John Alcorn – Week 6

John Alcorn has an incredibly versatile illustrator and designer, born of February 10th, 1935. His career spanned throughout the 60’s to the 80’s and through that period he accumulated an versatile body of work. His portfolio included everything from children’s book illustration, packing, corporate design, and dimensional design.

Alcorn began his art education by studying graphic design at The Cooper Admin. The first two years of study also included courses on illustration, graphics and advertising design which proved to be invaluable to his career. In his early career he worked he worked with a variety of clients, including Esquire magazine, a pharmaceutical advertising agency as well as the mythic Push Pins Studios. Afterwards in 1958 Alcorn joined  CPBS Radio and thus the CBS TV art department.

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Alcorn’s logo for CBS TV weather show

A year later, Alcorn halted his work there and opted to freelance. During this time he and his family moved to Florence where he mostly worked on book design. Specifically Alcorn designed the the typography, binding and advertising for Rizzoli books, as well also redesigned two Italian local Italian newspapers. In 1962 Alcorn designed and illustrated books. In 1981 he moved back to the United States and became the first artist in residence for Dartmouth College.

One of Alcorn’s book covers for Rizzoli

Some of Alcorn’s important accomplishments include the credits he designed for Amarcord, and other Federico Fellini Films.

Additionally Alcorn was commissioned to design a stamp for the US postal Service with the theme of colour in 1987. His finished product was a brightly coloured abstract flower which created the shape of a heart.

Alcorn’s postage stamp

Additionally, Alcorn’s work has been shown and exhibited internationally and in  many prestigious venues. He has had many one man shows hosted in Manhattan, Paris, Milan and Dartmouth. Additionally his work has been featured in Push Pins studios, who have toured all over the world.  Furthermore, he was received numerous awards, including form The New York Art Directors Club, the American Institute of Graphic Arts, The Type Directors club, The Society of Illustrators, The Bologna Children’s Book Fair and Cooper Union.


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