Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Heinz Edelmann

Last summer I visited the San Diego Comic-Con where I did a panel and I asked a crowd of 800 people if they had heard of Heinz Edelmann (because he had just died) and no one raised their hand. I was shocked!

Heinz Edelmann was the designer of Yellow Submarine, one of the breakthrough masterpieces of animated features.

The story I heard from Milton Glaser was that the producers asked him to be the designer of the film, but he was too busy (probably designing the “ NY” logo) and he referred the Mr. Edelmann who was an illustrator and designer living in Germany. They contacted him and he had one year to design all the characters and finish the celebrated film.

A sidebar is that Peter Max, who at the time was an intern at Milton Glaser’s studio (Push Pin Graphics), now takes credit for designing the film when he had nothing to do with it.

The ordeal Heinz went through making the feature was so crazy that he gave up the film work and went on to teaching in Stuttgart.

With Heinz Edelmann at the opening reception of “The Masters Series: Heinz Edelmann” exhibition at School of Visual Arts in New York, 2005.



  1. Han's Bacher's site Animation Treasures has a number of posts of non-Yellow Submarine artwork by Heinz Edelmann. Take a look. His site's great if you don't know it.

  2. I also wanted to point to Hans' blog posts about Edelmann, but Michael beat me to it. Michael himself had a post on his blog last week about George Dunning who said some interesting things about Edelmann's work on Yellow Submarine.
    Mike Stuart from Patrick's post yesterday was one of the animators on Yellow Submarine.

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  4. R. O. Blechman told me that the producers came to him looking for "now 1960s style", and he referred them to Pushpin.

    Bob and Milton's stories sound like they corroborate.

    Edelmann did a great job. His work is looser than the stuff Pushpin was producing and a great fit for animation.

  5. Heinz was a genius and a man of enourmous grace and finesse. He work had ANGST, something that the guys from the Push Pin Studios knew nothing about. That made his work richer and mysterious.
    In case you care, young Heinz was in the receiving end of the bombs that fallen in the infamous Dresden bombing during the second world war. As life experiences go, unforgetable!

  6. Thank you for opening my eyes to the work of Heinz Edelmann.

  7. Really, peter max tried to take credit?

  8. Who came first Heinz style or the Dylan poster?

  9. Who came first Heinz style or the Dylan poster?