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Studio City | Valley Focus

For Local Designer, Image Is Everything

December 30, 1996|DADE HAYES

Jay Vigon's pen is hardly ever at rest.

"Whenever I have a free moment, I sketch. When I get in bed at night, I sketch," Vigon said. "I have a backlog of sketches, so many I don't know what to do with them all."

Vigon is no Hollywood celebrity, but his work has been viewed by millions.

The Studio City resident was the creative force responsible for designing the album covers of artists such as the singer formerly known as Prince, Van Halen and Stevie Wonder. And it was 47-year-old Vigon who created the popular logos for the "Star Wars" trilogy capper, "Return of the Jedi," as well as Gotcha surfwear and some Swatch watches.

Before settling in the San Fernando Valley, Vigon lived in other parts of Los Angeles, attending high school in Santa Monica and studying at Pasadena's Art Center College of Design.

At the Art Center, he met a professor who also happened to be the art director for A & M Records. Soon he was working with groups and musicians such as Fleetwood Mac, the Doobie Brothers and Rod Stewart.

That job led to logo work outside the music field, including one work that will be widely seen in 1997.

The 1983 film originally titled "Revenge of the Jedi"--Vigon received a late-night, last-minute call about the name change--is scheduled for re-release in March to mark the 20th anniversary of "Star Wars."

"With that logo, the great thing is seeing it on Dixie cups, shoelaces, mugs--everywhere," he said.

Recently Vigon opened Made on Earth, a Studio City store that sells clothing and gifts designed by Vigon and his wife, Margo Nahas, a ceramic sculptor.

The Ventura Boulevard store is near the Laurel Canyon-area home where the couple have lived for nearly 10 years.

In recent years Vigon has turned his attention to live action, directing television commercials, but he still recognizes the power of print imagery.

"No one wants to see a T-shirt with nothing on it. People just love imagery," he said.

"The measure of a sports team, for example, is how cool is your logo? That's a market that barely existed 10 years ago."

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