Surf Sun Sand Serif
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The Golden Age

A conceptual journey through the vibrant era of California graphic design in the 1960s and 70s, Surf Sun Sand Serif is a celebration of the visionary graphic designers who defined the west coast standard through creativity and coastal culture. The “book” is designed to be a part of a theoretical gallery show, hosted by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

All content is from Louise Sandhaus’ Earthquakes, Mudslides, Fires & Riots

Crafted in the style of zines, a prevalent form of underground communication during the era, the “book” aims to authentically encapsulate the spirit of the times through both form and function. Each featured designer is spotlighted in their own zine, showcasing their distinctive work.

The vibrant color palettes, synonymous with California design, play a central role in the book's aesthetic. Drawing inspiration from the renowned posters produced by the Colby Press of Los Angeles, the design mirrors the city’s iconic look that has endured for decades, capturing the essence of its dynamic visual culture.
The zines were printed by the Newspaper Club of London on standard newsprint paper to embrace an underground, affordable aesthetic which was common amongst artists and designers in the underground counterculture scenes across the state. The grid and layout design take inspiration from traditional newspaper formats, infusing elements of white space to provide the content with breathing room for a contemporary balance.
In addition to the book, a set of posters served as an additional means of communication, promoting the show. Rather than opting for a conventional poster design, it was important to extend the authenticity of the overall identity to these promotional materials. Working with Tribune Showprint in Muncie, Indiana, 24 ready-mades were printed with the names of featured designers and information on the show itself. This allowed for the idea of widespread promotion strewn across the numerous telephone poles throughout Los Angeles, already adorned with other Colby-inspired posters.

Furthermore, concepts for gallery spaces and large-format advertising extended the concept beyond the confines of the page, bringing vibrancy and vitality to the show.
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