Mailbox surprise!

UCLA Fall Extension Catalog

I about flipped a lid when I made the daily mail trek downstairs, opened the little door and pulled out the UCLA Extension Catalog.

OMG! How could I be so lucky?!?!

Hmm … No, I don’t want to take classes there. I’m way too much of a NorCal/Bears fan to get that excited over the Bruins connection. No … I froze in shock and awe because the UCLA extension catalog covers, actually called “Master Graphic Designer Series,” are revered and well followed in certain design circles for their cover art.

I stood staring at the cover with my keys still hanging in the mailbox door for at least a full minute. I looked around to see if anyone else noticed this amazing thing that just happened … no one did. I winced when I saw someone else’s catalog already in the recycle bin and resisted the urge to rescue it to an archival home. I then proceeded to trip my way up the stairs as my eyes greedily took in all the nooks and cranny’s of this quarters clever illustrative concept.

Still confused? Some history, courtesy of the AIGA:

Paul Rand's First Cover

In 1990, UCLA Extension creative director InJu Sturgeon approached a 75-year-old Paul Rand with a request to design the cover of their winter quarter catalog. After much persuasion, Rand replied with a snow-covered orange that ended up making graphic design history. Since then, Sturgeon has recruited legends of design to contribute their interpretation of Southern California culture, resulting in one of the most sought-after continuing education catalogs in the country—some people collect these as if they were design magazines themselves.

Take a look at all the past covers here. The AIGA has an exhibit of all the past covers on display in West Hollywood until late August.

I have no idea how I got on their mailing list. I probably just fit their target demographics, but I think it might have been design fairies floating asunder …


3 Responses to “Mailbox surprise!”

  1. jen blackwell Says:

    i was somewhat envious when i saw you got that catalog on your coffee table, but i quickly got over it thinking: “jen, get over it. there are several reasons why kristin got one and you didn’t. like for one, she is a designer…you just wish you were.” and the next day i went to my mailbox and found my own! i think it was the design fairies…for those of us who are novices and those of us who are experts.
    so, check out the 96.su_Joe Molloy and the text. definitely thought provoking. definitely some theological connections there.
    thanks for pushing me in my visual appreciation and design pursuits.

  2. Brian Bell Says:


    UCLA Extension launched a new site devoted to the Masters of Graphic design catalog cover series. See the covers and learn about the designers at


    -Brian Bell

  3. recordedbooks Says:

    I want to see them, but both the links seem to be throwing a 404 now (even though the snap preview works – just enough to make me want to see more!).

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