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!
Funky Old School has several key aesthetic characteristics. Let’s explore!
Swirling lines and abstracted shapes,
Flashy patterns, and
Font as design.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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