Roel Smit is a Dutch graphic designer, illustrator, letterer, occasional comic artist, and the singer with the punkband Human Alert. Born in Santpoort-Noord, Smit was part of the punk movement in the early 1980s, and at the age of 13 he made the punk comics magazine Donkere Dagen. He studied at the Graphic School and Art Academy of Utrecht, and began his career as a freelance illustrator, always with a main focus on music and subculture.
He self-published the Hergé-inspired comic album 'Het Geheim van de Ruïne' with Ton Smit in 1986, and cooperated on the chain comic 'Tussen de Rails' in 1989, together with artists like Lian Ong, Bert van der Meij, Paul Teng and Peter van Dongen. In the 1990s he was a regular contributor to Robin Schouten's small-press comics magazine Incognito with the gag strip 'Incognito-funnies'. His further comics work include contributions to collective projects like the soccer comic book 'Op Weg naar het EK' for Fina/Total gas stations in 2000, and anniversary comic books for Kennemer Hospital in Haarlem ('Een plaatje van een ziekenhuis', 2001) and the municipal heritage conservation office in Haarlem ('Was getekend, Haarlem', 2006).
Smit's illustrations have appeared in newspapers and magazines like Trouw, Het Parool, Nieuwe Revu and Stream. He has produced artwork for the broadcasting corporations VARA and VPRO, including Dick Hauser's animated series 'Konijn' (2003). Smit is however best known for his illustrations and designs on music-related subjects. Besides the CD covers and flyers for his own band Human Alert, he has also designed many record covers for the Epitaph label and the hardrock band Peter Pan Speedrock.
He is the main artist for the catalogues of Large Popmerchandising in Rotterdam and for Ivo Trash's Minor Operation Bookings, which organizes performances and festivals in Haarlem, especially in the pop stage Patronaat. Smit has produced zombie-related artwork for bands associated to M.O.B., such as Insanity Alert, and for the anti-royalty festival Vorst In De Grond (since 2014). His Patronaat art also includes cooperations with Peter Pontiac and Typex, two major influences on his work.
A large collection of Smit's music-related artwork was collected in the book 'Rock 'n' Roel' by Oog & Blik. The book was presented at the Haarlem Comics Festival of 2008, for which Smit also designed the flyer and the label for his own "comics beer". A mini comic book with his Patronaat art was compiled by Smit and designed by Fake Booij in 2016.