profile / alumni / advertising / graphic-design
June 25, 2015
Writer: Mike Winder

Hang 10? No, Hang 50!

John Van Hamersveld BFA 64 Advertising

We’re well into fall now, but for Advertising alumnus John Van Hamersveld, life has been one endless summer.

The man behind such iconic pop imagery as the Rolling Stones’ Exile on Main St. album cover and the Jimi Hendrix Pinnacle concerts poster was recently featured in a Vanity Fair story celebrating the 50th anniversary of his poster—created right here at ArtCenter—for Bruce Brown’s surfing film The Endless Summer. For this year’s golden anniversary, the poster has been reprinted in a limited edition of 5,000.

As a movie campaign, it was advertising, but then it became a symbol. It wound up in headshops, college campuses and everywhere. It’s very bizarre.

On his latest ArtCenter visit, Van Hamersveld told us he learned the technique used to create the poster from his instructor Bernyce Polifka. He recalled going to McManus & Morgan downtown to purchase the fluorescent DayGlo paper, which was “pretty flashy” against the tempera colors.

“I looked at the project as cutting the paper into these modernist shapes and putting it together,” he says of the poster, which he likened to “punk advertising of the time” as it was made to reach a niche audience of Southern California surfers.

Hamersveld achieved yet another career capstone this year: in July he was inducted into the Surfing Walk of Fame.