Friday, February 1, 2013

Punk's D.I.Y. Aesthetic


unk. It's not dead, especially to the design world. Their "anti-design" had become a part of the music they made and what they stood for. For this reason, typography in the late 70's-90's in the punk scene (and even now) rebelled against expected typography. The result led to torn letters, spray painted, hand cut, overprinting, and the juxtaposition of typography and illustration in ways that were unexpected, made a statement, or were controversial. Today, however, many designers use this aesthetic and appropriate it to their own work. (One example is Paula Scher, below)

Ramones Los Angeles fan club mail-out, USA, 1977. Source: Punk: An Aesthetic (Rizzoli)

Their typography made use of collage, cartoon drawings, hand lettering, rubdown lettering, ransom-note lettering, stencils, rubber-stamping, black and white xerox copying as well as silkscreen and offset lithography. According to the style was "required, like punk music, little skill to produce in the conventional senes; the were characterized by the emergence of a range of low-tech fanzines such as Sniffin Glue, which began publication in 1976. Crudely designed pages, often with handwritten, graffiti-like insertions and typographic errors, as well as letters torn out from other sources, characterized the style."

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