Over Done Imagery During The Counter Culture Movement

2117 words - 9 pages

Psychedelic posters were not the first time that the world was fascinated by unintentional artwork. Earlier, during the nineteenth century the world was swept up by posters plastered across cities that advertising everything from magical remedies to bicycle bells. The posters created by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec transported even the most poverty-stricken folk to faraway places, but as the belle époque gave way to a much harsher reality that would become littered with wars and social unrest, the beautiful poster eventually become a forgotten art.

The ‘hippie’ counter-culture of the 1960s and early 1970s influenced design and modern art. Though claims of drug-induced imagery propelled the ...view middle of the document...

“They violated the conventions and rules of advertising art and thwarted expectations by creating advertising posters that were deliberately difficult to decipher," points out Gilman. 'The presentation of text and image is very complex and puzzle like” (Today 48). As ideas began to take solid forms, so did the imagery associated with it. Eventually the Bay area was becoming inundated with youth looking to expand their minds and become associated with a community overflowing with creativity.

One of the most famous and recognizable posters from this time is for Bob Dylan created by Milton Glaser. (Figure 1) Milton recalls, "This was probably my third or fourth poster," This would later become of the most recognizable images from the 1960’s and would be “one of the most widely circulated of all time; six million or more were distributed with the enormously popular album”(OWEN EDWARDS 26). The rise of rock’n’roll gave away to a new level of art that continues to resonate. Along with all this success through his company Milton Glaser’s work has been showcased and famous for many years all over the world shown in many different exhibits. His personal exhibits that are most prevalent through this time period was the showcase in the Museum of Modern Art in New York, New York in 1975 and the one man show at the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris in 1977. His most famous work and most noted by almost anyone is the “I (heart) New York” logo. This logo is used on almost any souvenir and is still the most noted and famous logo from New York and has been spread worldwide for almost anywhere.
His next famous and most noted work would be the poster for Bob Dylan’s Greatest Hits in 1975. This poster was known to be one of the most famous and remembered posters of all time especially coming from the psychedelic time period.

Wes Wilson, an American artist, is one of the most notable designers of the 1960’s rock concert poster. Wilson designed the poster, “Bryds” (Figure 2) in 1967 for the Fillmore Auditorium. This offset lithograph on paper is extraordinary because the overall design is somewhat like a double helix where the bird and text are wrapping around each other like a French braid (Wilson). The bird is colored black and white and the feathers are designed in a fluid psychedelic pattern. The color is focus on the text that is located behind the bird. This style is odd yet monumental because often the image is colored while the text is black and white. By switching the two so that the text is colored and the words are in red and blue, it makes the words pop while also forming a background so the bird is defined. This new style of psychedelic imagery and color manipulation is something that Wilson knew appealed greatly to the target audience of this band. Wilson created a poster that not only advertised for ‘The Byrds’ coming to the Bay Area, but also to anyone who affiliated themselves with this sort of 60’s lifestyle. Naturally, the idea of making a...

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