Ernie Cefalu


Friends, just pause for good long moments to let "Of All Time' resonate; the significance of any achievement of this magnitude is huge. Industry leaders are exceptional in their own distinctive, stand-alone way. Ernie distinguished himself in this league long, long ago. A career 'in-demand' front to back and to this day is extremely rare. Inspired and truly inspiring, this creative genius is a tremendous mentor and influence on any aspiring individual who wants more.

Every day that I wake, I see that dynamic, iconic Rolling Stones logo, framed and hung so proudly on my wall at home; a constant companion and reminder of possibilities. I have known the good graces of working with this gentle giant. He has touched my heart as a wonderful friend, inspired me immeasurably on a professional level and reminds me every single day how important personal focus and perseverance are in a world so highly competitive and oftentimes unforgiving.

From the bottom of my heart to yours, ...more

Visual artistry transcends qualitative boundaries when it comes to the superlative craftsmanship of Ernie Cefalu. His works have been recognized by the best in the industry. His covers envelope outstanding music contributions to an industry that craves heroes of song as immortal sanctuary to the burdened soul. The imagery cast by this artisan genius represents a powerful component of appeal to heart, mind and soul. We owe him the recognition of a career dedication unparalleled and his extraordinary contributions over the decades speak volumes of his artfulness, achievement and elevated reputation. We owe him celebration for his superior intuition and incomparable execution. How remarkable would that be?!

When we reflect upon the iconic, historic and highly memorable album cover artworks, famed and award winning, of many of the top music artists and bands of the 1970's, 1980's and beyond, right up to current day, Ernie Cafalu's name is synonymous with exquisite hand-drawn and painted original album covers of many of the greatest performing artists of that era and in many cases of all time.

Ernie Cefalu continues to be 'in demand' to this day in 2016, his craft spellbinding and refined with the most astounding emotionally responsive connection for the consumer that pours over their treasured album cover collection, many of which they have acquired decades ago. There is a powerful personal association to the music and the album cover in kind with instant recall to a time in one's life when the music began to transcend tremendous influence on our thoughts and perceptions of the music greats and life in general.

Ernie Cefalu had a tremendously talented team of graphic and ...more - donimac

When I received my 'Toys in the Attic' print several months ago the anticipation of its unwrapping was exhilarating. I knew this print would be exceptional yet once I unrolled this gem I was momentarily lost for words. This print has rich coloration and truly comes alive with the outpouring of imagination that quite literally brings this stunning visual to life. It plays out in the mind like a magical animation of a children's cinematic fantasy and one is never too old to excite and fascinate to such striking artwork. I have been an Aerosmith and PEE fan for decades and as much as the legends of rock have taken me away to another place and time, so does this transcendent artistry and for every single moment that I have poured over the story unfolding on this iconic album cover design firm and its "Dream Team" of artists. I am overwhelmed, as one of the band's famed tracks within indulges, with "Sweet Emotion".

Very well articulated Ernie. Pacific Eye & Ear's dynamic creative energies and inspiration were fostered from its founder and the collective iconic treasures that materialized are recognized and revered to this day and will be far into the future. For the student of creative arts today your masterpiece artworks, created through phenomenal hand drawn pencil artistry and extraordinary hand painting techniques and none of the digital imaging of later years has to be incredibly inspiring. Just studying the precision of each graphite pencil stroke and the gorgeous symmetry that you so lovingly embrace must be as profound an experience for those students as it is for anyone else who examines your artworks. The 'Fine Art of Rock' was never more evident than it was through the eyes, ears and vision of yourself and your colleagues during the tremendous years. And now, as we move forward the tribute and legacy lives on.

That The Rolling Stones' iconic logo continues to share prominence and preeminence as do the legends of rock themselves over four decades after its original inception is truly remarkable Ernie and even more so that millions readily identify with your historic visual in such a profoundly deep and personal way is extraordinary. Your stunning prayer angels share in the realm of exemplary standards and highly personal impression. You and your company Pacific Eye & Ear stand amidst a select group of highly skilled, renowned artists and design companies of our time much as the Group of Seven...distinguished, revered and surely emulated by young and aspiring artists of the day. Your life's passion has transcended through graphite and paint in the purest form...original, hand drawn and rendered with vision and stylistic distinction. Your craft has truly and powerfully represented the music packaged within and spoken to the heart and soul of the consumer in the most highly moving and memorable ...more

Here is the man himself! The GREAT and legendary, in my opinion Ernie Cefalu! So VERY humble for the many, many great albums he's designed for. Just a FEW of his notables, had his hand in designing the classic Stones tongue logo, the logo and cover of Jesus Christ Superstar, the covers of Aerosmith/Toys in the Attic, Alice Cooper/Welcome to My Nightmare, and Welcome 2 my Nightmare, From the Inside, Schools Out, Billion Dollar BabiesBlack Sabbath/Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, the Bee Gee's logo... And SO much more.

