By Rachael Steven

Illustrator Elliott Quince has won the Edinburgh Festival Comedy Poster Awards with a series of 21 designs promoting Michael Stranney and Olaf Falafel’s standup show, Expect the Unexporcupine…

Expect the Unexporcupine runs until August 31 and is described as “an hour of fun filled silly comedy” with a mixture of “off-beat characters, one-liners, outlandish tales and an irrelevant spinning wheel.”

Quince was asked to create posters and flyers to promote the show, and came up with a different design for each day of its run. Posters depict the comics as fictional characters and famous figures from art, history and popular culture. The pair appear as severed heads, Roman busts, hot dogs, Wayne’s World’s Garth and Wayne, Batman and Robin, Vikings and leprechauns, as well as the woman and farmer from Grant Wood’s American Gothic, and Breaking Bad’s Walter White and Jesse Pinkman.

[Stranney and Falafel] approached me with an interesting concept. To reflect the variety and unexpected nature of their show, instead of just the one poster that most comedy shows have, they wanted 21 different ‘remixes’ of their show poster, a different one for each day of the run in Edinburgh,” explains Quince.

“I worked closely with the comedians to come up with the themes for the different illustrations which include Irish and Viking variations to reflect both comics’ nationalities, plus a hotdog costume poster that references a segment of their show. Both comedians love the posters. Michael Stranney sent me an email saying “These are brilliant, so funny and they perfectly sum up the show, I just hope our stand up will do the posters justice!” The show itself is a great success with packed audiences every day (they’ve been having to turn people away a lot of the time), so the posters, flyers and stickers have worked a treat,” he adds. Quince was awarded £1500 for winning top prize in the scheme, which was set up last year by producer Gina Lyons.

Despite being made to promote funny and often shocking or provocative content, most comedy posters are surprisingly bland, following the same formula of ‘comic’s photograph under show title, great review and list of previous accolades/TV appearances’. Quince’s posters still adhere to this layout, but his illustrations offer a more playful take on the format. The different designs help create a sense of intrigue around the show and, most importantly, they’re fun. They’ve clearly been a hit with audiences and passers-by too, with Falafel’s twitter feed filled with snaps of posters, stickers and flyers taken by festival goers.

Expect the Unexporcupine is on daily at the Edinburgh Fringe. For tickets, see

Read more here:: Elliott Quince's prize-winning posters for Expect the Unexporcupine