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Published by Sébastien Hayez

John van Hamersveld (1941, California)

Written by Loïc Boyer, 6 years ago, 0 Comments
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First a surfer, then a designer, that’s how you can explain the success of the author of the 1964 Endless Summer poster.This silkscreened californian icon could be seen in any local garage by the time – the original prints still can be found for 2000 $.

Then art director of Surf Magazine, while still studying at Cal Arts, he later was asked to design loads of concert posters and set up the Pinnacle Studio to promote shows by Jimi Hendrix or The Who. Hired as art director at Capitol Records, he designed 300 record covers for the likes of Blondie (Eat to the Beat), The Beatles (Magical Mystery Tour), or P.I.L. (This is what you want…). Both of these activities allowed him to create a few groundbreaking graphics that are now part of the popular culture. Because as Tom Berg wrote: “He watched the counter-culture – for which he’d become an artistic voice – get swallowed by corporate culture.”

The 1980’s saw him – like many of his generation – going corporate, creating logos and letterings, mostly for restaurant chains or surf-related companies. Good, efficient, solid american designs like the Gotcha logo, or the whole FatBurger global identity: pop culture, I told you.
Always a little ahead of its time, he invented day-glo posters in the ’60s, prototyped punk collage in the ’70s, marketed surf clothing by the ’80s, vectorized a lot in the ’90s, and was invited for a retrospective exhibition in Shepard Fairey’s gallery in 2009. A dude, as Andy Beach called him.


About Loïc Boyer

Loïc is a freelance designer based in Orléans (France). He's always keen on old printed stuff as we all are, and is the founder of Cligne Cligne Magazine, a bilingual webzine about the most beautiful books for children.

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