The Who Hits Back! 2023 Tour: Europe & The UK

The 2023 Europe and the UK tour is called The Who Hits Back! – a double entendre referring not just to their return to touring, but also bringing back plenty of hits. My brief for the design of the tour logo was to produce something powerful with plenty of punch. Pete Townshend added to that by commenting that it would be nice not to have any of the usual images of him ‘windmilling’ and Roger spinning his microphone above his head. I concurred with that request wholeheartedly – it’s great to get away from those clichéd images once in a while.

After an absence of nearly three years, The Who had hit the road in April 2022 on the first leg of a North American The Who Hits Back! tour that saw them play 28 venues across the US and Canada between May and November. Several dates were at venues that the band had to cancel back in 2019 including their return to Cincinnati, OH for the first time since 1979 when 11 teenagers lost their lives in a tragic accident at the Riverside Stadium.

I like Pete’s slightly-aggressive stance here, that onomatopoeic ‘down-up-down’ sound of his strum – and him living up to his nickname of ‘Yaggerdang’.

And Roger . . . that surely must be the moment in ‘Won’t Get Fooled Again’ when he screams his lungs out?

These two images were colour shots from the 2019 tour taken by William Snyder, but I gave them high contrast and reduced them to stark black and white grained images which I then ghosted over the red type – my favourite Milton Glaser stencil font.

The tour logo appeared everywhere – on billboards, venue marquees, on social media and press advertising, VIP passes and of course on merchandising – the tour programme cover, t-shirts, hoodies, key fobs, baseball caps, china mugs, you name it . . .

On each US tour I usually get asked to design a special limited edition poster or ‘art print’ on heavyweight paper stock which is given with other exclusive merchandise items to VIP ticket holders. This is the VIP print for the 2022 tour. I also produced a smaller edition with the red type printed in gold ink. These prints were signed by both Pete and Roger with monies from them going to  Teen Cancer America.