David Lance Goines, a printmaker who came of age during the Free Speech Movement and whose fine arts posters became emblematic of numerous Berkeley institutions, including Chez Panisse, died on Feb. 19 at his home in North Berkeley. He was 77.
His death was confirmed by his close friend, Richard Seibert, who worked alongside Goines for many years. He died 10 days after suffering a stroke.
After making his first poster for Chez Panisse in 1972 — a now seminal design of a red-haired friend of Alice Waters holding a wine glass — the restaurant skyrocketed to fame. Goines’ posters became inseparable from the restaurants’ visual brand.
Over more than four decades, his illustrations have become both iconic and seemingly ubiquitous in the city, his trademark posters defining the many Berkeley institutions for which he designed: Acme Bread Company, Velo Bicycle, UC Berkeley, the city’s public library.
His impact extended far beyond Berkeley: His half-century long career has left a distinctive mark in the history of graphic arts. Drawing inspiration from the German counterpart of the Art Noveau movement and the American Arts and Crafts movement, Goines blended these styles with the spirit of 1960s Berkeley to create his unique designs.
Working together over 25 years, Seibert and Goines talked often and seriously about art history. “We participated in a conversation that extends across centuries,” Seibert said. “And that conversation is going to go forward. That’s what his legacy is.”
In the 1960s, Goines famously printed the leaflets publicizing the myriad protests of the Free Speech Movement at UC Berkeley, a job that got him expelled from the university. After a brief stint back on campus, Goines left for good to pursue printmaking.
A political activist, Goines also used his art to draw attention to causes like AIDS prevention and the anti-war effort. He also published four books, including an 800-page memoir about the Free Speech Movement on campus, and collaborated on three. His work was also the subject of six books.
“His knowledge of fonts and typography, of the arts of calligraphy and lettering, was as deep as his opinions were pronounced,” Steve Wasserman, a close friend of Goines and the publisher of Heyday Books, wrote in a remembrance he posted on Facebook. “[He] was a pillar of modern Berkeley, forged in the heat of the overoxygenated 1960s.”
Goines’ posters are immediately recognizable for their intricate patterns and distinctive lines, a traditional craftsmanship Goines said he learned from his mother.
Born in Grants Pass, Oregon, in 1945, Goines was the oldest of eight children. His mother taught him calligraphy and introduced him to the fundamentals of design. Later, he picked up printmaking as a teenager in Oakland.
After his expulsion from UC Berkeley, he worked as a printmakers’ apprentice for three years in North Berkeley, and in 1968, founded his print shop, Saint Hieronymus Press, in the same building.
Goines spent much of his life in his print shop, each day walking the 10 blocks from his home in Berkeley to Saint Hieronymus. Using the same American Type Foundry offset press, Goines custom-made his designs from start to finish, from making the ink colors to printing the final designs.
Boasting a handlebar mustache, Goines had impeccable manners, carried a Mont Blanc fountain pen that he filled with ink himself and wore the same uniform to the print shop for years — jeans and a blue work shirt and a vest and brown boots.
“It almost felt like he had dropped in from another century — his considered speech, his manners, everything,” Alice Waters wrote about the first time she met Goines in 1966. The pair began dating soon after and remained friends until his death.
As Goines gained notoriety, his work became the subject of solo exhibitions and part of permanent collections in international museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Achenbach Collection of the Fine Arts Museums in San Francisco.