Art Student Designs Alabama Shakes Poster

Shakes lead guitarist is College alum

Devin Huey, an art student from Birmingham, designed this poster for the Grammy-nominated band the Alabama Shakes.
Devin Huey, an art student from Birmingham, designed this poster for the Grammy-nominated band the Alabama Shakes.

From the September 2013 Desktop News Students in a graphic design course taught by instructor Laura Lineberry in the Department of Art and Art History got the chance of a lifetime this fall when they were asked by the Alabama Shakes, a three-time Grammy nominated rock group hailing from Athens, Ala., to design a poster for the group’s upcoming tour.  Heath Fogg, the rhythm and lead guitarist for the group, is a 2008 alum of the department.

Earlier this summer, Fogg approached Lineberry about designing the posters, and after careful review, the Alabama Shakes chose a design by senior Devin Huey from Birmingham, Ala. who is majoring in graphic design and advertising. Huey said he and many of his friends are fans of the band, and he was completely in shock when his class was asked to design a poster for them.

“I’m very passionate about music in general, and having the opportunity to create a poster for a band that I am a fan of did not seem real,” he said.

Huey’s design incorporates an iconic image of an Indian chief. He said he wanted to create a design that represented the band without actually using a photo of the group. His inspiration came when he came across a photo of lead singer Brittany Howard wearing an Indian-style headdress.

“The music Alabama Shakes creates is very passionate and it is obvious they are proud of what they do. I thought the symbolism of pride and passion was represented very well with a Indian chief,” Huey said.

Although Fogg is now known as a musician, he has always had an interest and talent for visual design. In comments to the class, Fogg said that he reached out to the department because he enjoyed competitive group projects as a student, and he thought the band had a unique opportunity to present a contest he would have liked to participate in as a student.

He said it was difficult to narrow down the choices, because all four of the group members are so different.

“This group always has difficulty making decisions on artwork. We all have such different tastes, and there were a lot of candidates that appealed to each of us individually,” he said.

But when it came to the quality of the work, however, the band was in agreement.

“It was better than some work that has been done for us by professional artists in the past,” he said.

Huey’s image will be used in promotional materials for the September 19, 20, and 21 dates of the Alabama Shakes world tour in Charleston, S.C., Cary, N.C., and Nashville, Tenn. respectively.