Commercially Christmas

Com­mer­ci­ally Chris­t­mas — And An Anti­ci­pa­ted Event : The Paci­fic Crab-​Bash !

Decem­ber usu­ally inspi­red Santa on bil­l­bo­ards, cards, and ads—and Mar­get Lar­sen pro­du­ced many holi­day graphic boxes and wrap­ping paper. The ADASF Annual Exhi­bi­tion gave her the Award of Merit in 1965. (Mar­get also wor­ked at 901 Bat­tery Street during the1980s, where she desig­ned fabrics. I was in that loca­tion in those years and I would meet Mar­get briefly and also see our long time friend, John Pratt who was then an assis­tant to Mar­get.)
These out­door boards are also from 1965.

Holi­day Gift Boxes. Artist, Mar­get Lar­sen. Art Direc­tors, Mar­get Lar­sen /​Robert Free­man. Copy­wri­ter, Howard Gos­sage. Prin­ter, The Finn Indus­tries. Client, Intrin­sics. (Photo : CA Maga­zine, Mar­get Lar­sen arti­cle, March/​April 1988.)
B of A —Pho­to­grap­her, Lee Blod­get. Art Direc­tor, John McDa­ni­als. Copy­wri­ter, John McDa­ni­als. Prin­ter, Comp­ton & Sons. Agency, John­son & Lewis. Client, Bank of Ame­rica.
OK-​Used Cars—Artist, Lowell Her­rero. Art Direc­tor, Gene Duffy. Agency, Campbell-​Ewald. Client, Chev­ro­let Used Cars.
Yel­low Pages—Artist, Henry Syver­son. Art Direc­tor, Robert Wat­kins. Copy­wri­ter, Hal Atkins. Prin­ter, Art Craft Pos­ter Co. Agency, BBDO. Client, Paci­fic Telep­hone.

At Vicom Asso­ci­a­tes /​FCB Healt­hcare, I was asked to tie-​in “Santa” ima­ges with a line of phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal client pro­ducts. The first four exam­ples, below, were for Syn­tex Labo­ra­to­ries Inc.: 1987, two 4½” X 6 ½” “Happy Holi­days!” cards. The two lar­ger cards (the 2nd, so large, I show only the lower quar­ter of it) were for the Syn­tex mar­ke­ting depart­ment.

The 1994 news­pa­per full-​page for Gen­en­tech, Inc. was pro­du­ced in one day ! Cre­a­tive direc­tor, Les­ter Bar­nett, came into my room and asked me to wrap a fir tree around the alre­ady posi­ti­o­ned type. Then off it went, out the door, and the next mor­ning it was in the SF Chro­ni­cle on Decem­ber 25, 1994.
I was also free-​lancing for Pat Cor­man Public Rela­ti­ons, repre­sen­ting The Mar­ket­place ; Santa was reque­sted for their retail ads.

San Fran­cisco sup­pliers : typo­graphy, paper, and prin­ting com­pa­nies in those days were so very gene­rous with gifts to those who desig­ned with these sup­pliers in mind. Paci­fic Lit­ho­graph Inc. was one of the favo­rite prin­ting hou­ses in San Fran­cisco.

Doug Bal­lin­ger, Ed Rou­al­des and Dick Vrooman—were friends, and after wor­king with them throug­hout the year—all was cele­bra­ted in Decem­ber with the crab-​feed that top­ped the “be there” list. The prin­ted invi­tes to this annual event were anti­ci­pa­ted and word spread fast of the date when the very best mari­na­ted crab was ser­ved with gar­lic French bread and with bott­les of wine to pick up for your table.

I don’t remem­ber Paci­fic Litho’s loca­tion ; I seem to remem­ber it on Ver­mont Street. There were pla­ces to park, then. After pas­sing through the front door, the din of many voi­ces and the whiffs of the huge amount of crab—pulled you into the huge press­room. The crowd see­med to be the whole of the adver­ti­sing com­mu­nity and the whole Paci­fic Litho crew. I remem­ber tal­king with the pres­smen, who were always so busy when we’d be there at a press check.

Here, above, is the iron-​on invi­ta­tion cre­a­ted one year by Lowell Her­rero. In April 1976, I had moved my free-​lancing to the phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal agency, Bar­num Com­mu­ni­ca­ti­ons. In Decem­ber, word in town was that year’s Crab-​Bash invi­tes had been sent—but nothing arri­ved for me. Rex Sim­mons, at my pre­vi­ous loca­tion, cre­a­ted this mock-​up that got me in the door.

Ann Thompson

Life in Commercial Art

Dra­wing Pic­tu­res is more fun than Pul­ling Teeth

by David Broad

During 1945 in Ger­many my time at war was spent in a fai­led Artil­lery Unit com­pri­sed of 240 mm howit­zers towed by 2 1/​2 ton trucks. I say “fai­led” because after disem­bar­king at Le Havre when we hit the first hill all the trucks’ engi­nes bur­ned out and our only recourse was to ditch them on the side of the road. This was in March and our mis­sion tur­ned brin­ging Ger­man pri­so­ners from the front down to camps in lower Ger­many, as well as guar­ding ammu­ni­tion dumps and run­n­ning mes­sen­ger rou­tes around the coun­try. Skip­ping to wars’ end we became the Army of occu­pa­tion and our unit was dis­sol­ved. Then I became the head of a PX unit, and became very popu­lar.

