1960s Design~ Psychedelic Culture Wes Wilson

Following the newfound American Dream innocence of the 1950s, the 1960s shattered America’s innocence with the brutality of the Southeast Asia wars, a world-rocking presidential assassination, and a growing racial divide. 

The 60s was the decade of America’s psychedelic movement, when teenagers turned away from the conventionalism of the 50s to experiment with mind-altering drugs. These LSD-inspired distorted perceptions appeared in rock concert posters to express the trippy feelings they were experiencing.

The Major players in  American design were; Wes Wilson, Victor Moscoso,Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol



Between 1966 and 1967, San Francisco rock poster artist Wes Wilson designed posters and handbills for the first Trips Festival, the last show by The Beatles, and dozens of concerts at the Avalon Ballroom and Fillmore Auditorium featuring everyone from The Association to Frank Zappa. Along the way, he defined the psychedelic poster, in which blocks of letters were used to create shapes, which seemed to bend and vibrate in place.

Wes Wilson, the father of the 1960s rock concert poster, came into the world via Sacramento, California on July 15, 1937.  As a child his interests meandered among artistic pursuits and an intense love for the natural world. His post-secondary studies reflected these interests; he focused for a time on forestry and horticulture before eventually coming to philosophy. By the latter half of the 1960s Wes found much inspiration in the avant-garde neighborhoods of San Francisco. Serendipity interrupted all of his plans (as she’s wont to do) and Wes Wilson soon found himself creating fine art for the masses. His style, inspired by the Art Nouveau masters, took what was understood about promotional art and turned it inside-out. Nearly cryptic letters filled every available space, lines melted into lines, colors clashed… and the psychedelic poster was born. The love of art and nature eventually carried Wes away to the beautiful Ozarks foothills, where he still enjoys creating and discussing art and ideas. 


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“Are We Next?” from 1965 was a self-published poster printed at West Coast Litho to express, among other things, Wilson’s opposition to the Vietnam War


In 1966, Wes Wilson designed this poster for what turned out to be the last concert by The Beatles.











1960 Hippie Culture

A hippie is a member of a liberal counterculture, originally a youth movement that started in america and the United Kingdom during the mid-1960s and spread to other countries around the world. The word hippie came from hipster and was initially used to describe beatniks who had moved into New York City’s Greenwich Village and San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury district. The term hippie was first popularised in San Francisco by Herb Caen, who was a journalist for the San Francisco Chronicle.

The origins of the terms hip and hep are uncertain, although by the 1940s both had become part of African American jive slang and meant “sophisticated, currently fashionable, fully up-to-date”. The Beats adopted the term hip, and early hippies inherited the language and values of the Beat Generation. Hippies created their own communities, listened to psychedelic music, embraced the sexual revolution, and used drugs such as marijuana, LSD, peyote and mushrooms to explore altered states of consciousness.

Leading proponents of the 1960s Psychedelic Art movement were San Francisco poster artists such as: Rick Griffin, Victor Moscoso, Bonnie MacLean, Stanley Mouse & Alton Kelley, and Wes Wilson. Their Psychedelic Rock concert posters were inspired by Art Nouveau, Victoriana, Dada, and Pop Art. The “Fillmore Posters” were among the most notable of the time. Richly saturated colours in glaring contrast, elaborately ornate lettering, strongly symmetrical composition, collage elements, rubber-like distortions, and bizarre iconography are all hallmarks of the San Francisco psychedelic poster art style. The style flourished from roughly the years 1966 to 1972. Their work was immediately influential to album cover art, and indeed all of the aforementioned artists also created album covers. Psychedelic light-shows were a new art-form developed for rock concerts. Using oil and dye in an emulsion that was set between large convex lenses upon overhead projectors, the lightshow artists created bubbling liquid visuals that pulsed in rhythm to the music. This was mixed with slideshows and film loops to create an improvisational motion picture art form, and to give visual representation to the improvisational jams of the rock bands and create a completely “trippy” atmosphere for the audience. The Brotherhood of Light were responsible for many of the light-shows in San Francisco psychedelic rock concerts.

