covers but never in that scale. We met up early on with the band to discuss ideas and the mood behind the album, then I proposed them a few ideas/directions. Justin, the singer was my point of reference and we exchanged ideas back and forth to meet what he felt was right to fit their album. 

  • The-vaccines-1

    Damien Poulain: The Vaccines Come of Age

What were your initial inspirations for the shoot? What were you hoping to convey?

When we discussed the album with Justin he gave me some key words about the feeling of the album they were busy recording at the time. The main ones I retain were “fragility” and “youth,” so to synthesise this raw energy I thought of using tomboys – girls that have an attitude, that look like tough boys.

Those androgynous looks were the starting point for the campaign. We then decided to find girls that would look like the band members, which was a challenge but I think that we managed quite well even tough the lead singer had longer hair than previously. The result is a gang of tomboys!

The poster was everywhere – is it ever not weird seeing your work on massive billboards?

Working on music jobs in London is great because the promotion is just big and everywhere – this is indeed a good feeling. I had friends sending me images taken with their phones late at night (obviously drunk) to share their surprise each time, so that project followed me during the whole time of the promotion on walls, even at night…

  • The-vaccines

    Damien Poulain: The Vaccines Come of Age

  • The-vaccines2

    Damien Poulain: The Vaccines Come of Age

  • The-vaccines-2

    Damien Poulain: The Vaccines Come of Age


Posted by Rob Alderson

Editor-in-Chief Rob oversees editorial across all three It’s Nice That platforms; online, print and events. He has a background in newspaper journalism and a particular interest in art, advertising and photography. He is the main host of the Studio Audience podcast.

Most Recent: Graphic Design View Archive

  1. List

    When it comes to a trendy commission, a restaurant in east London that serves everything on the bone is right up there. Credit is due then to Burgess Studio, whose identity for the eatery doesn’t take itself too seriously. Built around a nice typographic wordmark and the simple idea of making the all-important bone into a smile, the look and feel rolls out seamlessly across everything from bags to cups, menus to the website. It’s simple, it’s striking and it steers well clear of some kind of terrible hipster overload, all of which is to be very much commended.

  2. List

    It’s been a while since we last checked in with Stockholm-based Bedow studio but there’s a host of new work to enjoy over on their site as ever. I was particularly drawn to their ongoing collaboration with Essem Design, “a Swedish manufacturer of artisanal hallway interiors.” Bedow used a refreshingly straightforward way in to what might seem like rather a niche product, building an identity around the Swedish words for “hello” and “goodbye” – the utterances most commonly heard in a hallway.

  3. List

    Producing graphic collateral for one of the world’s largest international contemporary art fairs is a brief that would have some graphic design studios quaking in their boots, but when London-based Studio Frith was approached by Frieze Art Fair they accepted with relish.

  4. List

    “Churn out” always sounds like a derisive expression when referring to exceptional creative work, but the prolific nature of some studios means it’s the only one I like to use use to conjure up the relentless mechanical precision with which these studios proceed – and I definitely don’t mean it derisively. And so to Praline, the products of whose churning we’re here to admire.

  5. List

    For graphic design types, the opportunity to run wild with a printer’s various techniques is pretty much the dream brief, and Mexican agency Anagrama have well and truly lived that dream. They were one of seven agencies studios invited to create a notebook with Imprimerie du Marais, and they were given free rein to experiment with effects like hot foil stamping, microembossing, silk screening and sewn binding.

  6. List

    When David Mckendrick told us he was leaving Esquire and setting hop a new venture with Wallpaper* art director Lee Belcher, we were fascinated to see what the fruits of such a top-notch collaboration might look like. Last week we got our answer, when a copy of the new Christie’s magazine came dropping through our letterbox.

  7. List

    When you’re set a challenge by Google’s UXA design team, there’s the expectation for something pretty darn special to be created. Fortunately for Manual, they nailed their brief and created a smart, clean, eye-catching interpretation of Google’s visual language.

  8. List

    It’s a widely-acknowledged fact that Tony Brook and his Spin team can do no wrong – they just design cracking stuff. So imagine our surprise when… no, just kidding, their latest project’s a belter too. Commissioned by Sim Smith, a London-based gallery representing emerging British talent, Tony and his team went about producing a slick, simple, monochrome identity that’s as unfussy as the artists the gallery represents. The logo, website and print collateral are all pleasantly understated, meaning the Sim Smith name won’t ever get in the way of the most important thing – the artists’ work.

  9. List

    Some design cultures outside the UK are very familiar to us, others less so, and it’s always fascinating to get a glimpse into how others are interpreting the visual world, which is why I was immediately drawn to the Prague-based Anymade Studio.

  10. List

    Few figures have impacted on the UK design scene quite like Neville Brody, and this week he announced the launch of Brody Associates, “a boutique studio network” that will specialise in digital, identity design and typography.

  11. List

    Sometimes I can’t help but wonder what our banknotes and coins would look like without Queen Liz’s face slapped all over them. As it looks like that won’t change anytime soon, I instead look to other countries for monetary inspiration.

  12. List

    When a studio with a back catalogue as impressive as Hey’s relaunch their website it’s tricky to know where to start in terms of choosing what aspect of it to cover. Is it the crisp design of their now fully-responsive site, the beautifully conceived identity for a Miami-based jam company that represents the product’s moreishness through the medium of randomly-generated die-cut patterns, or the 500 unique invitations they produced for ArtFad 2014, a contemporary Art and Craft Award? In this instance all of them because, as ever, all of Hey’s work is much too good not to show off.

  13. List

    When it comes to graphic design, there can be many reasons why certain jobs feel particularly pressurised; it may be the tightness of the deadlines, the ambition of the stated objective or the nature of the client. This latter comes in many forms but heritage can weigh very heavily, and when well-respected Berlin-based studio Double Standards were commissioned to overhaul the look of feel of Bauwlet, an architectural magazine that’s been around for 105 years, they appreciated the challenges they faced.