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.

Party Like It's 1968, part 1

Last week I managed to crash this blog. I don’t know how, but Noreen said I did, so it’s probably true. In rebuilding the cabin, I found the year 1968 to appear more than any other. Now, a good editor would say, “Well, then, let’s make sure we cover other years.” But I say, “Let’s have more.” So prepare yourself.

I don’t know why 1968 shows up so much. It was a pivotal year in American culture. The Cultural Revolution was at its height. 2001: A Space Odyssey, Planet of the Apes, and Barbarella were released and depicted three distinctly different visions of the future. The Democratic National Convention in Chicago became a firestorm. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert Kennedy were assassinated. And Richard Nixon was elected President.

In 1968, design had a wonderful combination of smart ideas mixed with a bolder palette and less rigid approach. On the whole, in design, this was the last gasp of the “simple big idea” school. By 1970, design had adopted expressive illustration and more intuitive solutions. If you think I had a personal connection to 1968, like high school graduation, you are wrong. I was four. We lived in the Haight in San Francisco, I was in an experimental co-op nursery school, and the first movie I remember seeing was Barbarella.