A Psychesydelic Hero

During the 1960’s, the psychedelic poster gained momentum in America, fuelled by (according to Megg’s History of Graphic Design) current social liberation movements, drug culture, antiestablishment sentiments, rock music, and other “fringe” cultures, such as the hippie movement.

Wes Wilson, who designed posters for the Grateful Dead and the Association, among many others, contributed to developing the psychedelic style, which borrows the flowing, organic lines of art nouveau, the cultural references of pop art, and vibrant colours often used in op-art.


Wilson used saturated colours, warped text, and mesmerizing lines to create compelling, but disorienting, posters.

Although the psychedelic poster is associated with the 60’s, typography from this movement, and the general style, is used by businesses today. For example, I believe Budgie’s Burritos (Vancouver) employed elements of this style in decorating the restaurant – perhaps the owners were even inspired by Wilson’s art.


Image source.


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