Today, we want to dedicate this post to “the man behind posters”, Mr. Drew Struzan.
I am sure that many of you have at least one “Struzan” poster hanged, or still hanging on their walls. Well, I do.
About his career, Struzan has once said: “I was poor and hungry, and illustration was the shortest path to a slice of bread, as compared to a gallery showing. I had nothing as a child. I drew on toilet paper with pencils – that was the only paper around. Probably why I love drawing so much today is because it was just all I had at the time.” (Source: Wikipedia)
College years passed and Struzan remained in Los Angeles, and found himself a job as a staff artist for Pacific Eye & Ear, a design studio. There he began designing album covers under the direction of Ernie Cefalu. Over the next 5 years, he would create album cover artwork for a long line of musical artists, including Tony Orlando and Dawn, The Beach Boys, Bee Gees, Roy Orbison, Black Sabbath, Glenn Miller, Iron Butterfly, Bach, Earth, Wind and Fire, and Liberace.
Above all, Struzan illustrated the album cover artwork for Alice Cooper’s “Welcome to My Nightmare”, which Rolling Stone Magazine would go on to vote one of the Top 100 Album Covers Of All Time.
’70s and ’80s were probably Struzan’s most effective years where he produced poster work for such films as Blade Runner, The Cannonball Run, the Police Academy series, Back to the Future, The Muppet Movie, Coming To America, First Blood, Risky Business, D.C. Cab, Stroker Ace, *batteries not included, An American Tail, and The Goonies.
It was the year 1977, his friend Charles White III, well known for his own airbrush prowess, had been hired by George Lucas to create a poster design for the 1978 re-release of Star Wars. Uncomfortable with portraiture, White asked Struzan for his help where he painted the human characters in oil paints and White focused on the ships, Darth Vader, C-3PO, and all the mechanical details of the poster art.
Struzan continued his association with Lucas by designing the original Industrial Light & Magic logo, and creating the associated one-sheet artwork for both the continuing Star Wars saga and the Indiana Jones series of films.
Mr. Struzan, Thank you so much sir for your contribution to Science Fiction Cinema.