Cease and Desist | 20 Skateboard Graphics That Fly In The Face Of Copyright Law

A selection of the best copyright flaunting skateboard graphics...

Skateboarding has a long history of flaunting copyright law – comparable to the way in which it makes little distinction between public and private space – this can be seen right from the early days. In the graphics of companies such as Titus and Blind, right up to the modern day with the Bronze Windows 95 pastiche and the more critically engaged Eat Shit and Die Anti Hero board series that you will see later in the post.

Here we have a selection of some of our favorite skateboard graphics that stick two fingers up to copyright law.

If this is your kind of thing then we recommend you pay a visit to the Memory Screen blog, a digital treasure trove of skateboard graphics and ads from yesteryear.

1.Titus – Christian Seewaldt

It makes sense to start with one of the first pop-culture referencing graphics. This Christian Seewaldt pro board from 1987 set the tone for graphic trends in the 90s.

2. Blind – Spoof Series

Blind’s Spoof Series, designed by Marc McKee has to go down as one of the more controversial board series. Whilst people had been ripping off/paying homage to known designs, this was the first time one skate company had directly taken from another, and the intentions were pretty clear.

3. 101 – Clyde Singleton

Clyde Singleton, re-imagined as Calvin, of Calvin and Hobbes fame.

4. Anti Hero – Frank Gerwer

Anti Hero have consistently produced some of the best graphics in the game, this North Face pastiche for Frank Gerwer is genius.

5. 101 – Adam McNatt

This classic from Sean Cliver for 101 features Charles Manson hanging out with the Peanuts kids, which isn’t weird combination at all…

6. Girl – Jovontae Turner

Photo via @bobshirt

Tommy Hifiger, De La Soul and Tag Heuer looking better than they ever have on these Girl decks from 1994-96.

7. Planet Earth – Brian Lotti

Brian Lotti’s Where the Wild Things Are inspired graphic by Chris Miller. Just look at that woodstain. Girl of course went on to release their own series, though given Spike Jonze directed the film I imagine there wasn’t a copyright issue here.

8. Blind – Jason Lee

This graphic from Andy Jenkins was one of a series of Dr. Seuss inspired graphics Blind released in 1990.

9. Blind – Henry Sanchez

Sean Cliver’s Terminator graphic for Henry Sanchez featured the cyborg graphic underneath. So the more you scratched your board the more you would reveal.

10. Blind – Warner Brothers Series

It’s always nice to see a series of boards together, and this Warner Brothers series from Blind is no exception.

11. Plan B – Star Wars Series

If only modern Plan B graphics were half as good as this series. Look at that roster too.

12. World Industries – Ron Chatman

A beauty from World Industries, inspired by the Jimi Hendrix Experience ‘Axis Bold as Love’ album art.

13. 101 – Gino Ianucci

Skateboarders love Wu Tang, and as such it is no surprise to see them crop up on many a graphic. Honorable mention goes to Joe Gavin’s Liquid Swords deck for Landscape.

14. Flip – Tom Penny

As well as liking Wu Tang, it’s also no secret that a lot of skaters are really into weed. This Cheech & Chong Tom Penny board was an instant classic.

15. Anti Hero – Eat Shit and Die Series

A bleakly humorous reminder of the health benefits, or lack thereof, of certain fast ‘food’ companies, courtesy of the good people at Anti Hero. Kids of the energy drinks generation take note.

16. Sk8mafia – Javier Sarmiento

Sk8mafia with one of the best graphics of recent times. Edvard Munch’s The Scream has never looked so G.

17. Cliché – ‘Where Is’ Series

Jon Horner’s ‘Where Is’ series for Cliché features all manner of characters to be found if you look closely.

18. Rotation – Moleman

Rotation killing the game with this Simpsons and Chad Muska inspired graphic.

19. 101 – Jason Dill

Photo via @bobshirt

Jason Dill meets Winnie the Pooh. Expect a Fucking Awesome x A.A Milne collab dropping this year.

20. Bonus Round: Anti Hero – Frank Gerwer

The graphic that inspired this post. Anti Hero’s take on the classic Powell logo.


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