THE ROLE OF JIM PHILLIPS
Santa Cruz wouldn't be so iconic today without the artwork of Jim Phillips. In the early days of skateboarding, decks and marketing were mostly about fonts or one-color graphics.
In the mid-1970s, NHS began employing Jim who was an independent artist. Some of Jim's early work includes the creation of the Road Rider Wheels logo (see above on the ad), the first Santa Cruz "slant" logo, the Santa Cruz "Red Dot" and the Independent Trucks "cross" logo.
Virtually all of these logos are historic or continue to play an integral role in skateboarding, but it wasn't until the mid-1980s that Jim created several pieces of graphic art that truly made skateboarding history. Starting in 1984, Jim created the "Rob Roskopp" deck series which was a best seller until 1989. In 1985, Jim created the now incredible "Screaming Hand" logo, which can still be found on many Santa Cruz board graphics today and has even been the focus of worldwide art shows.
Jim is known for the Independent Truck Company logo, Steve Olson's checkered board graphic, Rob Roskopf's series, Jeff Grosso's "Toybox" series, Jason Jessee's "Neptune & Sungod" board, Salba Tiger board, Natas SMA Panther board, etc. All of these models have become incredibly sought after and treasured classic skateboards.
For Santa Cruz in the 1980s, Jim Phillips' artwork played a very important role in the success of the Santa Cruz brand as well as the overall brand image the company continues to convey today.