Roy Lichtenstein

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Commercial Success and Pop Art

In the late 1940s, Lichtenstein exhibited his art in galleries nationwide, including in Cleveland and New York City. In the 1950s, he often took his artistic subjects from mythology and from American history and folklore, and he painted those subjects in styles that paid homage to earlier art, from the 18th century through modernism.

Lichtenstein began experimenting with different subjects and methods in the early 1960s, while he was teaching at Rutgers University. His newer work was both a commentary on American popular culture and a reaction to the recent success of Abstract Expressionist painting by artists like Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning.

Instead of painting abstract, often subject-less canvases as Pollock and others had had done, Lichtenstein took his imagery directly from comic books and advertising. Rather than emphasize his painting process and his own inner, emotional life in his art, he mimicked his borrowed sources right down to an impersonal-looking stencil process that imitated the mechanical printing used for commercial art.

Lichtenstein’s best-known work from this period is “Whaam!,” which he painted in 1963, using a comic book panel from a 1962 issue of DC Comics’ All-American Men of War as his inspiration. Other works of the 1960s featured cartoon characters like Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck and advertisements for food and household products. He created a large-scale mural of a laughing young woman (adapted from an image in a comic book) for the New York State Pavilion of the 1964 World’s Fair in New York City.

Lichtenstein became known for his deadpan humor and his slyly subversive way of building a signature body of work from mass-reproduced images. By the mid-1960s, he was nationally known and recognized as a leader in the Pop Art movement that also included Andy Warhol, James Rosenquist and Claes Oldenburg. His art became increasingly popular with both collectors and influential art dealers like Leo Castelli, who showed Lichtenstein’s work at his gallery for 30 years. Like much Pop Art, it provoked debate over ideas of originality, consumerism and the fine line between fine art and entertainment.

1960’s Designer~ Olivier Mourgue

Futuristic ~Industrial Designer

Olivier Mourgue worked with the French manufacturer ‘Airborne International’ (located in .Montreuilsous-Bois, France) from 1963. At Airborne, Olivier Mourgue designed his well-known classic Djinn chairs (1965) made famous by ‘2001.

The Djinn chairs feature a wave-like, low-slung silhoette. he named the chairs ‘Djinn” which In Muslim. He also created a beautiful table- and floor lamp in  France which featured a stem with flower shaped shades and also designed shop interiors and a factory in tournus. In 1968, Olivier Mourgue created a chair which he named ‘Cubique” which won the AID International Design Award.

Olivier Mourgue’s most fabulous yet most unknown complete interior design project was made for Visiona by Bayer AG. From 1968 until 1972 (estimate), Bayer AG hired the most talented designers to create an entire futuristic display aboard of a ship..

During Visiona.Olivier Mourgue created an entire natural landscape with rivers, carpets that ressembled earth- grass- and other natural floor coverings, modular movable rooms. It was the most relaxing environment that was ever created during Visiona. Olivier Mourgue who had always been very close to nature, tried and successfully succeeded to implement nature in most of the Visiona. The Visiona of Olivier Mourgue was a Utopia where man and nature lived side by side in peace. It was a wonderful experience to be there at that time and Olivier Mourgue’s Visiona was one of the most memorable interior installations that were ever created. 

Most of the works by Olivier Mourgue can be found in museum collections. Unfortunately, the main manufacturer ‘Airborne International” that used to produce his design, is no longer in business.

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Pierre Cardin

Pierre Cardin.jpg

Pierre Cardin is a French fashion designer born in Italy July 2nd 1922. Aged 14 Cardin worked as a clothiers apprentice learning the basics of fashion design and construction. IN 1939 he left home to work for a tailor in Vichy. He worked for the Red Cross in World War II launching humanitarian interests that continue today.

During the 1960s Cardin began a practice that is now commonplace by creating the system of licenses that he was to apply to fashion. A clothing collection launched around this period surprised all by displaying the designer logo on the garments for the first time. Known for his avant-garde style he prefers geometric shapes and motifs often ignoring the female form. He was contacted by Pakistan International Airlines to design uniforms for the Flag carrier. The uniforms were introduced in 1966 to 1971.

