August 29, 2012 | by Liam

Graphic Design History – American Kitsch

“Kitsch” is a German word meaning “in bad taste” and in terms of graphic design this describes work that is considered to be tasteless and pretentious. The Kitsch style was seen during the 1940?s-1960?s and illustrations and designs often used exaggerated organic lines. Kitsch is synonymous with comic strip adverts and the idea of the 1950?s diner.


The term Kitsch though can be used to refer to practically any form of popular art or mass entertainment.


Kitsch is considered as poorly designed and cheaply made, and palettes often contain clashing colours that don’t work well together. Kitsch covers a number of different themes and you can find for example; Cute Kitsch (sweet children being slightly naughty, quaint cottages and pinks to heighten the feminine and sugary aspect), Macho Kitsch (Lions and tigers), Luxury Kitsch (imitates wealth through the use of animal print, velvet and over-the-top decoration), Tourism Kitsch (through the emergence of cheap  package holidays) and Movie Kitsch.


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