By | February 6, 2012
















IMAGE SOURCE: The Rock Poster Society


I love poster design. I think, quite honestly, it is because it is such a challenge. For a while I thought my heart belonged to direct mail and I still think of it fondly, but man, I love me a poster!

It all started back when I was taking History of Graphic Design at SCAD. The textbook was Meggs History of Graphic Design. Do you have it? WHY NOT?! Anyway, when studying “the conceptual image” I was exposed once again to Wes Wilson. I say “once again” because we are all familiar with the pioneer of the psychedelic poster. I was born a few years after his concert posters were at their peak of popularity and stillā€¦ we all know them.

Wilson’s work is of importance again today because we seem to be having a groundswell movement of social activism. The posters that influenced Wilson’s were not of a commercial message, but instead made statements about social viewpoints. I have to ask myself if there is an emerging Wes Wilson about to take over? Often Wilson’s hand drawn type would become the artwork itself and the colors he selected often made the images vibrate off the paper. One of the most interesting facts about Wilson’s (and other psychedelic poster artists) work was that “according to newspaper reports, respectable and intelligent businessmen were unable to comprehend the lettering on these posters, yet they communicated well enough to fill auditoriums with a younger generation who deciphered, rather than read, the message.” (Meggs, 438).

This gem was created by Wilson for the opening of a J. Walter Thompson agency. His website also has a really great story told by Wilson himself about the day Andy Warhol came to visit. Check out his website and enjoy the visual feast.

ImageĀ Source: Wes Wilson

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