In the 1960s his use of stark tunics, goggles and helmets launched the Space Age look. The 1960s were a varied and successful period for Pierre Cardin. In the first years of the decade he began to design clothes inspired by science. Some Japanese designers are still heavily influenced by the futuristic style that Cardin pioneered. Another success for Cardin came in 1966 when after ’rounding up all the triplets in Paris” to be models for his debut he released his first clothing line for children. 1960s also saw his introduction of a new casual style of men’s dress clothing that had a major impact on the look of American and British menswear.

Throughout the 60s Cardin continued to design clothes for men and women. They became increasingly fanciful with bright colors . He began designing more traditional lines for a department store in Paris in 1961.

Pierre Cardin once remarked ” It confirms my instinct that color – lots of it ! – is the most essential thing in todays world”

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1960’s Roger Excoffen

Roger Excoffon

Roger  Excoffen

 Roger Excoffen was born in Marseille, France on 7th September 1910 and died in 1983. He was an artist, a French Typeface designer and a graphic designer.He studied law at the university of Aix – en Provence. He studied painting in Paris and also worked as graphic designer.

In 1947, he opened his own art Studio. He was the Co-founder of U & O (Urbi et Orbi) which was an advertising agency. He was an art consultant for the Fonderie Olive type foundry.

In 1968 he designed the symbols for the winter Olympics in Genoble.

1972 saw the opening of his foundation the Exotton Conseil where he produced numerous posters for Air France, Bally Shoes, Dunlop, Sandoz and SNCF. He contributed to magazines Le Courier Graphique and Typographica Techniques Graphiques. Another was Typography – encyclopedia survey of Type Design and Techniques throughout history.

Roger designed may posters for Air France in 1965, and for several years after that.

While he is known for his type design, he is remembered as the man responsible for the look of many shop front signs.

The Font that he designed and is most famous for still used today is called Mistral.

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Rick Griffin – 1960


Firstly i want to laugh at the influences the Surfing art culture had on this nice looking boy.. see these before and after pics


 But he grew past my humour.. Drawing on influences as diverse as Native American culture and the California surf scene, Rick Griffin produced psychedelic poster art, album sleeves, and logos of such brilliance that they are among the primary images associated with Jimi Hendrix, theGrateful Dead, and other legendary performers. His poster for the Human Be-In in 1967 in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, advertised as the “Gathering Of Tribes,” promoted the event that kicked off the Summer of Love. His logo for Rolling Stone magazine set its visual style.

Richard Alden Griffin was born on June 18, 1944 in Los Angeles and grew up in the Palos Verdes Peninsula between Los Angeles and Long Beach, along the California coast. His father, James, was an engineer (who had briefly worked as an animator for Disney) and an amateur archaeologist in his spare time. As a boy, Rick accompanied his father on digs, where he was first exposed to native artifacts and to the Old West visual culture that was to inform so much of his later work.

Griffin began surfing at age 14 and, inspired by images in Mad Magazine, developed his own style of surf doodles that he penned on the shirts of his high school friends. Soon he was designing posters for surf movie screenings and advertising spot illustrations for Hermosa Beach’s Greg Noll Surf Shop. After high school, Griffin became staff artist atSurfer Magazine, where the comic strip character, Murphy—the little gremlin he had created—became an iconic image integral to the California surf scene.

In 1964, while attending Chouinard Art Institute, Griffin met his future wife, Ida Pfefferle, and fell in with a bohemian art gang/jugband group that had recently arrived in Los Angeles from Minnesota, known as the Jook Savages. Griffin played the one-string zither, began to smoke weed, grow his hair, and dress differently. In mid 1965, he shelved the Murphy character indefinitely and began the “Griffin-Stoner Adventures,” in which a more accurate self-caricature—paired with a foil based on Surfer Magazine photographer Ron Stoner—wandered the globe supposedly sending coded dispatches to the magazine from the frontlines of a rapidly evolving surf culture.

