Vanderbyl received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design in 1968 from California College of the Arts (CCA). He taught graphic design at CCA for more than 30 years, from 1973 to 2014 and served as the Dean of Design from 1986 to 2002.
He was one of the artists in the early 1980s that helped establish the San Francisco Bay Area as a center of the postmodern movement in graphic design. He established his own practice, Vanderbyl Design, in 1973. Over the years his work has expanded from graphic design to designing furniture, products, showrooms and retail spaces. Clients have included Esprit, Baker Furniture, The Walt Disney Company, IBM, AmericaOne, Robert Talbott, Teknion, The Blackstone Group and Luna Textiles. He has designed products for, among others, McGuire Furniture, and HBF.
In 2000 Vanderbyl was awarded the medal of the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA). He has been a member of the Alliance Graphique Internationale (AGI) since 1987. He was the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Interior Design Association (IIDA) in 2006. In 2012, he was inducted into the Interior Design Hall of Fame.
His work is in the permanent collections of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Denver Art Museum, the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, and the Library of Congress.
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