Born in San Jose, California in October 1944, Jim Phillips is a graphic artist best known for his surf and skateboard art. In terms of skateboarding specifically, Jim is responsible for three of the most recognizable logos ever created within the sport: the Santa Cruz “Dot” logo (co-created with Jay Shuirman in 1978), the Independent “Maltese Cross” logo (also co-designed by Shuirman in ’78), and of course the “Screaming Hand” (designed by Phillips for Speed Wheels Santa Cruz in 1985). Even outside of skateboarding, those three logos have become familiar symbols in popular culture. The Santa Cruz Sentential wrote of the Santa Cruz dot in 2010 that it was, “Probably the most iconic image ever to come out of Santa Cruz county.”
After having his first published work in the spring 1961 issue of Surfer Quarterly (his famous Woody comic was the winner of a surf cartoon contest), Jim eventually began working as the art director at Santa Cruz in 1975. On top of the aforementioned logos, over the next three decades Jim designed some of the most recognizable and top selling board graphics of all time. From the Roskopp monster series to Jason Jessee’s Neptune and Sun God, and from Jeff Grosso’s Alice in Wonderland scene to the later versions of the Natas panther, Jim’s incredible attention to detail, neo-psychedelic creativity, and richly detailed style is more or less unmatched to this day. Jim continues making art with an exclusive connection to Santa Cruz / NHS, creating special edition decks and many other new products in the skateboard and surfboard markets.