Research 1: Anatomy of 60s Graphics



I have noticed the resurgence of 60s inspired graphic designs in todays markets, this is kind of congruent with the invasion of the hipster. Since I will be taking some of my research from Elizabeth Kubler Ross’s seminal discussion On Death and Dying published in 1969, I thought it would be good to integrate 60s graphics that have a timeless appeal and ‘hip’ presence in modern graphics. As a pastiche of the past, I will be riding on the ghost inheritance of nostalgia. Here are a few things I have noticed looking at these graphics, especially the work of Saul Bass.

There seems to be an exquisite balance between simplicity, attained through colour blocking, minimal use of colour, stripped-back graphics and a deeper complexity since many 60s graphics were the product of a rediscovered interest in psychology. Saul Bass in particular was heavily influenced by Gestalt Psychologists so his graphics were often fragmented, disembodied– relying on the viewer to piece together the parts. Incorporating a style inspired by Gestalt principals will be appropriate in showing decomposition and the psychological state of grief. The pervading presence of circular shapes and spirals in 60s graphics will nicely tie into my idea of the circularity of death and grief.


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