I have decided to focus on the DIY work ethic of the Punk Rock Subculture that relates to art and graphic design. To begin with, I will establish exactly what this means, what was the DIY work ethic during that time?
The Do-It-Yourself work ethic was applied to all aspects Punk Rock: music, flyers, clothing, record covers, fanzines and other items such as badges and jewelry. I am interested those that relates to art and graphic design.
So why is DIY associated with Punk Rock?
To understand this, you will need to understand a bit about the Punk Rock ideology and the cultural and social circumstances during this period.
The Punk Rock ideology was similar to other anti-establishment subcultures and art movements of the 20th century such as Futurism, Dada, Surrealism, Teddy Boys, Hipsters and Rockers, to name a few. All of these movements and subcultures promoted anti-consumerism, anti-war, non-conformance and were pro-personal freedom.
The subculture is associated with working class individuals during a time when unemployment and social unrest were prominent. Power cuts, strikes and corruption contributed to anarchy which is associated with the Punk Rock movement.
Taking these factors into consideration whilst analysing the DIY work ethic in relation to art and graphic design, it becomes apparent why low-tech, homemade graphics, flyers and publications were produced. Handwritten, cut-and-paste or letraset typography accompanied borrowed or hand drawn images to express ideas, opinions and communicate local news and events. No attention were paid to copyright and all established art or design rules and methods were discarded.
Burrell, I. (2012). Civil Unrest, Corrupt Police and Porn: Why the 1970s Were No Different From Today. Independent [online]. Available at: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/media/tv-radio/civil-unrest-corrupt-police-and-porn-why-the-1970s-were-no-different-from-today-7737978.html [Accessed 11 April 2016].
- Johnny X (2014). Punks [online image]. Available at: http://dyingscene.com/news/diy-or-die-a-guide-to-making-a-punk-rock-vest/attachment/punks-3/ [Accessed 12 April 2016].
- Urban75 (2007). Up Yours Fanzine [online image]. Available at: http://www.urban75.org/music/up-yours-cardiff.html [Accessed 12 April 2016].