What a truly great man to be around. As humble as can be when complimenting him on the many classic album covers he's done! He'll say "Well I had a good team around me"stuff like that where he didn't play it up to be all 'him'... Even when I mentioned the great idea for the nucleus of the famous tongue logo he'll say "Well John Pashe' did bring it out better and I think it looks better". No big ego or taking praise and bravado.

I'm sure glad I can call this man my ...more

A tour that represents one of the most significant illustrative and graphic design companies of our time whose custom packaging designs span generations. These powerful visuals trigger emotions that connect us to a time and place, a love of the music and artist and a significant event in our lives that will be highly memorable for all our days.

There is good, there is exceptional...and then there is Ernie Cefalu and a powerhouse team of associates who delivered many of the most notable album cover designs of the 1970's and 1980's at Pacific Eye & Ear. Ernie has continued in that same extraordinary tradition delivering second to none experience for his clients.

Today we are seeing a resurgence of that powerfully emotional response and whether one possesses an original, a print or an item of merchandise, they will embrace the power and presence of imagination at its finest. Don

Time for credit to be given to Ernie for work that has been credited to others. Ernie has created some of the most icon album covers of our time, for artists such as Alice Cooper, Mary Travers, Burton Cummings, Andrew Lloyd Webber just to name a few. Ernie has also crossed over into the commercial world with some big name accounts such as Nestle. Whatever Ernie turns his hand to can only be labelled as... STELLAR!

These gems, like each of your fine artworks, are as timeless as they are timely Ernie. At the time of their inception the consumer marveled at their design and wanted it for their very own just as much as all of your album cover art and corporate designs thrilled your purchasing consumer and clients through the decades that have followed. For anyone who is lucky enough to see your original artworks collection on exhibit during your current and/or future tour locations, they will experience the magic of witnessing first hand the remarkable progression of artwork styles as they were rendered for their respective client and/or consumer. As with music, artworks fashion an immediate and lasting sense of response and wonderment for the individual beholden. Nothing in the lifetime is quite as unique and powerful.

Well you know how partial Andrea and I are about the prayer angels Ernie. You have done so many exceptional designs over the years. I have often struggled over the years in my attempts to decide with certainty which of your album cover designs is closest to my heart not only from a design perspective but also from a deeply personal perspective. Every single time it all goes back to the gorgeous prayer angels. I really find the angels a superbly crafted visual. They have depth to them, an ethereal association and the color background gives the angels such rich texture as sculpted glass. For me, the blue background and defining highlights give the angels impress upon me the likeness of blue ice newly surfaced on lake or sea water under a rising full moon. Takes my breath away Ernie...truly. Don

This list is indeed very prestigious and has all the top designers that the industry acknowledges as well. As a record executive from Warner Brothers Records I had a chance to see and work with almost all of the top 25 artists on this lis, from a completely different perspective. Mine was from an internal art department angle and I would be greatly remiss if I didn't say that they were all very professional and talented. However there was one Creative Director and company that, for me was heads above all the rest and that one was Ernie Cefalu and his company Pacific Eye & Ear, they always got it right.

An outstanding album project demands only the best in artistic excellence inside and out. Not only does the music content have to be superb but the custom packaging that envelopes that recorded music product has to transcend a powerful and compelling visual experience that tells the consumer they must have that album for their very own. Ernie Cefalu has an outstanding trademark illustrative style that is so distinctive, so unforgettable, indeed iconic. Cefalu's affinity for creating that masterful union between the music and the visual packaging renders such an amazing emotional response on so many levels. Creative genius knows no boundaries and rightfully reigns supreme. The top spot on The Top Tens is truly befitting crowning for an industry leader. What an amazing gift this man has...he wears and shares it so very well.

Don MacIver

I pause today to give thanks, in this moment, for special friends and new beginnings. As with the music we so deeply cherish, as equally close to our hearts are the many images that have adorned the covers of those treasures that line the shelves of our music libraries. Great attention to detail and attachment to the music within, these artistic images remain in our heart, mind and soul for all the years to come.

One such friend, a mutual friend of ours who has graced album covers since the early 70's is none other that the ever inspired and gracious Ernie Cefalu, Owner/Senior Creative Director of Pacific Eye & Ear. Cherish the moment, cherish the man...

Perhaps once in a lifetime, if you're lucky, you will be blessed to have come to know and embrace all that a gifted soul as Ernie Cefalu represents through his life's passion. What this man has brought to his profession has been returned tenfold in his joy of seeing the countless many that cherish his iconic, memorable artworks as though their own.

Ernie Cefalu is the living force behind the exquisite visuals that he has rendered for decades. His recognition to this day is testament to what this man has always stood for in his artistic excellence... That the visual arts he creates are a direct connection to his clients and their distinct, powerful statement and branding, a human connection that no-one can deny.

That Iron Butterfly cover for "Scorching Beauty" is but one of well over 221 incredibly memorable album cover art designs Ernie, not to leave out honorable mention of the countless corporate logos and brand designs for an amazing portfolio of clients. I have been truly blessed to have seen a portion of your original collection on exhibit with you and what a profoundly personal experience it was...and deeply emotional at that. The best have worked with you Ernie and you have a tremendous legacy of creative genius seen through these powerful visuals. The dynamic yet delicate beauty of the Iron Butterfly with its striking wingspan against that masterful airbrushed color blend backdrop by none other than Drew Struzan set the world stage for what was yet to come...historic, iconic artistry that will never be replicated, not ever.

