Punk art is artwork associated with the punk subculture. It often graces punk rock album covers, flyers for punk concerts, punk zines and punk websites. It is also sometimes showcased in art galleries and exhibition spaces.

 The main aesthetic of punk visual art seems to be either to cause shock, to create a sense of empathy or revulsion in viewers, or to make a grand point with acidic or sarcastic wit. One characteristic associated with punk art is the usage of letters cut out from newspapers and magazines, a device previously associated with kidnap and ransom notes. A prominent example of that style is the cover of the Sex Pistols' Never Mind the Bollocks album designed by Jamie Reid. Images and figures are also sometimes cut and pasted from magazines and newspapers to create a collage.


Punk art emerged in the 1970s on the streets of London and quickly spread throughout the country and reached other European countries and USA. 
This style reflected a new youth outlook in street style, clothing, hairstyles, environment facilities, approach to art and design. 
Punk style was an alternative response to the Modernist approach in graphic design. Like Dada, punk rejected any succession, positioning itself as a starting point, but these two currents shared desire for grossly violate their convention of antisocial behavior, aggressiveness and incompatible combination. 

Representatives of punk were both professional designers, that were frustrated by Modernism and amateurs (punk musicians) who wanted to express their creativity through disagreement with the existing political regime or to approach to the art. Anti-design approach of Punk manifested itself in the belief that anyone could create any object of graphic design, so called do-it-yourself direction. 
Representatives of Punk opposed to complex and costly technologies by using newspaper cut outs, thick cheap Xerox paper, scissors, ordinary markers and photocopy machines. They created their works by making rough collages with the use of black and white photo of low resolution, messy cut out letters by scissors that were sometimes slightly tinted, raw screen printing, amateur fonts by hand with the help of ordinary marker. 

This led to a graphical language of Punk and was a further source of creative energy for artists and designers. As a subculture built on rock music, punk reflected in graphic solution of badges, stickers, posters and banners for bands, flyers, packing for record sleeves and punk fan magazines — fanzines.

New Wave

New Wave design was influenced by Punk and postmodern language theory. But there is a debate as to whether New Wave is a break or a natural progression of the Swiss Style. Sans-serif font still predominates, but the New Wave differs from its predecessor by stretching the limits of legibility.
The break from the grid structure meant that type could be set center, ragged left, ragged right, or chaotic. The artistic freedom produced common forms such as the bold stairstep. The text hierarchy also strayed from the top down approach of the International Style. Text became textured with the development of transparent film and the increase in collage in graphic design.
Further breakdown of minimalist aesthetic is seen in the increase of the number of type sizes and colours of fonts. Although punk and psychedelia embody the anti-corporate nature of their respective groups, the similarity between New Wave and the International Style has led some to label New Wave as “softer, commercialized punk culture.

How New Wave came to life

Wolfgang Weingart is credited with developing New Wave typography in the early 1970s at the Basel School of Design, Switzerland.
New Wave along with other postmodern typographical styles, such as Punk and Psychedelia, arose as reactions to International Typographic Style or Swiss Style which was very popular with corporate culture. International Typographic Style embodied the modernist aesthetic of minimalism, functionality, and logical universal standards. Postmodernist aesthetic rebuked the less is more philosophy, by ascribing that typography can play a more expressive role and can include ornamentation to achieve this.
 The increase in expression aimed to improve communication. Therefore, New Wave designers such as Weingart felt intuition was just as valuable as analytical skill in composition. The outcome is an increased kinetic energy in designs. The adoption of New Wave Typography in the United States came through multiple channels. Weingart gave a lecture tour on the topic in the early 1970s which increased the number of American graphic designers who traveled to the Basel School for postgraduate training which they brought back to the States. Some of the prominent students from Weingart’s classes include April Greiman, Dan Friedman, and Willi Kunz.

God save the queen (1977), made by Jamie Reid.

This work of art is labeled as one of the most famous punk designs. well known to most people, and write itself into history. This is also made for the band; Sex Pistols, to the album cover for the song with the same name; God save the queen.

Never mind the bollocks. 
This is a punk design made in 1978 for the band; Sex pistols. A group that is considered starring the punk era.
The design is made by Jamie Reid, and is a perfect example of the use of colors and characteristics of the punk style.

A great example of Weingart's work.
This reflects the connection New wave often had to swiss deisgn. Its use of typograpgy, colours and grid.  

New wave design by April Greiman.

Cut out style letters
black n white
sharp, uneven lines

New wave used more colors, and is more gird based and "cleaner" than punk.
= mix of punk and swiss style.

* note that these colors is mainly used in punk. Punk was a big user of black and white. 
New wave used almost all colors, and a lot of them as well.

When What Why
1955-1975 Vietnam War Ends After the war beginning in 1955, the Vietnam War ends in 1975.
1970s NASA The Apollo program conducts several lunar landings. 
1970s Equality Feminism was strongly endorsed, especially among women

Jamie Reid is a British artist best known for his décollage covers of the Sex Pistols’ albums Never Mind the Bollocks and their single "God Save the Queen.” 
A self-described anarchist, Reid’s cover art helped define the aesthetic of the British punk movement with its faux-ransom-note letters and iconoclastic defacements of pop culture and nationalistic images.

April Greiman is an influential contemporary American graphic designer. Her innovative ideas and transmedia projects have taken the world by storm. She is considered one of the first designers to see computer in a different light, who realized its potential as a design tool. She is recognized for introducing the ‘New Wave’ design style in the US.

Wolfgang Weingart (born 1941) is an internationally known graphic designer and typographer. His work is categorized as Swiss typography and he is credited as "the father" of New Wave or Swiss Punk typography

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