Monday, October 20, 2008

Charley Harper for the National Park Service

Charley Harper was one of the most uniquely talented illustrators of the 20th century. From the 1950s up until his death in 2007, Harper created a seemingly endless amount of gorgeous posters and other illustrations depicting animals, plantlife, and other natural forms. Whereas many artists would put microscopic detail into their renderings of leaf veins and housefly eyeballs, Harper was more interested in the general geometric shapes of animals and plants, breaking them down to their most simple forms. He said he didn't count feathers, he counted wings.

In the 1980s and early 1990s, Charley Harper completed ten posters for the US National Park Service, each focusing in on a specific ecosystem and its inhabitants. Prints of some of these are available online. Ask your buddy Google for help.







If you're serious about wanting to see more of Harper's beautiful artwork, Todd Oldham compiled a fantastic and gigantic book (over 400 pages!!!) which was released last year. It is available through YouWorkForThem

8 comments:

Robert said...

Fantastic. Incredible. My only nitpick (and it's crazy-minor) is that he was obviously a Helvetica nut, and the cover of the book is in some sort of much more contemporary type. Thanks for this!

MIKE DAVIS said...

The type on the cover of the book SCREAMS Todd Oldham. I guess it ties in Harper's work to Oldham's brand and helps lure in an audience who needs to be proven that his work is relevant in 2008... but isn't really far off from the look of Harper's artwork and fits it pretty well.

Sam Smith said...

Too bad this book is mad expensive.

Charlie Harper is utterly the shit. Close runner up to Ed Emberley in my book. (Harper didn't write a childrens book about how to draw AN ENTIRE WORLD.)

skinny said...

i applaud the simple but effective depiction of the deer anus

Sanne Wijbenga said...

Amazing work! Thanks

alexxx said...

DO NOT BUY THE BOOK!!!

The printing is so horrible that it does a complete disservice to the legacy of a genius like Harper.

Take it from someone who forked over the $$$ to get it - DO NOT BUY THE BOOK!!!

Brett said...

Thanks for the nice review of Charley's work. Would you mind if we linked this blog to our site?

News From the Harper Art Studio said...

The Big Todd Oldham book is set to come out in paperback this September, at a much more reasonable price point.