John Alcorn: bright colours to say the least (lecture 6)

Figure 1: Sydney O’Marr’s Astrological Revelations About You – 1969

John Alcorn was an American designer and illustrator during one of the most colourful times known to man: the 1960-80s, and he sure did embrace it! Alcorn was born in New York, where he attended Cooper Union as a university student and studied a variation of subjects from architecture to drawing to advertisement design. From there he obtained a job in the art department of Esquire magazine, worked at a pharmaceutical ad agency, and finally landed at Push Pin Studios. While there, he was able to receive professional work and training from experienced designers which helped him to launch his career as a free-lancer.

During his career, Alcorn created many unique, brightly coloured illustrations and advertisements, which I think is what caught the public’s attention. To me, the majority of his designs have a fantasy, story-telling quality to them. I especially enjoy the cover illustrations he did for Sydney O’Marr’s Astrological Revelations About You book series (fig. 1). They are funky, very captivating, and capture his style wonderfully!

John Alcorn
Murray McCain’s Books! – 1962

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Pepsi – 1969
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Alec Waugh’s A Spy in the Family – 1970
Unpublished work poster series – 1972

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One thought on “John Alcorn: bright colours to say the least (lecture 6)

  1. Mikaela,

    Nice work on Coby Whitmore and John Alcorn. Good research and you are not shy of offering up your own feelings and opinions on the illustrators you cover. Although as far as Whitmore is concerned, that was the typical approach with illustrators in that day. Not big on concept but technique was king. Of course that would all change in the 60s with people like Alcorn and Push Pin.


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