Power to the People Graphic Design of the Radical Press and the Rise of the Counter-culture, 1964-1974
Though we think of the 1960s and the early '70s as a time of radical social, cultural, and political upheaval, we tend to picture the action as happening on campuses and in the streets. Yet the rise of the underground newspaper was equally daring and original. Thanks to advances in cheap offset printing, groups involved in antiwar, civil rights, and other social liberation issues began to spread their messages through provocatively designed newspapers and broadsheets. This vibrant new media was essential to the counter-culture revolution as a whole and helped proliferate ideas. "Power to the People" presents seven hundred full-color images and excerpts from these astonishing publications, many of which have not been seen since they were first published almost fifty years ago. From the psychedelic pages of the "Oracle", Haight-Ashbury's paper of choice, to the fiery editorials of the "Black Panther Party Paper", these papers were extraordinary for their graphic innovations, experimental typography, and wildly inventive layouts. Assembled by renowned graphic designer Geoff Kaplan, "Power to the People" pays homage in its design to the radical press. Beyond its unparalleled images, "Power to the People" offers contributions by Gwen Allen, Bob Ostertag, Fred Turner, and Pamela M. Lee that comment on the critical impact of the alternative press in the social and popular movements of those turbulent years. "Power to the People" treats the design practices of that moment as activism in its own right: offering a vehement challenge to the dominance of official media. "Power to the People" is not just a major compendium of art from the '60s and '70s - it showcases how the radical media graphically fashioned the image of a revolution that still resounds today.
"Before there was the Internet and desktop publishing, there was the under-ground press-a rich, irreverent source of information, opinion, and outrageousness that is all too difficult to access today. With Power to the People, Geoff Kaplan has brought together a rowdy and stimulating collection of design from the 1960s and '70s that will be an inspiration and an indispensable resource to anyone who wants to speak out in the twenty-first century." -David Joselit, Yale University"