David Arnold’s art takes him to heights in the design world

David Arnold was born in Los Angeles in 1938. He laughs that in school, he really wasn’t interested in art, but took art and auto shop classes because “it was easy to get a good grade.” His high school art teacher encouraged his father to push him in that direction.

After a discharge from the Navy, Arnold was accepted into the Art Center College of Design in L.A. Graduating with honors, he was recruited by L.A.'s top design firm, Saul Bass & Associates.

Next, Arnold moved to Marsteller Inc., an international advertising agency, as vice president/executive art director. Today, Burson Marsteller is the largest PR firm in the world. While there, he was president of the L.A. Art Directors Club.

After several years, Arnold started Designed Communications Inc. in L.A., specializing in corporate identity. In 1974, he moved to San Diego to become creative director at Phillips Ramsey, the city’s largest advertising agency. Later he became a partner in The Knoth and Meads Co., an advertising agency. Arnold/Buck Inc., Advertising and Public Relations, was created next with partner Chuck Buck.

Arnold “semi-retired” in 1996, and with his wife, Jan, moved from Cardiff to Del Mar. In 1997, he was elected to the Design Review Board for the city of Del Mar. Last year, working with the Del Mar Village Association, he designed a new logo for the city. He is a member of the board of trustees of the Oceanside Museum of Art.

What brought you to Del Mar?/What makes this town special to you?

Del Mar is full of one-of-a-kind homes, one-of-a-kind people, and it has a one-of-a-kind beach.

If you could snap your fingers and have it done, what might you add, subtract or improve in the area?

Less military aircraft. More cool shops and restaurants.

Who or what inspires you?

Nature and my wife.

If you hosted a dinner party for eight, whom (living or deceased) would you invite?

Leonardo da Vinci, Marlon Brando, Muhammad Ali, Roy Orbison, the Dalai Lama, Frank Lloyd Wright, Chögyam Trungpa and my wife.

Tell us about what you are currently reading.

“Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind” (by Shunryu Suzuki).

What is your most-prized possession?

My health.

What do you do for fun?

Draw; ride my Harley.

Please describe your greatest accomplishment.

Marrying my wife.

What is your motto or philosophy of life?

Be here now!