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Festival of Whales Logo History


2022 Festival of Whales Logo Designed by:


The 2022 Festival Foundation Board has named San Clemente resident Matt Rinehart as the logo artist for the 51st annual Festival of Whales.

Rinehart’s design was chosen from among Board favorites from past years’ design contest entries. Rinehart was runner-up in the 2021 Festival of Whales logo design contest.

Rinehart said he’s lived by the ocean his entire life and had the desire to do something for his community, which, in turn, inspired his decision to submit the logo design last year.

“I always admired the event art from local artists in San Clemente and Dana Point and knew one day I would like to make something as well,” Rinehart said. “I am super excited to have finally made that a reality,” .

About the Artist

Reinhart graduated from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in graphic design and now works as a graphic designer at Starfish Signs and Graphics in San Clemente.

Click here to read the full story at Dana Point Times…

2021 Festival of Whales Logo Designed by:


From among just over 70 entries and 3,055 votes cast by the public, this year’s beautiful logo by Lynlea Michaels emerged as the official logo for the 50th Annual Dana Point Festival of Whales.

“For this design I wanted to capture the energy of the ocean and the thrill of seeing such amazing animals playing and enjoying the California sun,” Lynlea said. “The groovy text and mid-century colors give a nod to Dana Point’s history as a thriving surf community and the city’s eclectic vibes. I hope you love it!”

And love it we did! Lynlea’s design came in at the top of the public voting and the Festival Foundation logo design committee’s vote. The retro feel hearkens back to 1970/1971 when the Dana Point Harbor and its whale watching tradition was just getting started, yet still manages to have a fresh and modern vibe. We can’t wait to offer it for sale on the Festival’s golden anniversary commemorative merchandise.

About the artist:

Lynlea Michaels is a local designer and artist specializing in costume design and fashion illustration. A SoCal native, Lynlea studied fashion and media in New York City before embarking on several years of world travel and exploration. She is now back in Southern California and will be pursuing an advanced degree in Costume Design from The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in 2021.


The logo design contest runners-up were:
2nd place Matt Rinehart
3rd place Gabriella Kohr
4th place Michael O’Connell

Congratulations to all of the finalists and thanks to all who entered.

2021 - Lynlea Michaels


Lynlea Michaels is a local designer and artist specializing in costume design and fashion illustration. A SoCal native, Lynlea studied fashion and media in New York City before embarking on several years of world travel and exploration. She is now back in Southern California and will be pursuing an advanced degree in Costume Design from The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in 2021.


2020 - Mika Denny

festival of whales logo

Mika Denny’s roots take her back to the Orange County coastline. With childhood visits to the Ocean Institute and residing in Dana Point during her art school days, it’s only fitting that the experiences that shaped her artistry have led her logo design to be selected for the 49th annual Festival of Whales in 2020.

“Mika’s artwork is the perfect celebratory feel to represent all the fun new additions we have planned for the Festival of Whales in 2020.”

2019 - Robyn Rogers

a close up of a logo

“Robyn Rogers’ fascination with whales began when she was about five years old. Her older brother had been preparing for a school project on whales when he had Rogers hold one end of string as he unraveled it about 100 feet – roughly the size of a blue whale. Now at 27 years old, Rogers has been announced as the artist chosen to create the official logo for next year’s Festival of Whales.”

Read the full story here: Logo for Next Year’s Festival of Whales Announced
By Lillian Boyd, Dana Point Times

2018 - Frankie Michinock

a close up of a logo

“It shouldn’t have been a surprise when Frankie Michinock, 23, of Laguna Niguel, admitted that she didn’t have a printed copy of her award-winning 2018 Festival of Whales graphic.

After being identified as one of the top five logos by the Festival of Whales Board of Directors from over 70 entries, Michinock—who is rather humble—was blown away after being named a finalist…”

Read the full story here: Third Time’s the Charm: Former Dana Hills High graduate wins Festival of Whales logo design contest
By Daniel Ritz, Dana Point Times

2017 - Alex Van Brasch

a close up of a book

“Using his love of whales as inspiration for a design, Alex Van Brasch, a Simi Valley native, who recently relocated to Portland, Oregon, took home the top prize in the 2017 Festival of Whales logo design contest.

