George Hardie was an English graphic designer, educator, and illustrator. To him, illustration is a problem-solving process: one that involves looking, collecting, and drawing. He also sees illustration and graphic design as just two different points on a single graphic continuum- an idea that has influenced his style of art.
His unique style consists of clean lines and exacting geometry along with a conceptual-oriented mode of thought. He uses highly-skilled draftsmanship and intricate compositions to convey richly imagined visions of their physical or psychological conditions. In essence, he draws visual ideas that force viewers to “wear a new pair of spectacles” and to open up to a new visual experience of even the most familiar terrain. In addition, his neutral vision style allows viewers to focus on an idea or object under examination rather than an artist’s hand.
Continue reading “Social Awakenings: George Hardie (b. 1944)”
Wes Wilson is considered the father of 1960s rock concert poster and the first psychedelic poster artist. He translated signs and sounds of counterculture society into psychedelic iconography, leading his posters to be wildly experimental.
One of the prominent features of his style was his freehand lettering. While his typography was influenced by the Viennese Secessionist lettering of Alfred Roller, he expanded outlines and inset shapes, largely altered the style to fit his own ambitions. His other major breakthrough was the use of colour. Inspired by light shows of concerts, he mixed colours with wild abandon, resulting in visuals that perfectly captured the revolutionary essence of music that his art promoted. In addition, he also played with the foregrounds and backgrounds, creating design patterns that became increasingly exaggerated with each new creation. This combination of nearly cryptic letters that filled every available space, lines that melted into lines, and colours that clashed is how the psychedelic poster was born.
Continue reading “Departures and Rumblings: Wes Wilson (b. 1927)”
André Francois was a French graphic artist, cartoonist, and illustrator whose career formed a bridge from the beginnings of modern graphic design to the present. He had contributed many roughly drawn, darkly satiric cartoons and covers for many well-known magazines, including 57 covers for The New Yorker. Since the 1940s, his exquisitely witty and elegantly executed illustrations have earned him an enduring international career- in the US, Europe, and Japan- and he has been a major influence on many of the best-known illustrators and designers of the past 5 decades in these places.
Throughout Francois’ career, he devised commercial advertising and poster graphics, designed ballet and theatre costumes and sets, and wrote and illustrated children’s books, including his own. In addition, he also designed countless book covers for Penguin Books, playing cards for the art director of Simpson Piccadilly and graphic works for the 1937 World Exhibition in Paris. He also used to have numerous one-man shows, but since 1960, his time has mainly been devoted to painting, engraving, collage, and sculpture.
Continue reading “Postwar Prosperities: André Francois (1915-2005)”
Wes Wilson is generally accepted as the “father of the 1960s rock concert poster” and he considers himself as the first psychedelic poster artist. In addition, he invented the style that is now synonymous with the peace movement and the psychedelic era.
Wilson’s posters were intended for a certain audience- one that was tuned in to the psychedelic experience- and to do so, he translated the sights and sounds of counterculture society into psychedelic iconography. His work quickly moved from psychedelic subculture into the mainstream culture by taking what he understood about promotional art and turning it upside down.
Continue reading “And the Psychedelic Poster was Born”