Clive Piercy mural and Roxy ad

Hello LA: Clive Piercy, Inside the Mind of a Designer

Dingbats, an Asterisk…and a Nice Cup of Tea

On View March 9 - June 24, 2023

A timely exhibition that surveys the work of renowned designer, author and educator Clive Piercy (1955-2017). Featuring an immersive experience comprising examples of Piercy’s most groundbreaking designs, HELLO LA presents a juxtaposition of thoughts, visuals and ideas shown in 2D and 3D including a visual documentary of his work.

With an unparalleled career spanning 40 years in London and Los Angeles, Piercy developed a signature design style marked by his radical use of typography, wit and rigorous blending of a British education and American influence, all with an Angeleno flair. Known for a dedication to craft, as well as to the ethics and aesthetics of graphic design, Piercy was a beloved figure whose work has resonated globally.

Throughout his storied career, Piercy’s interests and collaborations were as vast and interdisciplinary as he was: the 2011 LACMA exhibition California Design, 1930–1965: "Living in a Modern Way" the cover design for Elton John’s Too Low for Zero, the book design for Curb Your Enthusiasm, the brand design for the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, and imagery for David Fincher’s film Se7en. Piercy was also nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Recording Package and a James Beard Award for Restaurant Design. His celebrated book Pretty Vacant: The Los Angeles Dingbat Observed, a visual poem to the vernacular Southern California stucco apartments known as dingbats, was published by Chronicle Books in 2003. Piercy was recognized for his achievement and contribution to design, and named a fellow of the American Institute of Graphic Arts in 2009.

Founder of the Los Angeles design and communications firms Ph.D and air conditioned, Piercy was a professor at ArtCenter College of Design for 17 years. He influenced a generation of students, and has said, “There are plenty of designers in the world; we are doing perfectly well without you. But what there is a true lack of is great graphic designers. So that is your obligation if you are in this class, to be great. And the greatest thing you can do as a designer is have work that is representative of your character, that reflects who you are, that is a manifestation of your taste.”

With support from ArtCenter Exhibitions, this exhibition is co-curated by Ann Field, Department Chair of Illustration at ArtCenter, in partnership with a creative team of designers, writers and artists all who knew and worked with Clive and wished to honor him and the profound influence he has made on their lives.

Exhibition Identity by Part and Parcel

Alyce de Roulet Williamson Gallery
ArtCenter College of Design
1700 Lida Street
Pasadena, CA 91103

Gallery Hours:

Wednesday to Saturday, 12 pm - 5 pm.
Reservations recommended.


Hello, LA is a lovingly curated look at the life and work of designer Clive Piercy

It’s funny how often an artist comes to a city from somewhere else and ends up representing that place more than a homegrown one does.

Clive Piercy


‘QUIKSILVER and ROXY- Branding, design and surf culture’

Sat, March 11, 2023, 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM PST

Clive Piercy Roxy ad (a young blond woman leans over the roll bar of a jeep, wearing Roxy clothing. She is smiling)

Randy Hild and our guests all worked with designer Clive Piercy over a ten-year period. Their groundbreaking collaboration came to define surf culture as we understand it today.

Moderator: Randy Hild (formerly Quiksilver/creative consultant)

Panel Guests:

  • Steve Jones: Visual Director and Quiksilver/Roxy store designer
  • Maria Barnes : ‘Quiksilver - Alex Goes’ Director
  • Lissa Zwahlen: Roxy and ‘Quiksilver - Alex Goes’ Designer

Location: LA Times Theater, ArtCenter Hillside Campus


Sat, March 18, 2023, 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM PDT

Colby Broadsided posters

Printing demonstration and hands-on workshop: Professors Simon Johnston and Gloria Kondrup will design and hand-set a “Hello LA” broadside in the iconic style of the Colby Poster Printing Company.

The attendees will have the opportunity to actually print. Simon Johnston and Clive Piercy donated their collection of Colby posters to the HMCT Archive at ArtCenter. Designer Clive Piercy worked on a personal project with Colby and described their work as ‘inimitably LA.’

‘GOOGIE culture and the Los Angeles dingbat’

Sat, March 25, 2023, 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM PDT

Googie Modern book cover detail

Followed by book signing of ‘Googie Modern’- architectural drawings of Armet David Newlove. Alan will talk about his new book and all things “Googie’, including preservation of these great buildings, and iconic Palm Springs, all connecting to the themes that Designer Clive Piercy loved and promoted in his own work.

Clive Piercy’s Library

Clive Piercy