For Van Brasch’s logo, he said he used colored pencils and pen, and then the computer to add the text and align everything.”

Read more: Festival of Whales Logo Contest Winner Uses Passion for Whales as Inspiration
By Kristina Pritchett, Dana Point Times

2016 - Camden Butterworth

Festival of Whales 2016

“This year’s winner is sophomore Camden Butterworth from Dana Hills High School, whose logo design will become the official brand of the event, emblazoned on everything from printed advertising, event programs and online media to souvenir logo wear…”

Read more: Full STEAM Ahead for Festival of Whales
Andrea Swayne, Editor, Dana Point Times

2015 - Alec Brady


“The Dana Point Festival of Whales committee has chosen Dana Hills High School student Alec Brady as this year’s logo design winner from entries received via an annual program charging the art departments at the school with a student art contest.”

Read more: Festival of Whales Logo Design Winner Named
Andrea Swayne, Editor, Dana Point Times

2014 - Sarah Holen

a close up of a logo

“I was ecstatic to find out that once again Dana Hill’s art department would be participating in the contest for the Festival of the Whales logo. My love for design and competition was really set free in this project.”

Read more about Sarah: Dana Point Times – Students Create Art with a Festival Focus (page 4)

2013 - Steven Kazarian

a close up of a book

2011 - 40th Anniversary

a close up of a sign

The original version of this logo was designed in 1992 by Nestor/Johnson Design, San Juan Capistrano.  This retro version of the logo ignited many a trip down memory lane for visitors that have been collecting Festival logos over the past few decades.

2010 - John VanHamersveld

a close up of a logo

American graphic artist and illustrator who designed record jackets for pop and psychedelic bands, since the 1960s.  Albums include Magical Mystery Tour by The BeatlesCrown of Creation by Jefferson Airplane and Exile on Main Street by The Rolling Stones.  Many know VanHamersveld best for his famous “Endless Summer” illustration.

2009 - Rick Erkeneff

a can of soda

Rick Erkeneff is a multi-talented artist, active surfer, skateboarder, and snowboarder. He and his partner Denise operate R&D Design in Dana Point, CA and have two active daughters who are in following their father’s artistic and sports enthusiast path.

2008 - Bill Atkins

a close up of an animal

Laguna Beach artist specializing in poster design, illustration, and most recently one of two designers that created the California Coastal Commission’s new “Whale Tail” license plate.

2007 - Howard O'Donnell

Mother Gray Whale and Her Baby

a close up of an animal

“While planning this watercolor scene of a mother gray whale with her baby in tow, I was inspired, by both personal sightings and videos observed of the great whale migration, to paint the giant mammals as they make their journey up and down the coast of the western seaboard.

I tried to capture the elegant graceful movements of a 50-ton mother gray whale and her baby as they glide effortlessly through the warm and shadowy depths of the ocean.”

2006 - Phil Roberts

a close up of a colorful wall

Phil Roberts is an Artist, Architect, Master Painter, Surf Artist, Movie Poster Illustrator. Click on the link below to learn more.

2005 - George McGhee

Dana Point Rendezvous

water next to the ocean

“The Dana Point Rendezvous painting was inspired by several factors that involve the annual migration of the Gray Whales along the pacific shelf near the coastline of southern California…

2004 - George Sumner

For the Love of Whales


As a pioneer in the “save the whales” movement in the late 60s, George Sumner has influenced an entire generation of marine artists.  This environmental impressionist painter chose the theme of the incredible bonding between mother and calf immediately after birth.  For the first two years after birth, mother and baby are inseparable, constantly touching and nurturing each other.

“For the Love of Whales”, a 4′ x 5′ original oil painting seeks to share a touching moment of a young gray whale calf snuggling lovingly against her mother’s warm embrace.  The abundant giant kelp beds that help conceal the baby from predators symbolically form a heart shape to reflect the logo’s theme.

1993 - Wyland

a close up of an animal

1992 - Nestor/Johnson Design, San Juan Capistrano

a close up of a sign