If you will hear the word “psychedelic,” you may refer to the hallucinatory state of mind, distorted perceptions, altered state of consciousness caused by drug use. For broader description, neon colors of yellow green, blue green, orange, and red violet will penetrate your mind. Maybe some flowers, peace sign, a floral sprayed designed Volkswagen and long-haired hippies or afros will come across your imagination. To box all these attributes, psychedelic is best described as the 1960s pop culture.
Before the term psychedelic become the 60’s fashion of fit, trend neon, wide collared longsleeves and bell bottoms, it was coined by the psychiatrist Humphry Osmond as an alternative descriptor to hallucinogenic drugs. That could be the reason why hallucinogens are also known as “psychedelic drugs.” Indeed, psychedelic seems to be paired with drugs from the day it has emerged. Beyond its psychiatric definition and fashion statement, psychedelic has extended itself to music and arts which led it to create its own movement. Psychedelic art and psychedelic music gather inspiration by inducing oneself with drugs like marijuana, LSD, mescaline, or psilocybin. These drugs are derived from herbs and fungus.
But just like Chronos devouring his children, the popularity of psychedelic was eaten by time. It would be rare to see people wearing the psychedelic fashion unless it is a Halloween or retro costume party. Even the 60’s retro music is mostly played only during weekends. But its influence on graphic design still lives and is widely used in the music industry for posters and album covers. Psychedelic design preserves the neon play of colors, warped typeface, paisley, fractal, concentric circles, kaleidoscope effects, and theme of fantasy, ecstasy, euphoria, and hallucination.
Incubus’ A Crow Left of the Murder (2003), Mojofly’s Now (2005) and Oasis’s Dig Out Your Soul (2008) are examples of cover albums with psychedelic designs that were released by the 2000.