Tuesday, December 9, 2008


Grunge, originating around Seattle, was a strong influence on graphic design in the early 1990s. The style is often called “dirty” and “disheveled.”

Many musicians, such as the bands Nirvana, Alice in Chains, and Pearl Jam, embodied this trend and created “grunge music,” a subgenre of alternative rock, expressing the contemporary sentiments and angst of Generation X.

The attitudes of the time were also reflected in the clothing worn. Hair was often long, unkempt, and frequently dyed (with Kool-Aid being most popular.)

(Eddie Vedder and Pearl Jam)

Design often had a hand-drawn elements, subdued colors, and “dirty” textures. They might include paper clips and torn edges, or notes with a similar appearance to handwriting. A lot of the typography of this sort is characterized as “filthy,” but with an “underlying elegance.”

Grunge was widely accepted at its time. Unfortunately, as it became mainstream, it lost its appeal.

Harsh realm.*

(*Couldn’t resist.)








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