Earthquakes, Mudslides, Fires & Riots: California and Graphic Design, 1936-1986
According to the cliché, California is the place where anything goes and everyone does their own thing. Maybe that’s because everyone knows that in California there’s no terra firma: earthquakes, mudslides, fires and the occasional civil uprising cause constant upheaval and change. California is fluid. It has a sense of humor. It is a place of constant innovation, where the entertainment, aerospace and high-tech industries found a home. California is the great mecca of consumerism, but it is also legendary as fertile ground for creativity, freedom and social consciousness, where the status quo undergoes constant renovation.
Earthquakes, Mudslides, Fires & Riots is the first publication to capture the enormous body of distinctive and visually ecstatic graphic design that emanated from this great state throughout most of the twentieth century. Edited and designed by graphic designer Louise Sandhaus, this raucous gathering of smart, offbeat, groundbreaking graphic design from the “Left Coast” will amaze readers with its breadth and richness. The fruit of more than a decade of research, the volume is arranged in four sections: “Sunbaked Modernism,” “Industry and the Indies,” “60s Alt 60s” and “California Girls.” Included are books and magazines designed by Merle Armitage, Alvin Lustig, Herbert Matter and Sheila Levrant DeBretteville; posters for Disneyland, Cream and Herman Miller; Marget Larsen’s print ads for Joseph Magnin; title cards or title sequences for Lassie, The Smothers Brothers and other hit TV shows; title sequences for films from Taxi Driver to Tron; motion graphics from the earliest animated abstractions to the classic 7-Up “Bubbles” ad and Atari video games; immersive live shows of Bill Ham and Single Wing Turquoise Bird; architectural supergraphics by Barbara Stauffacher Solomon and Alexander Girard; print and environmental designs by Gere Kavanaugh and Deborah Sussman; and much, much more.