We have enjoyed creating classic poster art for a long time. Over the years, most of our prints have been inspired by illustrations from the Golden Age of Poster Art—a period which spanned from the later 1800s to the mid-1900s.
Recently, we started admiring mid-century modern design—especially illustrative advertising, fashion design, and travel posters from the 1950s and 60s. In that era, designers were trying to distance themselves from tradition. Mod was in. Anything old was out. Nature wasn’t good enough, either—man-made shapes and lines replaced organic, realistic or traditional styles. The modern aesthetic reinterpreted everything from clothing, typography, architecture, to hair, cars, appliances and pop culture.
1950s animation and advertising art broke all the rules of realism, and relied on texture and geometry to produce new illustrative styles.
1960s fashion and pop culture redefined shapes, lines, colors, and even the ways models posed.
TWA travel posters were particularly inspiring with their bright colors and stylized hand-rendering.
After scouring magazines, web sites, archives and libraries, we spent some time basking in the man-made glory of 50s and 60s. Gradually, our brains started to think like Mod Men. We began to create poster art in a new (old) way, and our new Mod Collection took shape. Our pals at Fab.com in New York loved it so much, they set up an exclusive sale event for this new series of prints. The Fab.com 5-day world-premiere Mod Collection sale event will start on February 28th.
(Since you are kind enough to follow our blog, we are giving you an exclusive sneak peek. We will even let you shop on our site a whole week before this line is introduced to 10 million other people!)
We wanted to explore a few of the common rendering styles of the time: Posterized photos, drawings, sketches, and some painted washes. This was an era before computers, so it was important to create an authentic hand-rendered look on each piece. Here are a few of the rough sketches and color-blocking ideas that led to the final poster creations:
We were inspired by the confident, cheeky, rebellious, moody, and man-made vibe we found in our reference searches. In Mod We Trust became the motto for this line.
Ascots replaced traditional neck ties. Glasses got big and funky. Hats and dresses looked space age. Cotton was out. Polyester was in. Colors like Harvest Gold, Avocado Green, and Burnt Pumpkin started showing up next to groovy rainbow palettes. Mod design affected everything in that era.
After combining sketches, painted and drawn textures and vector art, the final prints looked like this:
Just as we hoped, hip interior designers think these Mod prints look groovy as decor accents in contemporary spaces!
The new ready-to-frame prints from the Mod Collection are now available for purchase on our web site. The Fab.com sale (February 28th-March 5th) will feature 100 of each of the Mod designs at a special discounted price!