Homeless in Vancouver: Wallpaper from the 1977 HoJo I stayed in!
It’s true, when I was growing up in the 1970s, wallpaper and carpets in commercial buildings—hotels, motels, fast food restaurants—often featured garish repeating patterns, just like the painting I found on a the lid of a recycling blue bin yesterday.
The trend continued well into the early 1980s.
I don’t know what excuse a Fairview resident had for painting wallpaper but nearly 50 years ago everyone’s excuse was a design style dating back to the 1960s called Supergraphics, which used bold colours and geometric forms to make oversize environmental-design statements.
Oh no, it's all coming back to me now
This style naturally had an influence on my own graphic design—it was everywhere when I was growing up.
No one ever had to explain the rules to me. I just knew that true Supergraphic elements could only be contructed using a straightedge and a compass—no higher geometric forms such as ovals or Bézier curves.
We all had French curves back in those days—they stayed in the drawer.
I could only imagine painting such designs as part of cathartic therapy but in the truth the design conceits of the 1970s are fashionably retro these days, with e-commerce websites entirely devoted to modern reproductions of 1970s wallpaper.
Fondue sets and appliances in harvest colours can’t be far behind.
Apropos of nothing, the Supergraphics style, which was a major influence on all graphic design for some 20 years, has no Wikipedia entry—I thought everything had a Wikipedia entry.