Stermer, artist who redesigned Olympic medal, dies

AP News
Posted: Dec 24, 2011 6:45 PM
Stermer, artist who redesigned Olympic medal, dies

Dugald Stermer, who served as art director of the left-leaning magazine Ramparts and redesigned the Olympic medals for the 1984 Los Angeles games, has died. He was 74.

Megan Stermer, the artist's daughter, told The Associated Press on Saturday that her father died from respiratory and cardiac failure on Dec. 2 at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco.

Stermer worked at Ramparts in the 1960s. The San Francisco-based political and cultural magazine was critical of the war in Vietnam and included pieces by Noam Chomsky and other left-leaning writers.

A 1967 cover reflective of the magazine's political temperament showed the hands of Stermer and three of the magazine's editors burning their draft cards. Ramparts's typographical style under Stermer is credited with influencing the early design of Rolling Stone.

Stermer's career also included work as an illustrator for such publications as the The New Yorker and for companies including BMW and Jaguar. He served as chairman of the illustration department at California College of the Arts from 1994 until his death.

Stermer's redesign of the Olympic medals added depth and definition to the figure of Lady Liberty on the front of the medals, according to The Los Angeles Times (http://lat.ms/vxWsXy). It also restored the original design on the back of the medal although Stermer modified the faces of the male athletes carrying the victor to reflect the ethnic diversity of Olympic competitors.

Megan Stermer, 49, of San Francisco, recalled her father calling her in London, where she was studying at the time, to share the news that he had been asked to redesign the medals.

"He was very proud to have been asked to do that because it is something that is lasting and significant," she said.

In addition to Megan, Stermer is survived by four other children: Dugald of Sherman Oaks, Christopher of Sacramento, Colin of Alameda, and Crystal of San Francisco.