Damien Poulain: The Vaccines Come of Age

Work / Graphic Design

Damien Poulain talks us through his powerful, ubiquitous Vaccines artwork

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. 


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…


Damien Poulain: The Vaccines Come of Age


Damien Poulain: The Vaccines Come of Age


Damien Poulain: The Vaccines Come of Age