Funky Old School

This style looks to the flamboyant design of the 1960s and 70s for its bold color combinations, swirly lines and crazy patterns. It’s fun and lively, sure to grab attention and make people smile. Yeah, baby!

Milton Glaser - poster for WOR radio, 1965.

Milton Glaser - poster for WOR radio, 1965.

Peter Max - Animated film for “yellow submarine” by the Beatles, 1968.

Peter Max - Animated film for “yellow submarine” by the Beatles, 1968.

Peter Max for “yellow submarine” by the Beatles, 1968.

Peter Max for “yellow submarine” by the Beatles, 1968.

Milton Glaser – image of Bob Dylan,1967.

Milton Glaser – image of Bob Dylan,1967.

Wes Wilson – poster for The Mindbenders, 1966.

Wes Wilson – poster for The Mindbenders, 1966.

Seymour Chwast – Judy Garland poster, 1960.

Seymour Chwast – Judy Garland poster, 1960.

The Brand Cards - our visual brainstorming tool for brand strategists, designers, and creative teams.  Check it out .

The Brand Cards - our visual brainstorming tool for brand strategists, designers, and creative teams. Check it out.

line2.jpg

Style Characteristics

Funky Old School has several key aesthetic characteristics. Let’s explore!

  • Bright colors,

  • Swirling lines and abstracted shapes,

  • Flashy patterns, and

  • Font as design.

 

1. Bright Colors

A bold color palette is a key feature of Funky Old School. Reds and greens can sit next to each other to create an eye-popping effect, or a rainbow of hues can melt into one another. Subtly is not the point with Funky Old School – it’s flashy and loud. Bring on the vibrant yellow, orange, violet, teal, hot pink and lime green – maybe all in one element!

A good illustration of what this looks like is the work of Milton Glaser and Seymour Chwast, graphic designers popular in the ‘60s and ‘70s who used dazzling color combinations.

 
Seymour Chwast – Judy Garland poster, 1960.

Seymour Chwast – Judy Garland poster, 1960.

 
Milton Glaser – poster for WOR radio, 1965.

Milton Glaser – poster for WOR radio, 1965.

 

2. Swirling Lines and Abstracted Shapes

Funky Old School is no straight arrow. Lines are curvy and fluid - often bold and black, or simply a wave of neighboring colors.

Have a look at how Glaser portrayed Bob Dylan’s hair or Peter Max related to Yellow Submarine:

Peter Max – from the “yellow submarine” book, 1969.

Peter Max – from the “yellow submarine” book, 1969.

Milton Glaser – image of Bob Dylan, 1967.

Milton Glaser – image of Bob Dylan, 1967.

Funky Old School characteristics can also be found in 1960s concert posters. Wavy lines, often made by highly contrasting colors, created an intense optical color vibration. Intoxicating! And definitely Funky.

Wes Wilson – poster for The Mindbenders, 1966.

Wes Wilson – poster for The Mindbenders, 1966.

 

3. Flashy Patterns

Discussion of color naturally leads into pattern, and Funky Old School is all about flashy patterns. Paisley, floral, abstract – you don’t have to choose… use them all!

Again, Peter Max and Milton Glaser are great examples as they use wild and sometimes garish patterns that scream Funky. And, we were thrilled to find that Glaser recently created the graphics for the upcoming seventh season of Mad Men, which is set in the swinging 60s. Cool, man.

Peter Max - animated film for “yellow submarine” by the Beatles, 1968.

Peter Max - animated film for “yellow submarine” by the Beatles, 1968.

Milton Glaser – promotional poster for Mad Men.

Milton Glaser – promotional poster for Mad Men.

4. Font as Design

Funky Old School font is surely not your run-of-the-mill Helvetica.  Have a look at designer Victor Moscoso’s swirly letters, which were originally inspired by Art Nouveau’s organic shapes:

Victor Moscoso - poster for the Chamber Brothers, 1967.

Victor Moscoso - poster for the Chamber Brothers, 1967.

(c) Victor Moscoso.

(c) Victor Moscoso.

Privat-Livemont – image for Absinthe Robbete, 1896.

Privat-Livemont – image for Absinthe Robbete, 1896.

But the free-wheeling Funky doesn’t stop there. Graphic designers like Glaser and Chwast often created their own fonts to set themselves apart and create a cohesive piece. Sometimes the letters were completely integrated into the design. Chunky, puffy, 3-D, optical… as long as it’s got that “cool” aesthetic, it works for Funky.

Seymour Chwast (left) - display typefaces design. Seymour Chwast – moving announcement for Elektra Productions, 1965. Milton Glaser (middle) – Hologram Shadow font, 1977. Milton Glaser (bottom) – Baby Teeth font, an iconic funky typography, 1964.

Seymour Chwast (left) - display typefaces design. Seymour Chwast – moving announcement for Elektra Productions, 1965. Milton Glaser (middle) – Hologram Shadow font, 1977. Milton Glaser (bottom) – Baby Teeth font, an iconic funky typography, 1964.

 

To sum it up, Funky Old School looks to the flamboyant design of the 1960s and 70s for its bold color combinations, swirly lines and crazy patterns. It’s fun and lively, sure to grab attention and make people smile. Yeah, baby.

 
line2.jpg

Embodied Personality Traits

 
  • Adventurous

  • Artistic

  • Dynamic

  • Free-spirited

  • Friendly

  • Funny

  • Honest

  • Naughty

  • Playful

  • Social

  • Traditional

  • Witty

 
line2.jpg

Good for Branding

 
  • Music products

  • Books, Magazines & Newspapers

  • Cafes

  • Food & Beverage

  • Student Products

  • Textiles

 
line2.jpg

The Brand Cards

 
03-BSK_product1.jpg

Need a tool to help you streamline your design research?

The Brand Cards will help. We’ve curated 200 best design work out there into 10 styles so you would save research time and start designing faster.

line2.jpg
line2.jpg