Creative Update

Creative Update 28 – Berkeley & Oakland, California

Hi all,
I’ve been very much impressed with the theme based weekly updates and have decided to stick to this formula for this week’s missive. This week, we’re focusing on a little-known aspect of graphic design practiced in Berkeley and Oakland California. Berkeley has a long modernist history, particularly in architecture going back to ‘First Bay Area Tradition’. You’ll probably know Julia Morgan (who did Hearst castle) and Bernard Maybeck (of First Church in Berkeley fame). These architects not only left a deep impression on architecture in the West United States, but also influenced other creative endeavors, such as graphic design.
Fast forward to the early 70s: the East Bay is now a hotbed of political, social reform and entrepreneurship. Restaurants and food related enterprises see the light of day, such as Chez Panisse, The Cheese Board and Juice Bar collectives. Advertising for these businesses quickly became an art form. Let’s look at some of the logos for starters:

The Cheese Board

Chez Panisse

and more recently Bartavelle

Not only are the logos noteworthy but the design of the menus, particularly at Chez Panisse:

and also the by now legendary posters, particularly those of David Lance Goines:

I am very intrigued by Goines’ work, since it takes a fresh approach on a – by now – historical school of design.

Another Berkeley company, whose logo is interesting and that has evolved over time is Peet’s. Alfred Peet’s first store is on Walnut Square in Berkeley and it now has a museum that shows off the brand really well. While I was there this past weekend, I took the following pictures of the logo from the 60s through now. Which one do you like best?

There are many other logos that I haven’t mentioned, two websites that are interesting are:

Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant

and Cesar

This art ‘movement’ left its impression all over the Bay Area including San Francisco, where Zuni café is particularly good example of translating the mood of Berkeley to a large city environment

With that, enjoy the design, and the food & drink that go with it


This entry was published on November 1, 2012 at 5:01 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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