Mondo and the Art of Iconic Movie Posters
A local powerhouse churns out some of the most important movie posters of our time
By Lindsey Logan
One of the best places in the world to find movie posters isn’t in a tiny nook of Hollywood but in Austin’s Hyde Park. Originally a humble purveyor of T-shirts, Mondo has morphed into a powerhouse of various other cinephile paraphernalia, including vinyl records, collectibles, board games, puzzles and—most notably—posters.
An offshoot of the Alamo Drafthouse, the business has revived the movie poster from a lackluster promotional tool to a collectible art form over the last 16 years. Conjuring the midcentury spirit of hand-drawn film posters, Mondo commissions artists from around the nation to design alternative works honoring motion pictures of all kinds.
While the outfit prizes art over commerce, Mondo’s business is, well, mondo. Through licensing deals, the company produces official posters for major motion picture franchises like “Star Wars,” and the products go for thousands of dollars on the resale market. Securing the licensing deal with a celluloid icon early on helped prove the company’s legitimacy to customers and studios alike. Throughout the first “Star Wars” series, Rob Jones, Mondo’s co-founder and senior creative director, says artists were encouraged to dive deep into the areas of the brand universe that most fascinated them in order to produce unique artwork that wouldn’t be expected from any other manufacturer.
Today, Mondo’s posters can be found in The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences archive. Superfans can enjoy seeing the work up close through The Mondo Gallery, a permanent space featuring a curated mix of original artwork and limited-edition screen prints. For more information, visit mondshop.com.