The Art of Music: Translating Sound to Sight

UPDATE 11/10: Read our event recap here. Photos from this event are on the AIGA SB Facebook page!

Music has always evoked compelling imagery, whether in the mind’s eye, on paper, film, canvas, or screen. Album artwork has evolved dramatically in the past 50 years—from 12-inch vinyl record covers and cassette sleeves to CD boxes, digital-only releases and now back to records. Printed gig posters resiliently remain a staple of concert promotion, merchandizing, and memorabilia. Your backstage pass gets you in to enjoy a conversation about:

  • collaborating with musicians and record labels to create iconic (sometimes Grammy-winning) album covers
  • taking on the challenge of changing (and shrinking) music formats, and tools for that creative process
  • guiding the overall branding of an artist and their work across decades of an entire career
  • surveying the almost fine-art-like phenomenon of unique, collectible gig posters



Plowing through these topics and more—like a thrash metal band through a bowl of brown M&Ms—will be our esteemed panelists:


Hale Milgrim is the former President/CEO of Capitol Records, where he led the way from 1989 to 1993. Capitol's roster of artists included The Beastie Boys, Crowded House, Duran Duran, Billy Idol, Iron Maiden, Eric Johnson, Paul McCartney, Megadeth, Bonnie Raitt, Bob Seger, The Smithereens, Richard Thompson, and Tina Turner, and the historic collections of such luminaries as Nat King Cole, Judy Garland, Frank Sinatra, the Beatles, and the Beach Boys. Under his watch Blind Melon, Cocteau Twins, Mazzy Star, Graham Parker, Radiohead, and Television were signed to Capitol Records. Prior to Capitol Records, as senior vice president-marketing for Elektra/Asylum/Nonesuch Records, Milgrim oversaw marketing for a wide range of recording artists including Anita Baker, Jackson Browne, Tracy Chapman, The Cure, Metallica, Pixies, Linda Ronstadt, Sugarcubes, and 10,000 Maniacs. From 1977 to 1984 Milgrim served as Warner Bros. Records' director of merchandising, where artists included Ry Cooder, Dire Straits, Fleetwood Mac, Little Feat, Randy Newman, Paul Simon, and Van Halen.

Local entertainment writer and Santa Barbara News-Press correspondent Brett Leigh Dicks stated, “Hale Milgrim started his career behind the counter of a local Isla Vista record store (Discount Records), and music has taken him on a head-spinning journey through a succession of positions at major record labels, leading eventually to his helming Capitol Records. Since returning to Santa Barbara, he has worked with various local musical outlets (including the Santa Barbara Bowl, and the Lobero Theatre “Quips and Clips” and “Sings Like Hell” Music Series) and maintained a presence on the airwaves as a broadcaster at KTYD (having produced 318 weekly installments of “Go To Hale!”). As diverse as these experiences have been, they're all unified by Milgrim's unadulterated passion for music.”

JOHN KOSH, Principal, Ten Worlds Productions

As Art Director for Art & Artists Magazine, Kosh met The Beatles towards the end of the 1960s and was hired as Creative Director for Apple Records, where he was responsible for design and promotional graphics. During this period he also designed and produced exhibitions, posters and books, as well as albums for numerous British rock bands including The Rolling Stones and The Who, ultimately garnering several awards with the London Design & Art Directors Club, and getting elected to the British D&AD Jury.

Moving to Los Angeles in 1973, Kosh continued designing for various artists including: Jimmy Buffett, Bob Dylan, Eagles, Dan Fogelberg, Carole King, Randy Newman, Pointer Sisters, Richard Pryor, Ringo Starr, Linda Ronstadt, Electric Light Orchestra, Rod Stewart and James Taylor. Kosh has garnered seven Grammy nominations and won three for his work with Linda Ronstadt. He served as faculty member of Otis/Parsons Institute of Art and on the Board of Governors of the National Recording Academy. In 1995 Kosh joined with Susan Shearer to form Ten Worlds Productions where they have worked on a variety of TV shows, documentaries, and series.

ANDY ENGELPrincipal, Andy Engel Design, Inc.

A native Southern Californian, Andy started his career at CBS Records in New York, then relocated back to Los Angeles where he worked at Rod Dyer, Inc. continuing designing album packages and branching out into film campaigns. He established Andy Engel Design in 1982. Engel’s art direction and design work employs a strong use of lettering and illustration. He has continued to be involved with the music industry as well as entertainment packaging film campaigns and movie titles. Work has been included in Graphis, Graphic Design USA. A multiple Los Angeles Art Directors Club medalist, and five-time Grammy nominee (winning in 1997 for Best Art Direction). Clients include The Walt Disney Company, Universal Music, Pixar, and 20th Century Fox.

JACOB TELLCEO and Creative Lead, Oniracom

For over 13 years, Jacob has led the creative team at Oniracom, a Santa Barbara-based agency specializing in digital design, development, branding, marketing and strategy for the entertainment industry. As videographer for G Love & Special Sauce in 2001-02, and merchandise/online media coordinator for Jack Johnson in 2003-06, Jacob toured the world learning about the public relations, business, international trade and logistical operations aspects of the music industry. Back home with Oniric Records, Jacob produced the sold-out “Solutions for Dreamers” festival (plus three associated benefit compilation albums) in 2007 at the Arlington Theater. Oniracom’s client roster includes Jack Johnson, the Santa Barbara Bowl, G Love & Special Sauce, and the Kokua Festival.

We will also have groovy tunes in the lobby spun by DJ Darla Bea ('Rock It Properly' on 91.9 KCSB-FM).

gig posters

Cost: $15 for AIGA members and students with valid ID; $25 for non-nembers. Admission includes your poison of choice (a glass of wine) and munchies. Register online or purchase tickets at the door.

When & Where
Mon, Nov 30, -0001