Grateful Dead

The Family Dog

In 1966, a free-spirited rock promoter named Chet Helms teamed up with a bunch of hippies and started putting on some of the greatest rock events of all time. They called their commune/promotions company, The Family Dog.

The Family Dog’s weekly dance hall revues gave the local bands a forum to perform their groundbreaking music. It was here in places like the Fillmore Auditorium and the Avalon Ballroom where the philosophies and ideals of a counterculture revolution found their voice.

To spread the word about its live events, The Family Dog hand-picked a small army of graphic artists to design promotional posters and handbills. The most influential of the group became known as the “San Francisco Five.” This extremely creative crew was comprised of Rick Griffin, Alton Kelley, Victor Moscoso, Stanley Mouse and Wes Wilson. They would go on to produce some of the most iconic and memorable imagery in the history of rock and roll.

The art of The Family Dog captures the spirit of free expression. It reflects the bold experimental freedom of the era, and it serves as a guidepost for future generations who long for peace, love and understanding.

Stanley Mouse
His art was an attribution to the period, a symbol of the absorbing and exciting subculture that was forming.
Wes Wilson
With his distinctive designs, Wilson set the pace and direction for many of the Family Dog artists who would follow in his footsteps.
Rick Griffin
Beyond his wildly influential poster work, Griffin was a key player in the underground comics scene.
Victor Moscoso
Moscoso's unique creations often employ wildly intricate typography that is virtually illegible.
Alton Kelly
Through his mind-expanding creativity Kelley gave rock music new colors, shapes, and themes expressing the optimism and enthusiasm of young people around the globe.
The Family Dog