Eddie Van Halen 35th Anniversary

Derrick Lin


Agency: Dunlop Manufacturing, Inc.
President: Jimmy Dunlop
Creative Director: Joey Tosi
Art Director: Graham Shaw
Senior Designer: Justin Butler
Production Artist: Hank Alva
Photographer: Mick Waller
Client: Eddie Van Halen
Country: United States

Our challenge was to design packaging for a series of 3 guitar effect pedals marking the 35th anniversary of the release of Van Halen’s debut album. The pedals themselves are hand-painted in 3 different colorways, and are all unified by the iconic Eddie Van Halen (EVH) “Frankenstein” stripe pattern, used extensively on his custom guitars since the late ’70s.

Our goal was to identify the EVH 35th Anniversary Series as a premium offering by employing a minimalist presentation and using custom printing processes. The triple-black matte finish box is wrapped with a Gloss Varnish print of the EVH “Frankenstein” pattern; the linework of this pattern is so iconic in the realm of rock that it is still recognizable even when taken outside of its trademark color schemes. The subtle reflective effect of the black-on-black graphic pattern forgoes the “hard sell” pitch of typical music instrument packaging and creates a sense of mystique around the product within.

We chose the Umbra typeface—used on Van Halen’s debut record in 1978—to convey the inspiration and design intent of the EVH 35th Anniversary Series. The sharp drop shadows and machined look provide a crisp contrast with the handcrafted and hand-painted presentation of the EVH 35th Anniversary Series effect pedals.