Love Stoned, Peace Open, Peace Solid, Peace Outline, Love Open.
The 1960s saw an evolution in graphic design. Like in the 1950s, you still had Saul Bass creating movie posters and a lot of earth tones dominating advertisements. However, changes were happening. The styles of the various graphic designers of the ’60s show a distinct contrast, with some holding onto the staid and prim style of the 1950s while others delved into experimentation – with and without mind-altering drugs.
Based on the Viennese Secession poster lettering of the 1900s by Alfred Roller, which was rediscovered in the 1960s and widely used in hand-lettered psychedelic posters. The letters in the upper-case character positions have curly inside strokes, whereas those in the lower-case positions have straight inside strokes.
The 1960’s produced psychedelic posters that revolutionized poster art worldwide and advertised the live music of legendary bands and performers at venues that included The Fillmore Auditorium, the Avalon Ballroom, and the Grande Ballroom.
Born of LSD and marijuana drug crazes in the late 1960s, it was the language of the alternative rock-and-roll scene. It was also a code designed to appeal initially to those exponents of the youth culture, but it quickly spread like a virus into the mainstream of popular culture, where it lost much of its contraband aura.
Inspired by psychedelic lettering of the late 1960s, originally introduced by poster artist Wes Wilson. The letters in the upper and lower case character positions curve differently, and several special ‘turn characters’ can be used to link between them.
Wes Wilson 1 Otis Rush Chicago Blues Band, Grateful Dead, The Canned Heat Blues Band Fillmore Auditorium Feb 24 1967
Poster 13.5″ x 22.25″ Wes Wilson, artist .
Fillmore Auditorium Oct 28 1966 Poster 13.125″ x 19.125″ Wes Wilson Artist.
Robert Wesley Wilson came late to art, and through a side door. Before that he was a student of philosophy and religion, which was also unlikely. By his own account, except for schoolwork, he had done very little reading before age eighteen.
Wilson used an incredible kaleidoscope of vibrant acid colors with highly creative hand-drawn lettering and illustration to promote gigs for bands like Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane and The Byrds.
Every inch of space taken up with undulating, free-flowing, Art Nouveau influenced lines, vibrant colours and Alfred Roller inspired lettering designed to fit tightly into the available spaces. To the San Francisco poster designers, legibility was considered secondary to the look and feel of the overall design. Working on the theory that if people were really interested in the image, then they would take the trouble to work it out!
The lettering by Alfred Roller in this poster he designed for a Secessionist exhibition in 1903 was the major source of inspiration for Wes Wilson and the other San Francisco poster artists of the 1960s period. Just recently, well known type/lettering designer and illustrator Leslie Cabarga designed his Love and Peace typefaces based on this very lettering.
Far Out Man..