Rugs through Time (1980-1990) – Postmodernism & New Wave Typography

In our last entry of “Rugs through Time”, the Pop Art and Hippie movement were the main influences for the design aesthetic of the 1960’s and 70’s. Textile fashion trends ranged from minimalistic décor to multicoloured fabrics and flowery patterns.

Paving the way for the Post-Modern revolution, the 1970’s were a decade of change and rebellion. This was marked by the rise of the civil rights movements and the new found alliance between art and pop culture.

The Postmodernism Revolution


Bazaar Velvet’s Aurora Grey Pink rug

The 1980’s saw a substantial change in the textile industry. With the decreasing number of small businesses being bought by large corporations,creativity was replaced by profit and it reflected on the design and aesthetic feel of the time.

Thus Postmodernism was born, a radical and controversial movement. It sought to deconstruct the ideal of perfection and minimalism of Modernism, refuting the “less is more” rule of design.

By making use of the mass consumerism culture that came with the economic growth of the decade, postmodernism defied past style ideas. A newfound creative freedom allowed artists to produce a multifaceted body of work, embracing unconventional materials and models.

British companies such as Collier Campbell and Timney Fowler were pioneers for this movement, providing innovative and bold collections. This avant-garde culture influenced rug styles and home décor. Everything was taken to an extreme, with fearless colour palettes; visually stunning patterns; and blending of various styles, often deemed contradictory.

The Aurora Grey Pink rug and the Abstract Urban Colours of Life are evocative of post-modern eclecticism, with bold colour schemes and unique graphic styles.

The democratisation of the design was also part of the revolution, taking into account the public’s accessibility to the products.

The New Wave


One of the most influential post-modern graphic designers is Wolfgang Weingart, also know as the creator of the New Wave typography.

The New Wave movement is the defiance of strict grid-structure typography. Influenced by punk culture, New Wave lettering, or type, can be arranged in a number of ways and angles even in chaotic layouts.

Our All you Need is Love, Open your Heart and Life is Good designer rugs from the Hand Writing collection are all reminiscent of the New Wave design. Their unstructured type arranging different fonts and colours along various size letters echo the unstructured typographical style.

The 1980’s décor is usually regarded as kitsch, due to the radical creative freedom that lead to over the top and unusual creations. However it was truly a decade of experimentation and artistic revolution, making way for new styles and techniques.


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