Don Ed Hardy

Don Ed Hardy
Don Ed Hardy at the 2nd World Tattoo Convention in Reno Nevada, 1977.
Don Ed Hardy
Born January 1945 (age 66)
Laguna Beach, California
Nationality American
Field Painting, Drawing, Tattoo
Movement Body art, Postmodern art

Don Ed Hardy is an American tattoo artist raised in Southern California.


Early life

Hardy was born in 1945 in Corona del Mar, Newport Beach, California.[1] He attended the San Francisco Art Institute and graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in printmaking.[1] Hardy was a student of Sailor Jerry Collins and, through his association, was able to study tattooing in Japan in 1973 with the Japanese classical tattoo master Horihide.[2] He became recognized for incorporating Japanese tattoo aesthetic and technique into his American style work.[1]

Tattootime and Hardy Marks Publishing

In 1982, Hardy and his wife formed Hardy Marks Publications. Under this marque, they began publishing the five-book series Tattootime.[3] Hardy Marks has gone on to publish more than 25 books about alternative art[4], including catalogs of Hardy's work and that of Sailor Jerry Collins.

Career today

Today, Hardy is retired from tattooing.[5] He oversees and mentors the artists at his San Francisco studio, Tattoo City. Since the 1960s, he has concentrated heavily on non-tattoo based art forms, especially printmaking, drawing, and painting.

Artistic career and influence

In 2000, he was appointed by Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown to the city's Cultural Arts Commission.[6]


2008 Ed Hardy brand running shoe.

In 2002, Hardy licensed Ku USA, Inc. to produce a line of clothing based on his art. Within two years, the collection had drawn the interest of Saks companies. Hardy and Ku USA formed Hardy Life LLC, which holds the trademark ownership as well as the copyrights to all his images.

In 2004, Christian Audigier licensed the rights to produce the Ed Hardy clothing line, which is based on Hardy's imagery. Prior to the Ed Hardy clothing line, Audigier was the Head Designer at Von Dutch Originals, which marketed the imagery of Kenny Howard. Audigier has attempted to replicate the marketing techniques employed by Von Dutch Originals, by marketing directly to celebrity clients and by opening stores in high profile fashion districts. Ed Hardy stores are located in San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Seattle, Minneapolis, Honolulu, Scottsdale, Tucson, Vancouver, Dubai, Johannesburg, Kuwait, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Delhi, and Mumbai.[2]

In May 2009, Iconix Brand Group announced it had acquired a 50% interest in Hardy Way, LLC, the owner of the Ed Hardy brand and trademarks.[7]

In 2010, IGP Beauty secured the licensing rights for Ed Hardy Professional Styling Tools.[8] IGP Beauty has since then manufactured a variety of blow dryers, styling irons, styling tools, and hair accessories that include artwork inspired by Ed Hardy's famous tattoo designs.[9]


  1. ^ a b c DeMello, Margo (2007). Encyclopedia of Body Adornment. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 145. ISBN 0313336954. 
  2. ^ a b Hamlin, Jesse (September 30, 2006), "Don Ed Hardy's tattoos are high art and big business", San Francisco Chronicle (Hearst Communications, Inc.),, retrieved March 26, 2010 
  3. ^ DeMello, Margo (2000). Bodies of Inscription: A Cultural History of the Modern Tattoo Community. Duke University Press. p. 103. ISBN 0822324679. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ Vance, Ashlee (November 12, 2009), "Ed Hardy’s Tattoo Art Is Booty for Digital Pirates", The New York Times,, retrieved March 26, 2010 
  6. ^ DeFao, Janine (December 30, 1999). "Jerry Brown Picks Tattooist For Arts Panel". San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco: Hearst Communications, Inc.): p. A-1. Retrieved February 6, 2009. 
  7. ^ Bhattacharjee, Nivedita (May 5, 2009), "UPDATE 1-Iconix Q1 tops market; buys 50 pct in Hardy Way", Reuters,, retrieved March 26, 2010 
  8. ^ IGP Beauty, Inc. Secures Celebrity Hair Care Lines, May 13, 2010, 
  9. ^ IGP Beauty website, 

External links

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