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Adventures In Atariland II: Aesthetics In Schools

Ixion_SEROV

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After getting amazing reception on my previous thread, I'm continuing on in my exploring the many interesting aesthetics of yesteryear.

For a long time, I could recall my childhood in the mid to late 90's and how lots of kids- mainly girls- had backpacks, folders, and stickers that bore a similar set of resemblances; bright, vibrant colors. Intense and bold designs. Extremely distinct and detail-oriented. It was like something out of a manic pixie fever dream.

Years would pass and I would forget about it until somewhat recently. Back in 2019, I began asking around and digging into this art that I forgot for a long time. Eventually, I re-discovered it, and now want to make sure everyone here can bask in the wondrous glory of this icon of pop art.

Meet Lisa Frank. A woman from Michigan who moved to Arizona to live a life of cranking out the very definition of "schoolgirl's art." Her images and designs were on everything from lunchboxes to trapper-keepers from the mid 80's into the early 2000's. While there isn't a whole lot on her biography, her impact on Millennial art and consumerist design cannot be underestimated.

Whenever you look back on the art and school supplies from 20 years ago or more, remember that it was Lisa Frank who gave us these incredibly bizarre yet distinct designs that many have forgotten about.
 

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IlluminatiPirate

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That art style was definitely a girl only thing! I would see that art style on toys in the 99 cent stores. I remember going to my moms work and visiting the 99 cent store around the corner to get a cheap ass toy to play for the day. I got toys for boys, but i distinctly avoiding the girl section. Another great aesthetic post!
 
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naa

family mart fried chicken
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Great post! I never really interacted much with Lisa Frank art as a kid, but I really love aggressively bright, shiny aesthetics like this, and I think Lisa Frank really is a hallmark of that. Something I'm really impressed by about a lot of her art is the way she balances colors by making most things a consistent, similar level of brightness, so that it's all equally overwhelming rather than one element drowning out another. It's like organized chaos, very pleasant to look at.

There was a bit of a Lisa Frank revival in the 2010s fueled primarily by nostalgia, with people making a variety of things using her branding, though I think the most popular revival items were the Lisa Frank tarot cards and the makeup collection. There was also an official Reebok collaboration shoe which was really intense, it's hard to even register it as a real object that exists.

They also set up a Lisa Frank hotel a while ago, there was some drama with it apparently being a ripoff of someone else's interior design but I don't know the details. It sure is a crazy space, though, it looks kind of like a love hotel, the shower is especially neat. I wonder what it looks like in the dark, I don't know how a design this intense would translate to a poorly lit space.
 

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