Girl Midget

You might find this hard to believe, but I love Gidget. Here’s the quick synopsis: Gidget wants to learn to surf, but girls don’t surf so nobody will teach her. She persists and finally becomes part of the gang. She’s not busty, blonde and tall like the other women on the beach, so the boys think of her as their kid sister. All types of high-jinx occur as Gidget navigates the wacky world of high-school, Southern California, and surfing. There was a movie with Sandra Dee, then others where Gidget goes to Hawaii, Rome, other places, and then the TV show with Sally Field.

The Gidget movie has a good title sequence, but I’m not so keen on the Sandra Dee Gidget. There’s something wrong with her; she’s just too jumpy. I suspect enormous amounts of coffee before hitting the beach. If she were my child, I’d send her to rehab in Malibu or, at least, sedate her with Nyquil. Sally Field, however, has the right amount of cute with less frenetic nervous energy. She has a snappy style, is nice, and tries really hard to be a good surfer. Then there is the real Gidget, Kathy Kohner, who inspired the character. She's badass in real life, smoking, surfing, and eating crackers at the beach.

Kathy Kohner, 1957

Kathy Kohner, 1957

I love the fake surfing scenes. Her best friend LaRue is a wonderful sidekick. Gidget already has learned that you should hang out with someone less attractive and dowdy and you’ll look better. The title sequence must have cost 49 cents, and stole the type from I Dream of Jeannie. But how can you not love Gidget’s cute facial expressions and costume choices? For those who aren’t Gidget aficionados, Gidget is a mix of Girl and Midget, hence Gidget.

Gidget and LaRue

Sean Adams

Sean Adams is the Director of the Graphic Design Graduate Program at ArtCenter, founder of Burning Settlers Cabin studio, and on-screen author for lynda.com/Linked In. He is the only two term AIGA national president in AIGA’s 100 year history. In 2014, Adams was awarded the AIGA Medal, the highest honor in the profession. He is an AIGA Fellow, and Aspen Design Fellow. He has been recognized by every major competition and publication including; How, Print, Step, Communication Arts, Graphis, AIGA, The Type Directors Club, The British Art Director’s Club, and the Art Director’s Club. Adams has been exhibited often, including a solo exhibition at The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Adams is an author of multiple magazine columns, and several best-selling books. He has been cited as one of the forty most important people shaping design internationally, and one of the top ten influential designers in the United States. Previously, Adams was a founding partner at AdamsMorioka, whose clients included The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Disney, Mohawk Fine Papers, The Metropolitan Opera, Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History, Richard Meier & Partners, Sundance, and the University of Southern California.