#44 – Michael Mcdonnell – Track or Die!



Michael Mcdonnell

 Berlin, Germany – Instagram

Messenger culture takes the central focal point of this poster and makes up a big part of the artist’s life. The lettering is bubbly and playful and references some main cities where messenger and cycle culture is popular, as well as alley cat races and the infamous Mash crew from San Francisco. Track or die is the phrase here, playing on the phrase skate or die but doing it with a messenger twist as the Track is where cyclists go to ride their fixies and if they don’t, they could die.

Michael Mcdonnell is a Berlin-based Illustrative artist originally from Liverpool, England. His works are based, around hand-drawn lettering combined with various playful illustrations and character designs. Some of the artist’s main inspirations come from advertisements from the 1950s and 60s. The artist likes the clean and minimalist style as well as the feeling of optimism from this era. Street Art and the quirkiness of European branding and logo styles are other influences within the artist’s works, as well as the idea of showing a hand-drawn aesthetic and off-key style rather than something too sharp and clean. Street-life, Subculture, Music, Fashion, Skateboarding and Cycle culture (Fixie/Track bike) are further, things that inspire the artist in giving his analysis of the current state of affairs and opinions or ideas about the Zeitgeist as a whole. The artist likes to work with a combination of wordplay and humor within his works, to comment on social attitudes and behavior within different subcultures/movements and societies. Through putting words together to make a sort of prose/rap and highlighting letters within these words to create brand-new phrases. In turn, this should inspire people to look deeper into the works and come up with different ideas or feelings than what is at first readable and visible.