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Merge Records

Quantity Produced


Production Cost


Production Time

2 Weeks

Dimensions (Width × Height × Depth)

12 in × 18 in

Page Count

Paper Stock

Starwhite Natural, 80 lb Cover

Number of Colors

Offset: 1 Spot
Letterpress: 2 Spot




(Distorted) Helvetica press-type


To celebrate their 20th anniversary, Merge Records — who released Arcade Fire’s debut record Funeral — held a four-night, thirty-three-band festival, XX Merge, in their hometown of North Carolina this past July. To commemorate the occasion, their art department — who keep a wonderful process blog — created this special edition offset and letterpress poster. The poster features a hand-made paper set replica of the Cat’s Cradle, the venue where the festival was held, and is sprinkled with fun lettering of all the bands’ names. The festival logo (XX Merge) is letterpressed in red, adding a visual and tactile punch to the already cool poster. Merge Records’ art director Maggie Fost shares more on the paper set she built:

It’s a model of the Cat’s Cradle, a legendary rock club in Carrboro, North Carolina where much Merge history has taken place and where the whole festival took place. I went to the club in the middle of the day and took photos of the stage so that my model would be representative. It worked! It was very gratifying that when fans saw the poster, they immediately knew it was the Cradle. I added the trees to give it a sense of fantasy and to suggest North Carolina in the summer. The model is literally made of posterboard and scotch tape.

The trees ended up being realized life-size for the stage by Dave Doernberg, who made them out of foamboard in New York and shipped them down, spraypainting them glossy red outside the club hours before the first band took the stage.

XX Merge Festival Poster --- XX Merge Festival Poster --- XX Merge Festival Poster --- XX Merge Festival Poster --- XX Merge Festival Poster --- XX Merge Festival Poster

Dave Wofford of Horse & Buggy Press in action.
--- XX Merge Festival Poster --- XX Merge Festival Poster

The poster-inspired set at Cat’s Cradle.
--- XX Merge Festival Poster

Festival merchandise.


Recent Posts



XX Merge Festival Poster


Production Method



Maggie Fost, Merge Records Art Director



Offset: HarperPrints
Letterpress: Horse and Buggy Press

This post was published in the original layout of FPO so all images are smaller. Project descriptions as well as production lessons are quoted in the main content area.

Post Author


Author Picture

Armin Vit

Editor of FPO and co-founder of UnderConsideration LLC.

More: Online / On Twitter


Date Published

January 7, 2010


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About UnderConsideration

UnderConsideration is a graphic design firm generating its own projects, initiatives, and content while taking on limited client work. Run by Bryony Gomez-Palacio and Armin Vit in Bloomington, IN. More…

blogs we publish

Brand New / Displaying opinions and focusing solely on corporate and brand identity work.

Art of the Menu / Cataloguing the underrated creativity of menus from around the world.

Quipsologies / Chronicling the most curious, creative, and notable projects, stories, and events of the graphic design industry on a daily basis.

products we sell

Flaunt: Designing effective, compelling and memorable portfolios of creative work.

Brand New Conference videos / Individual, downloadable videos of every presentation since 2010.

Prints / A variety of posters, the majority from our AIforGA series.

Other / Various one-off products.

events we organize

Brand New Conference / A two-day event on corporate and brand identity with some of today's most active and influential practitioners from around the world.

Brand Nieuwe Conference / Ditto but in Amsterdam.

Austin Initiative for Graphic Awesomeness / A speaker series in Austin, TX, featuring some of the graphic design industry's most awesome people.


Favorite Things we've Made / In our capacity as graphic designers.

Projects we've Concluded / Long- and short-lived efforts.

UCllc News / Updates on what's going at the corporate level of UnderConsideration.

The End