Top Stories 2015 | #2 — Art Chantry Speaks

EDITOR’S NOTE: The Tacoma Daily Index is looking back at the 10 most read articles among visitors to our Web site in 2015.

Art Chantry, the graphic designer who created a look and style that singularly evoked Seattle’s music scene during the 1990s, met with the Tacoma Daily Index at a downtown Tacoma cafe in August for a lengthy interview published over two days in the newspaper (see “Art Chantry: The graphic design legend has a new book and thoughts on his hometown,” Tacoma Daily Index, Aug. 11, 2015).

Chantry grew up in the Parkland neighborhood of Tacoma; moved to Seattle, where he was art director of The Rocket, the influential magazine that covered the Pacific Northwest music scene long before the world turned its attention to it; created posters or album covers for bands and record labels that included Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Mudhoney, Neko Case, Presidents of the United States of America, The Fastbacks, Sub Pop, Estrus Records, and Rhino Records; and returned to Tacoma in 2006, where he lives today near the city’s McKinley Hill neighborhood.

Chantry’s work has been on display at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Smithsonian, Seattle Art Museum, and the Museum of Modern Art. He recently branched out into writing. His book, Art Chantry Speaks: A Heretic’s History of 20th Century Graphic Design (Feral House, $24.95), was published this summer and is a collection of essays that covers the graphic design field—from its language to its notable figures to the tools of the trade—in a way that is irreverent at times, but always informed and entertaining. He read from the book at the Tacoma Public Library in September (see “Tacoma Public Library hosts Art Chantry Sept. 22,” Tacoma Daily Index, Aug. 24, 3015).

“It’s been a fascinating trip,” Chantry, 60, told the Tacoma Daily Index as he touched a color portfolio of his work. “Doing an interview like this, I find myself looking back over it and talking about it in a weird way, but it really has been a weird trip. I wouldn’t trade my career for anybody’s. It hasn’t been a lot of fun all the time. I would have liked to have had better money, but look what I got to do. Isn’t that amazing? Not a lot of people get a chance to do even one thing like this, and I got to do thousands of these.”

"Tacoma has got real folks. I can actually survive and understand this town," said graphic designer Art Chantry of his hometown. Chantry spent most of the 1990s creating posters and album covers for some of the biggest rock bands in the Pacific Northwest. (PHOTO BY TODD MATTHEWS)

“Tacoma has got real folks. I can actually survive and understand this town,” said graphic designer Art Chantry of his hometown. Chantry spent most of the 1990s creating posters and album covers for some of the biggest rock bands in the Pacific Northwest. (PHOTO BY TODD MATTHEWS)

To read earlier coverage of the Tacoma Daily Indexs top stories during 2015, click on the following links:

Todd Matthews is editor of the Tacoma Daily Index, an award-winning journalist, and the author of several books. His journalism is collected online at wahmee.com.