Greetings, Shredderz! Yesterday was John Van Hamersveld’s 80th birthday. If you don’t know Van Hamserveld’s name, you are almost certainly familiar with his work, as he designed the iconic poster for Bruce Brown’s “The Endless Summer”. It’s no exaggeration to say this is probably the single most influential piece of artwork in the history of surfing, and for good reason — it looks every bit as stunning today.
It’s amazing to think that Van Hamserveld was 22 when he designed the poster for the film. Van Hamserveld designed the poster on the kitchen table at his home in Dana Point. At the time he was working at Surfer Magazine during the day and attending art classes at night. Check out this excellent interview in the always on point Liquid Salt for more. I’m always struck by the sheer density of talent at Surfer Magazine back in those days, and moreover, how young everyone was. Rick Griffin actually introduced John Severson, Surfer’s founder and publisher, to Van Hamserveld. Griffin was only 17 and still attending Palos Verdes High School in 1962, when he brokered the introduction between Severson and Van Hamserveld. Ron Stoner, another one of the uber-talented early Surfer crew, was still a teenager in 1962! Anyway, there’s more background in this Surfer Mag interview with Van Hamserveld.
Thanks to Charles R Adler for the tip about Van Hamserveld’s birthday. You can see more of his recent collaboration with Van Hamserveld and Gerry Lopez in the Instagram post above.