While Griffin was in demand as the illustrator for surf-related commercial enterprises, he was also drawn to the emerging counterculture. He and his friends attended Ken Kesey’s Acid Test in riot-devastated Watts where they drank the Kool-Aid. Ida, who had moved to the Bay Area to give birth to Rick’s daughter, Flaven, started sending Griffin postcard versions of the new posters emerging from the growing Haight-Ashbury ballroom scene. Griffin had come across the year-old “Seed” (AOR-2.2) poster advertising The Charlatans at the Red Dog Saloon in Virginia City, Nevada. Its combination of Old West and circus poster motifs rendered with handmade variations on old typefaces caught Griffin’s attention and led him to the scene at the Red Dog Saloon.

Frustrated with Chouinard and Surfer Magazine’s censorship of his Griffin-Stoner strips, Griffin folded up shop and split to spend the summer of 1966 in Mexico surfing. Griffin later reunited with Ida and relocated to San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury, where the Jook Savages had been offered a group show of their artwork at The Psychedelic Shop. Rick Griffin’s first San Francisco rock poster was for the Jook Savages Art Show at the “New Improved Psychedelic Shop,” and it led directly to an invitation to design a poster for Pow-Wow: A Gathering of the Tribes for a Human Be-in, a jamboree integrating the clans of the Berkeley radical stronghold, the lingering North Beach Beat scene, and the blossoming hippie community.

More than 20,000 tribe members assembled on the polo field in Golden Gate Park to hear Allen Ginsberg, Gary Snyder, Lenore Kandel, Timothy Leary, and Jerry Rubin, and dance to the music of the Grateful Dead, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Sir Douglas Quintet, Big Brother & The Holding Company, and Jefferson Airplane. The poster so perfectly captured the vibe of the event that it instantly became iconic. Griffin’s work was also featured in the January Human Be-In edition of the S.F Oracle—released to coincide with the event—with a spectacular centerfold illustration for Allen Ginsburg’s “Renaissance or Die.”

Chet Helms and Bill Graham both recruited Griffin to work on their promotions. From March of 1967 through November of 1968, Rick Griffin produced more than two dozen posters for the Family Dog and Bill Graham, plus almost as many commissions and projects done for the Berkeley Bonaparte poster company (in which he was a partner) and for out-of-town clients. Griffin’s first official Family Dog poster hit the streets in March 1967.

Early in 1967, Griffin was commissioned to design the logo for a new magazine called Rolling Stone. By July 17, the Big Five (Wilson, Kelley, Mouse, Moscoso, and Griffin) were the subject of the solo “Joint Show” at the uptown Moore Gallery, which generated huge opening-night crowds and massive publicity, including a review in the San Francisco Chronicle. On September 1, Griffin (alongside the Big Five, except Mouse), was featured in a LIFE cover story called “The Great Poster Wave.”

As if that were not enough, Griffin was Robert Crumb’s choice to contribute to the second issue of Zap Comix. Griffin and Moscoso had already been toying with the idea of producing a comic book, and Griffin’s famous mutant Morning Paper funny pages poster (FD-89) is said to have inspired Crumb’s Ultra Super Modernistic Comics in Zap #1. Griffin contributed heavily to Zap #2.

Rick Griffin lost his life shortly after a motorcycle accident in Petaluma, California. He was thrown from his Harley-Davidson motorcycle when it collided with a van that suddenly turned left as he attempted to pass it. He was not wearing a helmet, and sustained major head injuries. He died on August 18, 1991 at nearby Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital at the age of 47.

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Pierre Cardin

Pierre Cardin was born in Italy on 2/7/1922. He was based in France for most of his life.

Cardin is well known for his individual style know as avant-garde. Some of his designs were space aged and he prefers geometric shapes like squares and triangles, He likes to be know as a unisex fashion designer, However his style  is not always wearable. He started his fashion empire in 1950, with his know famous “Bubble Dress”.

Since 1991, he is a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador and In 2009 he was also nominated Goodwill Ambassador for UNESCO Food and Agriculture.


