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Earthquakes, Mudslides, Fires and Riots

California & Graphic Design 1936-1986

Louise Sandhaus


Captures the enormous body of distinctive and visually ecstatic graphic design that emanated from California throughout most of the 20th century

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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. It is also legendary as fertile ground for creativity, freedom, and social consciousness, where the status quo undergoes constant renovation.

This book is the first 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.

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'An energetic and energy-rich new study … In both its exciting content and multicoloured page design, this attractively bound hardback, with an imposing debossed title-piece, is a gorgeously uninhibited piece of work … a spectacular collection presented with great energy and panache'
Creative Review

'A gorgeous new book encapsulating highlights from the golden state'
Corinne Jones, Observer

'At once breathtakingly beautiful and riotously robust, this is the first book ever to gather together a compendium of the great graphics of 20th-century California ... an absolute must-read, cover to cover, over and over'
Debbie Millman, Chair, School of Visual Arts Masters in Branding

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Further Details


Format: Quarterbound/PLC (no jacket)

Size: 25.4 x 19.0 cm

Extent: 416 pp

Publication date: 12 January 2015

ISBN: 9780500517963

Contents List

Introduction • Sunbaked Modernism • Industry and the Indies • California Girls • 60s Alt 60s

About the Author

Louise Sandhaus is the former Program Director and current faculty in the Graphic Design Program at California Institute of the Arts (CalArts). She runs her own design company, LSD (Louise Sandhaus Design).

List of Contributors

Denise Gonzales Crisp, Lorraine Wild, Michael Worthington