I spent a good chunk of my youth destroying my knees in the name of skateboarding; first during the 80′s as a kid and later in college. The contrast between these two distinct stylistic periods was stark to say the least. Decks went from the curvy whale-tail style with garish neon graphics to the simplified, unidirectional kind you see more often today. The graphics changed a lot with the shape, but each era had a huge influence on my visual tastes. The stickers, the shirts, the decks; I was obsessed with the imagery. I guess it was one of the few instances where a suburban kid could be exposed to non-traditional art and design created by outsiders.
While digging around for some interesting graphics I came across this article at Unodos covering a few books that feature some classic skateboarding designs. There are some old favorites in there (the Powell branding is still about as good as it gets), but I missed Hook-Ups (which you’ll catch a brief glimpse of on the Skateboard Stickers cover) and Alien Workshop (two of my 90′s era favorites). Most of the images are from The Disposable Skateboard Bible which definitely looks worth picking up. The publishers have an online gallery featuring decks from various designers and artists featured in the book.