Someone else doing this so No More to come. Chose different designer

Astrid Sampe – 1960’s

“I think a printed pattern should be architectural.” – Astrid SampeDesigner_Astrid_Sampe_460x370.jpg

A prominent Swedish textile designer, Astrid Sampe, was born in Stockholm in 1909. She introduced textiles especially designed for public interior decoration. Her textile designs are stylistically pure, light and still celebrated in the world of interior design.

68eba9c73d1d38364dfc2ddbe0238bd3During the years 1928-1932, she was trained at the Swedish State School of Arts, Craft and Design in Stockholm. This gave her the opportunity to do an exchange at The Royal College of Art in London. In 1937, she started working as a designer for Nordiska Kompaniet – a textile studio of large Swedish chain store. A year later, she became a head of the studio until it was closed down in 1971. In 1972, she established her own studio in Stockholm. She also managed to take part in the Paris World Exhibition in 1937 and took part in the New York World Exhibition in 1939.

Astrid Sampe was an innovative designer who designed modern textiles for industrial production while still preserving and extending the traditions of Nordic textile design. She was the first designer in Sweden to experiment with fibreglass cloth and also use data based patterns. In 1955, she produced several designs for domestic linens with geometric patterns and folk-inspired motifs that became a huge success. She designed products for a number of Swedish textile companies, such as Katshall and Almedahls.

A pioneer in Swedish Modern Movement, Astrid Sampe has been proactive in embracing new technology and materials in her designs. In 1979, she was the first to make computer programmed patterns for printing on textiles in Sweden. She is very well-known for her ‘serene abstract geometric designs.’

“Order is liberty.” – Astrid Sampe

Her fascination with the relationship between textiles and modern architecture is clearly evident in her very minimalist striped patterns such as Lazy lines and Thermidor(created between 1965 and 1959). She paid minute attention to colour, whether they are graduating tones or contrasting colours. Her choice in colours raised the bar of Nordic design to a whole new level. The progressing tones of blue in Windy Way is an exemplar of Sampe’s mastery of colour spectrum.

Sampe’s most significant contribution to Nordiska Kompaniet and to the world of textile design are the Signed Textiles – a 1954 collection in which leading Scandinavian arists, architects and designers contributed. The goal was to create something totally new available to the general public. Prior to this initiative, pattern designs were not given much importance in the market.

Since her death in 2002, Sampe’s unique designs still live on. Her prints like Versailles and Herb Garden are still used to produce aprons, cushion covers, tea towels and other home interior items.

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ANDY WARHOL 1928-1987

Andy Warhol- born Andrew Warhola was born on August the 6th 1928 was an American artist who was a leading figure in the visual art movement known as pop art. His works explore the relationship between artistic expression, celebrity culture, and advertising that flourished by the 1960s, he used a variety of media; including painting, silkscreen, photography, film, and sculpture. Some of his best known works included Campbell’s soup cans, Marilyn Monroe, Chelsea Girls and the Exploding Plastic Inevitable.

Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Warhol initially pursued a successful career as a commercial illustrator. After exhibiting his work in several galleries in the late 1950’s, he began to receive recognition as an influential and controversial artist. His New York studio, The Factory, became a well-known famous meeting point for creative people.


It was during the early 1950s, Andy decided to strike out on his own as a serious artist. His experience and expertise in commercial art, combined with his American pop culture, influenced his most notable work.

Here are some of his most famous, prints and images.

By the 1960’s Andy Warhol had become one of the most influential artists of the 20th century! He created some of the most recognisable images ever produced as you can see above. Challenging the idealist visions and personal emotions conveyed by abstraction, Warhol embraced popular culture and commercial processes to produce work that appealed to the general public. His artistic risks and constant experimentation with subjects and media made him a pioneer in almost all forms of visual art.

Andy Warhol left a huge legacy behind when he passed away in 1987. From drawings, paintings and prints, publishing and performance. He produced more than art — he was essentially his own brand!!!! A museum devoted to the artist opened in his native Pittsburgh followed not long after his deathLinks include;

Links include;