Raw and radical
Power to the People: The Graphic Design of the Radical Press and the Rise of the Counter-Culture, 1964-1974Edited and designed by Geoff Kaplan University of Chicago Press, £29, $45, hardback
The ‘underground press’ died out more than 40 years ago. Yet it lives on, thanks to a spate of recent books published. There was 200 Trips from the Counterculture (2006); On the Ground (2011); and Sex Press (reviewed in Eye 84). The latest, Power to the People, is the one with the largest helping of visual material. Yet there is still much more to see.
Omissions are inevitable, since reportedly 800 different underground newspaper titles were published in the US alone, most of them on newsprint, and many of them obscure. Kaplan must be forgiven for missing some key publications, while praised for including some very rare important ones, like Ed Sanders’ Fuck You / A Magazine of the Arts, a hand-scrawled mimeographed revue that bridged Beat and hippie generations.
Cover makes colourful use of Hendrix diptych from The Seed.
Top: spread showing covers and interior pages from The Black Panther, which featured Emory Douglas’s illustrations and photomontages.
Steven Heller, design writer, New York
Read the full version in Eye no. 86 vol. 22 2013
Eye is the world’s most beautiful and collectable graphic design journal, published quarterly for professional designers, students and anyone interested in critical, informed writing about graphic design and visual culture. It is available from all good design bookshops and online at the Eye shop, where you can buy subscriptions, back issues and single copies of the latest issue. You can see what Eye 86 looks like at Eye before You Buy on Vimeo.