Famed letterform designer Gerard Huerta visits PCA&D

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Monday, September 26th, 2016

The PCA&D Atrium was packed for Thursday’s Artist Lecture by Gerard Huerta, famed designer of letterforms. In addition to the majority of PCA&D students attending the lecture, more than 30 members of the community, ranging from representatives from local ad agencies to high school students, attended the lecture. Following his lecture, he visited with the students of the Graphic Design Department

Gerard Huerta told the students, “Drawing is key. This is what makes us unique: the idea that we can draw.”  He jokingly referred to one of his earliest influences was the Jon Gnagy Learn to Draw Show, a syndicated television show in the 1950s and ’60s, which was the highlight of his week as a kid.

Huerta said The Lettering Class was the most hated class at his alma mater, Art Center College of Design, Pasadena CA. He however, excelled at in, thanks in part to a summer job assisting a sign painter. After Graduation, he moved from California to New York and landed a job at Columbia Records, designing album covers, letterforms and logos for musical icons Boston, Ted Nugent, Blue Oyster Cult, Bob Dylan, the Isley Brothers, George Benson, The Charlie Daniels Band and others. After leaving CBS, he designed the lettering for AC/DC’s High Voltage album, which became the band’s lightning bolt logo. In addition to work for other musical groups, he worked on branding and logos for SuperBowl XXVIII and movies including Clint Eastwood’s Bronco Billy, The Coal Miner’s Daughter, and Friday the 13th – Part III, among other entertainment industry projects.

Moving beyond the recording and movies industries, Huerta has designed logos for Swiss Army Brands, Walden Books, Nabisco, and others, designed the mastheads of Time Magazine, Money, People, Conde Nast, Us and other publications, and created the signature font for Pepsi.

He described his current work as being a designer’s designer, being called upon by other designers to use his expertise with letterforms to solve specific needs of their clients.  He said that to him, his work is primarily making an appropriate solution to the client’s problem.  The AC/DC logo was appropriate for AC/DC. The Monterey Peninsula Country Club logo was appropriate for them.

Visiting Artists at PCA&D

At PCA&D, guest artists, frequently visit for artist talks and in-class critiques, where they engage our students in an interactive process of concept, construction, and critique.   The guest artists share their work and experiences and offering tips and advice to our students. The public is welcome to experience our artist talks throughout the winter. All atrium events are free and open to the public.


Other Artist talks scheduled for this fall at PCA&D are