A book to blow minds: ‘The Day-Glo Designers Guide’ @Dangerous Minds2 de novembro, 2016
Cleveland, Ohio’s Day-Glo Color Corp. is “the world’s largest manufacturer of daylight fluorescent pigments.” They’ve been making their trip-friendly colors since the 1930s. This was right around the time that LSD was first made by Albert Hofmann in Switzerland. Synchronicity is occasionally quite cosmic.
In 1969, the Day-Glo company published a book to illustrate how their paints and inks could be used in commercial concepts. The Day-Glo Designer’s Guide is full of vibrantly psychedelic artwork including some fluorescent takes on Bert Stern’s iconic photos of Marilyn Monroe, a Karlheinz Stockhausen album cover, a Peter Max portrait of Toulouse Lautrec, pop-up flower garden, The Grateful Dead at The Playboy Mansion, Sammy Davis Jr. book cover and a packet of loose Day-Glo overlays and charts for use in lithography printing. It’s amazing how many “straight” corporations jumped on a style of graphics that was so clearly associated with the drug culture of the time. Airlines, banks, the British Commonwealth, food products and department stores jumped into the lysergic pool and hoped that they’d seem a lot hipper than they really were. For most of us hippies it looked like exactly what it was: “the man” was copping our culture. But we were too stoned to care.
In 1978, X-Ray Spex had a UK hit with a celebration of Cleveland’s greatest contribution to psychedelia with the song “The Day The World Turned Day-Glo.” The lyrics absolutely perfect:
I clambered over mounds and mounds
Of polystyrene foam
And fell into a swimming pool
Filled with fairy snow
And watched the world turn day-glo
you know you know
The world turned day-glo you know
I wrenched the nylon curtains back
As far as they would go
And peered through perspex window panes
At the acrylic road
I drove my polypropylene
Car on wheels of sponge
Then pulled into a Wimpy bar
To have a rubber bun
The X-rays were penetrating
Through the latex breeze
Synthetic fibre see-thru leaves
Fell from the Rayon trees
So take a little trip down the swirling fluorescent river of Day-Glo with these images from the very rare The Day-Glo Designer’s Guide. I tried buying the book but I didn’t have a thousand dollars to spare. See every page from the guide here.
And here’s a video about the fabulous Day-Glo Color Corporation of Cleveland. It’s actually more interesting than you might think.
And for shits and giggles, the insanely wonderful X-Ray Spex.
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