April 1, 2017

POSTED BY

Jose Fresan

CATEGORY

Jim Phillips’ Screaming Hand Transforms Skateboard Culture

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All photos © Jim Phillips It was Santa Cruz-based illustrator and designer Jim Phillips who designed one of the most iconic symbols in skateboard and surf culture: Santa Cruz’s Screaming Hand. He began working as a professional illustrator in the 60s, but it wasn’t until 1975 that his career took …

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All photos © Jim Phillips

It was Santa Cruz-based illustrator and designer Jim Phillips who designed one of the most iconic symbols in skateboard and surf culture: Santa Cruz’s Screaming Hand. He began working as a professional illustrator in the 60s, but it wasn’t until 1975 that his career took off; that’s when he joined the world famous Santa Cruz skateboard brand as an Art Director.

His fondness for grotesque elements such as skulls, popping eyes, and fluids, combined with his great use of contrast, created a new style that revolutionized the world of surf and skate. His deck designs stated more than just a graphic style, it was also a lifestyle and graphic motto that every skateboarder could identify with.

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The most famous piece of art is Santa Cruz’s Screaming Hand, which has made the brand stand out not just in the skateboard/surf world, but also in the art and design world. He was part of a movement that reinvented the meaning of a skateboard deck. As a result, it transformed the skateboard into a piece of art and became part of the skateboarder’s identity. Phillips’ helped redefine the approach of skateboard brand designs forever.

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To see more of Jim’s work, click here.

UPDATE
An older version of a blue screaming hand can be found at a 1970’s Tales from the Tomb issue, 15 years prior to the official creation of The Screaming Hand in 1985. The cover art for this Tales from the Tomb issue is the work of cover artist, cartoonist and illustrator Bill Alexander. This cover art could have inspired Jim Phillip’s Screaming Hand concept. See cover art below.

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