Thursday, 9 August 2012

Mike Hinge - 81st Birthday Anniversary - Alex Jay

Thanks again to Alex Jay for another priceless contribution. Here we have a postcard to Alex from Mike when he returned to stay in his native New Zealand between 1983-1984 (Mike would have been age 53 when he wrote this postcard). I have copied and pasted Alex's email as he explains the contents and context of Mike's message.


Hi Ivan,

I was cleaning out a box of papers and found this New Zealand postcard from Mike. Here's what he wrote:

Hi! Alex, that Star Wars book [Return of the Jedi] you designed finaley [sic] turned up in a city bookshop.
Found no interesting &'s [ampersands] yet. Its still raining off & on here so must be one of the wetest [sic]
summers ever which makes me curious about N.Y.C. if it had that severe winter as predicted. NZ as a
country goes into a total stop/siesta/holiday period around Xmas, so been slow…I'll bet your as busy as
ever. Have designed one logo, painted a Romantic Illus, for a sml [small] poster (ice cream) & two storyboard
for household cleanser. Hearing the standard pop music on the radio nothing outrageous & the color tube has
so many bad British soaps, or chuckle-alongs it makes me cringe. The "Police" played here so Rock Riot
written up in paper.

Regards Mike

I designed two Star Wars: Return of the Jedi books, the novelization and a sketchbook; I don't know which
book Mike referred to. I have a small collection of wood type ampersands, which Mike saw, and recently I

He found work in NZ but he didn't bring printed samples when he returned to NYC. I'm sure he was desperate
to hear new music; things were too quiet in NZ. He grew restless and returned to NYC.


I wonder if anyone has, remembers or knows of the painted romantic ice cream illustration? 

I have looked at one of Mike's later resumes and during Mike's time back in New Zealand between 1983 - 1984 he worked at Campbell Advertising in Auckland as an Advertising Designer.


  1. It's thrilling to hear Hinge speaking to us through the letters. What he needed to say through such medium that requires briefness. While at the closing, he brought up the subject of music, so it must have been constant topic to him at the time.
    I wonder what he meant by Rock Riot - is it a newspaper headline describing tthe concert?

    And collecting ampersands is coolest hobby I heard about in a long time!

  2. Ivan, The logo Mike designed was for my bookshop "Hugo's Books." I'll find a good version and send it to you. Mike spent a big chunk of 1984 (from June onwards and into 1985) hanging out in my shop as I set it up for business.


  3. Hi Nigel good to hear from you. I look forward to seeing the logo that Mike designed. I understand that your bookshop was a great asset for Auckland , would love to see other photos of the shop and hear some anecdotes.