Learning ‘MONDO’

Mondo: used in reference to something very striking or remarkable of its kind (often in conjunction with a pseudo-Italian noun or adjective).

Oxford Dictionary 2019

For us in the print and illustration world Mondo is style!

What started with custom movie t-shirts became limited handcrafted posters and is now a movie appreciation festival all of its own!

Posters released by Mondo have been added to the movie poster archive of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and as well as included in the catalogue of Heritage Auctions. I’m a huge horror movie fan and Horror Film Poster are a huge attraction as they are so often unique and limited. From Drew Struzan to Graham Humphreys illustrated posters are a collectors dream.

So, it was about time I put my hand in at trying to do Movie Posters – MONDO STYLE! Big movies have copyright up to the eyeballs and Mondo have to spend a lot of time and money considering which to take the risk on. I do not have that as an option. Next best thing is finding and supporting a grass roots production with a bit of Fan Art!

When Mondo released a custom poster for the film Pan’s Labyrinth, director Guillermo del Toro stated “I felt completely overwhelmed and happy. I’m a huge fan of their posters. They involved me in approving every step of the design. They took some of my notes to heart, but mostly my notes were ‘Wow!’”.


Quick history; In spring 2004, Mondo Tees collaborated with Graham Williams of the Austin club Emo’s for a summer outdoor film and music festival called Cinemania, wherein the Drafthouse booked the screenings and Emo’s booked the live music shows. Ticket sales failed to reach even one thousand in number, and so to prevent the festival from being a financial failure, it was moved indoors and a line of custom posters were created to promote the event. Williams hired freelance designer Rob Jones, who had created posters for Emo’s performances in the past, and Jones produced posters highlighting the planned screenings of Better Off DeadFoxy Brown, and The Warriors. Mondo Tees continued working with Jones for the Quentin Tarantino Film Festival in 2006, and Jones introduced the founders to artists such as Jay Ryan, Todd Slater, and Tyler Stout, and the company shifted its focus to posters more so than T-shirts. Jones is currently a creative director at Mondo. Creative director Justin Ishmael and co-founder Mitch Putnam helped elevate the business model to secure licensing from companies like Lucasfilm and The Walt Disney Company for more well-known properties like Star Wars and the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

MondoCon is an annual festival held in Austin that showcases the artwork of Mondo and features exclusive collectables, panels, and special screenings with filmmakers and artists. The event has been called “the world’s coolest poster convention” and “the venerable kingpin of the artisan movie poster game”.

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