Michael Salisbury

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Mike Salisbury is recognized by his peers as one of the leading talents in American brand design and the man behind the imprint on a multitude of diverse products from Halo-the world’s most popular video game, Michael Jackson’s white glove, Rolling Stone, Surfer and Playboy magazines, O’Neill and Gotcha surfwear, Levi’s 501 jeans (a brand that Salisbury created) along with some of the world’s most recognized corporate branding and product design for companies like Volkswagen, Suzuki, Honda and Hasbro–the biggest toy company in the world.

His work is everywhere in the motion picture industry. Mike helped created marketing campaigns for over 300 movies including Aliens, Jurassic Park, Romancing The Stone, Raiders of The Lost Ark and Moulin Rouge. In the film The People vs. Larry Flynt, Flynt defends the First Amendment based on a concept Mike Salisbury created for Hustler magazine.

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The exploding boxing gloves that interpreted Rocky IV to the world – a Salisbury image so hot it became the visual symbol for the film that didn’t need the title for identification. This visual metaphor became Salisbury’s most copied graphic. George Lucas collects Salisbury’s work and recommended him to Francis Ford Coppola who used Salisbury imagery creations in Apocalypse Now.

His music industry work includes creating album covers for George Harrison, James Taylor, Randy Newman, Rickie Lee Jones, Ry Cooder, and Ike & Tina. Mike developed branding identities for Blue Note Records, RCA, United Artists Records and PolyGram. Mike has a Grammy for album design.

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Salisbury has taught design, advertising, illustration and photography at UCLA, Otis Art Institute and Art Center. He is a contributing editor and writer for Forbes, Men’s Journal and other magazines and Salisbury has taken photographs for them as well as Vogue, Esquire, Newsweek and more. Mike has written articles about his own work and has reported on his motorcycling and surfing adventures all over the world–surfing safaris to Fiji, Nicaragua, motorcycle adventures circumnavigating Alaska, dirt biking across Peru from the Pacific over the Andes to Machu Pichu, racing sport bikes from Milan to Corsica and Sardinia, offroading Baja and into the Brazilian Amazon from Bolivia. JetSkiing around the Florida Keys into the Grand Canyon and across the Gulf Stream from Miami to Bimini.

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Mike has photographs in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. His design work is in the Library of Congress, the National Archives and the Smithsonian. He has been invited to speak across the US, Europe and South America. His photography and graphic work have been featured in museum shows worldwide.

2017 History of Graphic Design

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