Graphic designer, educator, and author Louise Sandhaus was always attracted to the “renegade” culture of L.A. Her 2014 anthology “Earthquakes, Mudslides, Fires & Riots” is the quintessential love letter to Californian graphic design and its sun-baked West Coast character. We're proud to celebrate her contribution to the creative community in L.A. and beyond by recognizing her with the 2017 ICON award.
Though born near Boston and raised there and in Florida, graphic designer Louise Sandhaus has been smitten with L.A. since moving west in the early 1990s to earn her MFA at Cal Arts, where she’s now taught for two decades.
“It was a melting pot of ideas, and there was a magnificent energy, a sense of possibility,” she recalls.
Her work spans the gamut from print to installations to screen-based media, and her pieces are in the collections of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Bibliothèque Nationale de France. The 2014 anthology Earthquakes, Mudslides, Fires & Riots: California and Graphic Design, 1936-1986 is her enduring love letter to the iconic animations, environmental designs, and print works that emerged from the Golden State during those seminal years. While L.A.’s design community has grown larger and some elements more corporatized since she moved here, Sandhaus says it hasn’t lost its renegade spirit.
“People on the east coast are looking west now for inspiration, not the other way around,” she says. “L.A.’s optimism and openness to new ideas have always made it a fertile ground for creative expression.”