The art of Heinz Edelmann

Heinz Edelmann

Heinz Edelmann

Heinz Edelmann

Heinz Edelmann

Heinz Edelmann

Like most people, I grew up seeing the fun cartoon portrayals of the Beatles in their Yellow Submarine garb. We all know the addictive chorus to the lead track, and I’m sure you will now be humming it for the remainder of the day. Heh heh, sorry.

I was fishing around Burlesque of North America this morning and the lovable Fab Four landed on my screen once again, what a friendly looking bunch of guys. What I didn’t know until now was the man behind these legendary designs, Czech illustrator Heinz Edelmann. Beautiful character designs and he’s certainly adept at watercolor. The topmost poster is a show-stopper, I need to track down a large version of that for the wall. He’s obviously done far more work outside of the Beatles, which is why I posted that last image above. Not sure what it’s for, but its really pushing me to hit the sketchbook.

I don’t know a great deal about Edelmann’s work, maybe my pals Ron or Ben could help me out in the comments.






4 responses to “The art of Heinz Edelmann”

  1. Stuart Thursby Avatar

    I wouldn’t necessarily call it a rip-off, but that last piece is veeeerry similar to Milton Glaser’s iconic Bob Dylan poster illustration ( Maybe it was a style very much in vogue back then, I’m not sure, but it’s certainly in the same spirit!

  2. SP3KTR Avatar

    @ stuart one might also make that claim about Peter Max as well

  3. Ron Avatar

    I never knew much about him until he passed away last summer. He taught Animation Design and Illustration at various art schools in Germany and Holland. To me, he’ll always be known for creating those hallucinogenic landscapes of Pepperland from that classic 1968 Yellow Submarine film.

    I loved that movie a lot when I was young, it was so different from any other animated cartoon. The film was in such stark contrast to the efforts of Disney Feature Animation and other animated films previously released by Hollywood up until the time. It was limited animation but Edelmann’s art direction made it so uniquely different from anything else. It also seemed to pave the way for Terry Gilliam’s animations for Do Not Adjust Your Set and Monty Python.

    Apparently The Beatles were so impressed after seeing a draft of the film in ’68, that they agreed to make a live-action cameo appearance in the final scene, which was filmed in early February 1968 upon the band’s return from India. The cameo was originally intended to feature a post-production psychedelic background and effects; but due to time and budget constraints, a blank, black background remained in the final film.

    Of course you can’t forget the stylish and exquisitely-designed Rockband Promo that came out last year.
    Now there’s some great art direction for ya.
    Directed by the talented animator Pete Candeland
    and character designs were created by the always amazing illustrator
    Robert Valley (

  4. Linda Oistad Avatar
    Linda Oistad

    Although he was born in Czechoslovakia and his mother was Czech, Heinz Edelmann was a German designer, living and working in Germany, with a prodigious output. Those illustrations for “Yellow Submarine” were done by Peter Max under the superb art direction of Edelmann. Edelmann designed and illustrated many posters, books, ads, and more, describing himself as a “layout man who could draw.” We are all better off having enjoyed his work, and we would all do well to draw inspiration from his work.

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