The Felonious Bummer
By: Steven Heller | June 17, 2010
John Van Hamersveld’s “The Endless Summer” poster, a 60’s design classic, appears to have been “sampled” by the Gap (above). “This usage of by The Gap Corp. is unauthorized,” rails Van Hamersveld in his email newsletter, “not licensed and certainly not paid for. It is stolen. They are crooks. No one can tell me that they had no idea this image existed and/or was designed by JVH and owned by Bruce Brown.”
He continues, “To add insult to injury for the first time in my experience the only way I can communicate with The Gap’s General Counsel is by a letter; snail mail to be exact. . . no calls allowed. . . All I have the power to do is tell you about this. . . make you aware of this practice and treatment of your friends and working artists. Oh if I could just use the words that are on tip of the tongue. . . but this is a family newsletter. ”
Although the Gap image is not exactly the original poster, it does borrow the basic high contrast motif, and more important, the color palette. You be the judge, felonious bummer or summer homage?