The popularity of astrology in the 1960s led many artists to create work based around the zodiac signs. Companies also commissioned artists to create various products with an astrological theme and posters were a particular favorite because they were inexpensive to produce and trendy among teens and young adults. You could purchase posters in shops, order them from advertisements found in various magazines and they were often prizes given away at county fairs.
These colorful and unique posters were designed by Harry Wysocki in 1969. Harry and his brother Charles were both commercial artists who designed many products featuring their art including book covers, posters, puzzles, and pottery. Charles died in 2002 but Harry is still alive and making art according to the Artifacts Gallery website, which features a profile of the artist that discusses his background. Wysocki graduated from the Los Angeles Art Center College of Design and shortly after WWII he enlisted in the Merchant Marines which took him to Japan where he worked with Japanese artists. When he eventually returned to the U.S. he started experimenting with Art Nouveau and Deco design, which is evident in these posters as well as some of his other earlier work.
You can currently purchase an entire set of Harry Wysocki’s vintage posters on eBay • but it will cost you a pretty penny ($500.00 to be exact) and individual posters in various condition can typically be found selling for around $50 a piece.
I appreciate the way Wysocki incorporated bold color into his zodiac posters while playing with different fonts. His use of astrology themes to create work in a wide variety of styles is very impressive. But I’m especially taken with his Nouveau-inspired designs, which have a lush psychedelic quality reminiscent of concert posters produced during the same period. I hope you’ll enjoy his posters as much as I do.
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