There's a new book out about Big O Posters, which grew out of the graphic design vision of Peter Ledeboer, the charismatic art director of the U.K. incarnation of music and counter-culture magazine Oz, published psychedelic, sci-fi, and fantasy posters from 1967 until 1980.
Originally promoted in the pages of Oz to sell readers full-size posters of the artwork they were enjoying in the magazine, the roster of Big O posters included some of the biggest names in rock art, from Martin Sharp (a pair of album covers for Cream) and Mati Klarwein (Santana's "Abraxas") to H.R. Giger (Emerson, Lake & Palmer's "Brain Salad Surgery") and Roger Dean (multiple covers for Yes). It's a big, image-packed tale, which is why The Art of Big O, designed and published by Michael Fishel and written by Nigel Suckling, both of whom were Big O artists, feels so right. It, too, is big and image-packed, capturing both the atmosphere of the London graphic-design world of the 1960s and '70s as well as the work itself, which is jammed into every nook and cranny of the hefty tome like so many posters tacked to the walls and ceiling of a teenager's bedroom. The result is less a nostalgic trip down memory lane than a paean to the obsessives who produced and printed this often unapologetically obsessive art.