Psychedelic Space Alien themed Art Deco style 1931 high school yearbook

Originally published at:


Shit, the theme of my class’ high school yearbook was “Our budget has been cut 50%, can we make the student pictures smaller and minimize the number of pages with color?”

If you live in the Bay Area, and you’re into Art Deco, then you must attend a show at the Paramount. I’m not really into Art Deco, and I was blown away.


Beautiful! And people act as if the 60s were weird.


Love, Love, Love this! Reminds me of Maurice Noble’s art.


Trying to think through the context of the location and time:

The Great Depression,
Art Deco,
Poster printing - silk screening as an industrial art.
Edgar Rice Burroughs Mars series.

Interesting how our current cultural biases interpret the norms of the Los Angles HS yearbook in 1931.
It’d be interesting to see the credits page for this book - the editor and advisor, student art director…


Not to mention Metropolis came out just a few years earlier :wink:

I am definitely considering adding a print of one of these to my basement.


As is typical of LA area high schools, the alumni list is a bit of a who’s-who. Somehow, most apropos given these illustrations is Danny Elfman. Also, members of The Germs, members of The Doors, Marilyn Monroe, Judy Garland, Elizabeth Taylor, etc etc… Sadly, doesn’t appear to be anyone notable from the time frame of this particular yearbook.

If anyone would like to order mousepads, phone cases or whatnot featuring these (public domain) images, I’ve uploaded them here:


The first home my parents bought was a pink stucco Art Deco styled house from the 1930s, located in Santa Monica, about 3 miles from University High School. Unfortunately I don’t have any photos of the house from when we lived there in the 1960s. My personal favorite alumnus from Uni High is probably Mark Evanier.

@jazzbo and @ben_ehlers covered the influences I saw in the images as well.

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If my high school yearbook looked like this, I wouldn’t have thrown it away.

These are public domain images? How is that determined?

Here’s some basic information about copyright and the public domain:

This particular yearbook would fall under “All works published without a copyright notice from 1923 through 1977.”

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I have to wonder if this was Ray Bradbury’s high school.

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