Design in the 60’s

The 60’s were a time of social change amongst the World’s population. The eye of the Western world turned to the US where the youth of the population were quickly growing frustrated with the traditions of the past and beginning to explore new ideas of freedom, peace and unity. This movement redefined opinions of morality, sexuality, religion, gender and race.

6. MAN

(Featured Above: An image of a young man in front of music posters designed in the 60’s style (1))

This new age inspired many young artists and designers.

Plastic also became an important material used in many new designs and revolutionised the market for many different products spurring the creation of universally renowned products such as the Hille Chair created by Robin Day.


(Featured Above: Robin Day’s Hill Chair (2))

Rock and roll stars grew to Super Stardom (a term coined by the Pop Artist Andy Warhol to describe supreme idols) and the population became obsessed with expressing themselves in new and exciting ways. Consumerism which had seen an insane uprising in the 50’s also became the subject of many design pieces.

The Pop Art Movement spearheaded by artists like a young Andy Warhol took the Capitalist boom of advertising and used images of products such as the Campbell’s soup can and turned it into artwork easily accessible to the lower and higher classes. Roy Lichtenstein was also creating amazing pop art designs using dots imitating popular and cheaply made comics of the time. These artists were blurring the line between common artwork, advertisement and ‘art’ which had always been something only accessible to the higher class.

(Featured Above: The art of Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein(3))

The creation of Op Art of Optical art was also very popular at this time and used in many posters, record covers and general design.

(Featured Above: Optical Art created by Bridgit Riley(4))

Some of the designers of the time who worked on posters for music festivals, record covers and propaganda posters for the preservation of native American culture and world peace were also heavily inspired by the Art Nouveau posters of the designers passed. Flowers, reclining women and mosaic motifs were redesigned to be more relevant to the thoughts and ideals of the time and the results were effective, striking and sometimes shocking.

(Featured Above: Samples of artwork of the era (5))

Celebration of the sexual liberation of the time also had designers using bright colour (often associated with the LGBT movement of the time) and naked women bold positions in their images some artists were even accused of blasphemy when creating works devoted to subjects will still remained a taboo for older generations.

The 60’s was an extravagant and inspiring time for designers and just as the art nouveau movement affected the creators of that era some of it’s influence still effects the work of artists and designers today.

Information and Images Referenced from (1) link (2) link (3) link, link (4) link (5) link


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