The story linked to the diffusion of the underground magazine OZ is certainly one of the most important examples in the history of independent publishing. The magazine was printed from 1963 to 1973, a short period of time in which the magazine fought against the conservative society of the time, in the native country — Australia — and in England, the country of adoption. Since the release of the first issue on April 1st 1963, called “Sydney OZ”, until the last issue of the magazine in its London version, “The Last Issue”, on November 1973, OZ was able to renew itself both in its contents and in its graphic layout, thanks to the contribution of the renowned graphic designers and artists who took part to the project.
The magazine was born from the idea of the three restless university students: Richard Neville, Jim Anderson and Felix Dennis. They tried to overthrow the regent institutions and the certainties of the conservative society that caged the spirit and counterculture of the seventies, describing one of the more politically and socially revolutionary periods in the history of publishing. OZ talked about issues related to LGBT rights and racism, the environment and feminism, the sex and the use of the contraceptive pill, the drugs, the Rock music and Vietnam war too.
This book is the result of a personal research about this special magazine and its impact on the editorial world. OZ deals with the 60s and 70s and the social, political, artistic and cultural events that have defined the counterculture both in Australia and Europe. The outrageous contents of this underground reflected the achievements of a new society which was in conflict with the official power. The graphic layout was subversive and innovative. These publications helped to revolutionize the aesthetics of modern society. The project shows histories and stories of one of the most controversial underground magazine ever and it was realized for the Illustration and Photography’s History class at ISIA Urbino.