John Van Hamersveld

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John Van Hamersveld

From Wild About Music:

John Van Hamersveld was born in 1941 in Baltimore, MD. He both attended and taught at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena and California Institute of the Arts. From earliest positions of art director of Surfer Magazine and Capitol Records. John's experience has spanned album cover, poster, packaging, industrial, magazine and book design.

John has designed over 300 album covers for groups like the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Blondie, Kiss, Public Image and many others, including… Exile on Main Street and Magical Mystery Tour.

His 360° mural at the Los Angeles Coliseum, executed for the 1984 Olympic Games won him national recognition by the American Institute of Architects. He is also well known for his poster design for the movie, The Endless Summer, which is one of the most popular and recognizable poster images of all time. His work as part of the concert promotion company Pinnacle resulted in one of John’s most enduring body of posters, including what is widely considered one of the greatest rock posters ever made, for Jimi Hendrix at LA’s Shrine Auditorium.

More recently, John designed the posters for the Cream 2005 Reunion Concerts at London’s Royal Albert Hall and Madison Square Gardens and the packaging for the Warner Brothers CD and DVD releases.

In a 2002 auction catalog, Sotheby's had this to say about Hamersveld's classic 1968 Hendrix poster:

Shrine Auditorium, Los Angeles, 1968 promotional poster, one of the best Hendrix posters ever designed. The Pinnacle Concert Production Company mounted many many important concerts here in the 1960's. As the artist behind many of these posters John Van Hamersveld earned himself a reputation that spread far beyond Southern California. This particular piece for the "Jimi Hendrix & Soft Machine with The Electric Flag and Blue Cheer" concert is a classic. The simplicity of design and restrained use of color were just right...

Hamersveld's classic, referred to as Hendrix Shrine 68 in the rock poster community, served as the inspiration for several early Shepard Fairey pieces.

Hamersveld's Hendrix 68 4th Edition