This large silkscreen of a psychedelic Bob Dylan was done by Poster Prints at the Plymouth Square Center in Conshohocken, PA in 1969. Poster Prints was one of many print companies that sprang up around the country in the late 1960s to handle the huge demand for posters from America’s youth. Poster Prints created both psychedelic posters like this one and also what were called “personality posters,” the giant blow-up photo of movie stars, typically in black and white.
Posters were an inexpensive way for teenagers to express themselves. Posters were large, didn’t require frames or even a hook and hammer to hang, and could be swapped out as soon as a new movie or rock star or image took their fancy. Life Magazine wrote a cover story on the exploding market, September 1, 1967 called, “The Great Poster Hang-up”
Posters were not incidental to the hippie experience – in fact they were a central part of it and posters were often plastered back-to-back and climbed up the walls and across the ceiling! Often, the clash of generations ended up with some exasperated version of, “we don’t care what you do, as long as it all stays in your ROOM.”
Bob Dylan had been off the performing stage since his motorcycle accident in 1966. It’s doubtful that he authorized this poster but also enough of a characterization without using his name that he probably couldn’t have stopped it anyway. Pretty groovy!