The Mod Art Collection

The Mod Art Collection

We've enjoyed creating classic poster art for a long time. Over the years, most of our prints and vintage poster art has been inspired by illustrations from the Golden Age of Poster Art—a period which spanned from the late-1800s to the mid-1900s.

We've always admired mid-century modern design—especially illustrative advertising, fashion design, travel posters, and vintage art 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, and architecture to hair, cars, appliances, and pop culture. It was truly a unique moment in the art world, and after diving into it, it's safe to say we fell in love with it.

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 way models posed. TWA travel posters by David Klein were particularly inspiring with their bright colors and stylized hand-rendering.

After scouring magazines, websites, archives, and libraries, we spent some time basking in the man-made glory of the 50s and 60s. And boy did we enjoy it! 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 of vintage-styled poster art took shape.

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, mind you, 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 from our popular Mod Art Collection:

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 of poster art and vintage illustration.

Ascots replaced traditional neck ties. Glasses got big and funky. Hats and dresses looked like they were made for the 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 website.

We hope you enjoyed this fun preview of our ongoing foray into Mod Art! The 1950s and 60s were a unique era for design, fashion, illustration, and pop-culture. Rainbows, flos, fros, and go-go's helped characterize this fabulous escape from the norm. We created the Mod collection to honor the groove, the jive, and the all-around pizzazz of this outta sight epoch. Now, we're bringing these designs to you, available as prints, canvases, framed posters, metal signs, notecards, or postcards.

Recently, ADG founder Joel Anderson discovered an up-and-coming artist who really seems comfy rendering poster art in the groovy Mod vibe. Annie E. Cauffman is collaborating with ADG to create more travel poster art in the spirit of the jet age. Here are two of her most recent posters:

Check out the collection of vintage mod art to see recent additions, and don't forget to stay groovy!

See ya (or "Mod ya") later!

-Ren Brabenec
Anderson Design Group Staff Writer

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