Psychedelic Hero: Wes Wilson

Wes Wilson is an American artist born on July 15, 1937, in Sacramento, California, who is known for his psychedelic poster designs during the 60’s. He is credited for inventing and popularizing the psychedelic font that made letters look like they were moving or melting, which eventually became very common by the 1970’s. Wilson’s first poster was called “Are We Next?” made in 1965, which was a Wilson’s own protests against the massive involvement between the US and Vietnam during the Vietnam War. He was inspired by Alphonse Mucha, Van Gogh, Gustav Klimt, and Egon Schiele, but as well Alfred Roller after a friend of his showed him a 1908 poster done by him. His hand-lettering was surprising very similar to his and he used this to continue expanding and developing his style of lettering that defined the psychedelic poster designs.

Today, Wilson spends his time mostly making paintings and creating some posters occasionally while living on a farm with his wife in southwest Missouri. I personally really like Wes Wilson’s psychedelic posters and feel like they are one of a kind. I just love how the letters form and curve around the shapes around the figures and make the letters look like they are part of the line work and objects themselves, not plunked in randomly onto the page.




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