C:\Documents and Settings\admin\My Documents EMIL RUDER: abOuT 1960's TyPoGrApHY...

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

abOuT 1960's TyPoGrApHY...

The decade of the 60s began as a period of post WWII economic strength and expantion for American industry. The gross national product had never been higher, and American factories were supplying goods for the recovering European countries. The U.S was the dominant manufacturing force in the world. The baby boomer generation was coming of edge, and took society buy storm as beatniks, hippies, and the flower children toward the end of the decade. Some of a generation was anti-establishment and politically active in demonstrations. The Civil Rights Movement and the Women’s Liberation Movement preoccupied some of the college-aged population. John F.Kennedy succeeded Eisenhower in the White House, and the Washingtonian era of Camelot began. America was prosperous, confortable, and middle-class consumers.

Type design in the 60s borrowed much from the taste of Pop Art or Psychedelic Art. Neon colours were new and were often used with virtually unreadable results (of course, the image did burn into your retina, producing a close-eye, after-image). Hand lettering was employed on posters to make the letters swirl and curve into each other with dizzying effects. The overall impact of the posters was likely inspired by the then-popular psychedelic drugs. This phase is sometimes compared to the Art Nouuveau style of organic lettering taken to the extreme. Legibility was no longer at issue-observers were challenged to figure out the message of a rock poster.


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