Ernie has written some "Back Stories" about his adventures in designing album covers as well as corporate work. I was well aware of his work, but not him so I have read them all now and here is what I have gleaned from them. First his work is "Top Drawer" and he is way to humble when it comes to his abilities. Second the number of icons that he has created and again his creative genius has been underplayed and overlooked. Thank God for the internet that is allowing him to gain awareness. I am committed to helping make this to long overlooked greatness happen. Lastly it's my way of saying... "Thank You Ernie for all you have given to me"

Well it goes without saying but we all know how critically important your creative projects have been throughout your career Ernie... Just magnificent works of art each and every one. Your illustrators have been second to none and the inspiration you have afforded everyone associated with your work has been truly blessed along the way. Creative genius doesn't just happen... It is born out of dreams and tremendous ambition and then it buds, it blossoms, it grows, it radiates like a rising sun... The seed is planted and, as a burgeoning photosynthesis, the process begins to multiply, infused with a seamless energy until it cascades as protons around the nucleus... It's radical, it's extraordinary, what it's creator wanted it to be... And so much more. Hope your birthday was fabulous Ernie. Cheers.

Music is the ultimate human connection and while our kids may not care for the music we have embraced for decades, they can still identify with that connection to music period. When it comes to The Rolling Stones that connection spans generations, as does the gorgeous and iconic album cover art and logo designs of none other than our dear friend Ernie Cefalu! The Stones logo is, for us, an immediate association with Ernie and in turn a powerful connection to The Rolling Stones. That your family has recognized the passion you feel for Ernie's own original logo design, one that is and has been instantly recognized for generations makes the gift all the more special. Don

Where do we experience this kind of lavish presentation anymore and so exquisitely representative of a treasured period of time in our lives? Your artistry has no boundaries, Ernie. You express the bold, the beautiful, the timeless and enduring, the ethereal and magical, the fanciful and exciting real life experiences that millions long to be a part of. And then the doors swing wide and guests enter a world of original artworks, images and timeless visuals and graphics that take them back, way back to that significant time in their lives that stirs their very heart and remember, smile and feel the emotions and elation of all that it still means today. Now, that is a dream come true. Don

It's always a great pleasure to share the remarkable visual artistry that is your gift Ernie. You have absolutely NOTHING at this point in time to live up to... What you have achieved through all the years and are still producing in this day truly inspire my words. I have frequently stated that your gift is our treasure now and always... And that comes straight from the heart, you know that! I don't toss praise around lightly and without considerable forethought. You have always been so kind to me and my heartfelt thanks and shared sentiment regarding you and your craft will always be genuine and out of respect and admiration for your creative spirit and superlative skills and renderings on behalf of your every client. That you remain so enthused now is all the inspiration I need to express as I do. Warmest regards.

Ernie, you have branded your images in historic fashion. You have achieved top ranking for your superlative brand on the illustrative imagination of nations. Those images will stay with us a lifetime long. You have played such a critical role in so many historically successful groups and their albums... And we have been blessed to have lived in your time. Critical acclaim is your due Ernie. What a tremendous career you have had over the years... So much to be proud of for all your years. Cheers dear friend. What an amazing journey you have enjoyed... And more yet to come! Don

One thing that struck me while walking through Gallery 13, Minneapolis for the Fine Art of Rock Premier was the progression of original artworks of the 70's through 80's and beyond, powerful representation of their time yet beautifully timeless through the ages. I saw progression in technique, evolving colors, classic and innovative lines, trademark impressions and each artist with his or her own distinctive style. The medium lends itself to a freedom of artistic expression, inspired 'genius', creative ingenuity and an expression that forever speaks to the beholder. We have lived in a glorious time Ernie. You and your team opened up new worlds to us through this astounding collection of historic works that allowed us the ability to imagine and connect so strongly with the product packaged within.

We all know how critically important your creative projects have been throughout your career Ernie... Just magnificent works of art each and every one. Your illustrators have been second to none and the inspiration you have afforded everyone associated with your work has been truly blessed along the way. Creative genius doesn't just happen... It is born out of dreams and tremendous ambition and then it buds, it blossoms, it grows, it radiates like a rising sun... The seed is planted and, as a burgeoning photosynthesis, the process begins to multiply, infused with a seamless energy until it cascades as protons around the nucleus... It's radical, it's extraordinary, what it's creator wanted it to be... And so much more. Hope your birthday was fabulous Ernie. Cheers.

Time and again it has been said that Ernie Cefalu and his album cover work is iconic and still standing the test of time. I applaud those who have stated this in their comments and I agree with all that has been said. However even though these are important credentials that are the expected price of entry at the iconic level Ernie's work today is every bit as amazing and will be as iconic... As it was back in the day! Strong concepts followed by flawless execution.