I’ve sometimes been heard to disparage certain tiki designs as being too “cartoony,” but this actually is not my complaint. Great, goofy, stylized tiki designs have been around since the start of the tiki craze, as exemplified by the logo for Tiki Bob’s in San Francisco, which I love. Of course, the appeal of stylized tikis varies greatly — there are people who can’t stand the Tiki Bob design (hi Pablus!), just as I can’t stand a lot of the stylized designs I see.
Well, here is a goofy, cartoony tiki design that I love. Four of them, in fact! New Zealand-based illustrator Onno Knuvers says he quickly put this together for his portfolio. The colors chosen and the style give it a fun mid-’60s look without feeling like an obvious, cliched attempt at something “retro.” That is probably a large part of the appeal for me. They’re instantly recognizable as tikis, but they still manage to be a fresh take on tiki design. Most of all, they’re just well done by a talented illustrator.
Knuvers’ blog is fairly new, and he doesn’t have any other tiki work on it (indeed, he seems to indicate that this was done as a bit of a lark).