Miss Beachcomber Salon

Bill Tobias and Robert Miles Runyon, Communication Arts magazine, November 1961

Miss Beachcomber Salon of Beauty, 1961

As I rearranged my books again (again being the operative word as it happens too often), I found an issue of CA magazine from November, 1961. First, I loved the cover. So much that I considered never sharing it as I may need to "appropriate" it at some point. Then I found an ad that is truly interactive. The cow is on one page with die cut eyes. The two dots on the following page make the pupils. So simple. No coding needed.

There is a logo with a dead dog, heavyset mermaid illustration, hipster tattoos before hipsters existed, and several other wonderful finds.

I love how un-tortured this work is. None of it feels desperate or is trying to be hipper than any other piece of graphic design ever. It just is. Almost as if someone enjoyed doing the work rather than pulling out hair, smoking endless cigarettes, staying up for several days, then explaining the solution in a six paragraph document. After all, how can you remain earnest and deeply ironic when making pipe smoke with eighty-eights?

Lester Beall, International Paper, 1961

Arnold Varga, Cox's, 1961

Left: Paul Hauge, Miss Beachcomber Salon of Beauty, 1961
Right: Al Parker, McCall's magazine, 1961

Milton Glaser, Tru-Balance, 1961

R. E. Brickner, Footwear News, 1961

Left: Ed Kysar, 1961
Right: Morton Goldsholl, 1961

Saul Bass, First America Corporation, 1961

Sean Adams

Sean Adams is the Chair of the undergraduate and graduate Graphic Design Program at ArtCenter, founder of Burning Settlers Cabin studio, and on-screen author for LinkedIn Learning/Lynda.com 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.

Covering Covers

Lutz Roeder, Gebrauchsgraphik, June 1965

I've designed several magazines over the years. The cover is usually the land mine. Every hope, desire, and fear seems to coalesce around the cover. I lost one longtime great friend who was the photographer on a cover when the client rejected her beautiful and flawless image for a bad stock photo. It's the part of the project when everyone in the room has an opinion on what a good cover is. In all honesty, there are covers I worked on that are fugly fugly. These were designed by committee and I didn't have the fortitude to say, "You're wrong! You're bad people." But that rarely works either.

As you can expect some of my favorite covers do not have one giant face staring out, but take advantage of the magazine as a personal artifact that doubles as a poster. And if we're honest, we'll all admit we have purchased a magazine only for the cover. Which, I imagine, is liking someone simply because they have a nice face. And...?


Health Magazine, cover studies

Sean Adams

Sean Adams is the Chair of the undergraduate and graduate Graphic Design Program at ArtCenter, founder of Burning Settlers Cabin studio, and on-screen author for LinkedIn Learning/Lynda.com 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.