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The hippie aesthetic owes a lot to Art Nouveau.
When you picture hippies, you probably think of bell bottoms, long hair, and LSD. You might also think of a very specific graphic design and illustration style, seen on concert posters and album covers: curly, cloudy, barely legible lettering; trippy color combinations; and decorative meandering borders.
This style was first conceived in San Francisco by a handful of designers in the late 1960s. Their job? Make posters for bands like The Byrds, the Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, Steve Miller Band, Jimi Hendrix — all of whom were just getting their start, competing for nightly stage time at venues like the Fillmore and the Avalon.
But these designers didn’t invent that now-iconic style. In fact, they were heavily influenced by an art movement that started in the late 1800s called Art Nouveau.
Watch the video above to learn more about this game-changing painting. You can find this video and all of Vox’s videos on YouTube. And if you’re interested in supporting our video journalism, you can become a member of the Vox Video Lab on YouTube.
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