I was always inte­rested in art with hopes of beco­ming an artist, and I had done pos­ters in my pre­vi­ous unit. One day in the PX I was cal­led out to report to my com­man­ding offi­cer, for what rea­son I could only assume was to be repri­man­ded for what??? Well to make a long story short, in my pre­vi­ous unit, where I did pos­ters, a buddy, unbe­kno­wnst to me, had ans­we­red an ad, in my behalf, in Stars and Stri­pes look­ing for artists. I had not ans­we­red the ad since I had hardly any expe­rience and did not believe that I was qua­li­fied. Back to my com­man­ding offi­cer and my offense. It tur­ned out I was to be trans­fer­red to PARIS into an art depart­ment. That was an astoun­ding moment !!! That art unit, The Infor­ma­tion and Edu­ca­tion Divi­sion, had the “giants” of the New York advr­ti­sing art indu­stry cre­a­ting pos­ters, dis­plays, etc. etc. The unit was even­tu­ally relo­ca­ted to Hoe­chst, Ger­many where I did my first pro­fes­si­o­nal work, after get­ting an early dis­charge and sig­ning on as a civi­lian employed by the US Govern­ment. Some pic­tu­res below-​Doing pos­ters, art depart­ment Hoe­chst, !st prize for a car­toon and first piece of art.

Upon retur­ning to USA, I enrol­led at Pratt Insti­tute in Brook­lyn. Indus­trial Design was my pre­fe­rence, but com­mu­ting from Man­hat­tan on the over­cro­w­ded subway car­rying deli­cate 3-​D plas­ter models would be incon­cei­va­ble, so I swit­ched my course to Illus­tra­tion. During my sum­mer vaca­ti­ons I spent time in Paris pain­ting and tra­ve­ling. After gra­du­a­ting Pratt I ended up in Mil­wau­kee wor­king for an art stu­dio. It was a nice town and jobs were plen­ti­ful.

Below : Stu­dent work from Pratt and Illus­tra­ti­ons from a Mil­wau­kee art stu­dio :

Howe­ver, after visi­ting Cali­for­nia with the spec­ta­cu­lar weat­her it was easy to relo­cate, par­ti­cu­larly after I found my heart and wife in San Fran­cisco. I ulti­ma­tely joi­ned Landp­here Asso­ci­a­tes. Ter­ri­fic people, a great stu­dio, there even was a ping-​pong table for recre­a­tion. Max was a super boss and a won­der­ful per­son. It was a dif­fi­cult deci­sion to leave to begin free­lan­cing, par­ti­cu­larly when we were expecting our third child. Max was very caring and it was great to have him as a friend.

Below : Art while repre­sen­ted by Landp­here Asso­ci­a­tes :

Below : Free­lance, Self-​Promo and jobs from San Fran­cisco Bay Area clients :

It was an easy tran­si­tion to free­lan­cing as Landp­here Stu­dios still pas­sed on many assig­n­ments to aug­ment my accounts. Reti­ring in 1998 from the com­mer­cial world I am spen­ding time pain­ting and enjoying the gol­den years with my family and friends.

Art Iden­ti­fi­ca­tion : Pratt and Mil­wau­kee Stu­dio : 1, 2 : Abstract, Figure Pain­ting 3, 4, 5 : ”Torch” Mil­wau­kee Adver­ti­sing ClubLandp­here Asso­ci­a­tes : 1 : Landp­here Mai­ler 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 : “Hod­ge­Podge” Dave Broad Self-​Promos 7, 8 : Dave Broad Line Art, Self-​Promos Self-​Employed Assig­n­ments : 1, 2 : Self-​Promo-​Direct Mail 3 : Dave Broad Self-​Promo 4 : Japan Air Lines-​Botsford, Con­stan­tine & Gardner-​San Fran­cisco, Jerry Huff (AD) 5 : Sunset Magazine-“Chefs of the West”, Bill Che­ney (AD) 6 : Kaiser/​Refraction 7, 8 : Crown Zel­ler­bach Bil­l­bo­ards, ZEE 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 : Bank of Ame­rica Fol­ders and Pos­ters 15 : Pain­ting

A Tribute to Dick Cole

dick-cole-2008You will see, in the column at the left, that the “Gat­her­ings” began in 1993. At that time, we thought that it was a one-​time event, which was held in nort­hern Peta­luma. I had no idea that the group had star­ted up again by Dick Cole and some others who had atten­ded the first event. Gat­her­ing 1999 shows the Gee­zer group at a restau­rant in Sonoma, Dick’s home­town. As the atten­dance grew, the restau­rant could no lon­ger hold us. The park in Corte Madera became an easier loca­tion for the crowd.

Through the years, Dick Cole was able to share his water­co­lor pain­tings with the com­mer­cial art and the fine art com­mu­ni­ties.

This, below, is a col­lection of Dick Cole’s pain­tings that appea­red as the 2008 calen­dar for the Bank of Marin. For several years, the calen­dars were offe­red to the Bank of Marin’s account hol­ders. Each year, Dick would remove one of the twelve and add a new pain­ting from a loca­tion in Marin County. The year that the bank was no lon­ger pre­sen­ting this beau­ti­ful calen­dar, I took this 2008 calen­dar and kept using it by fin­ding the month with the cor­rect sequence of days and I’d stick on a note where I prin­ted the cur­rent month—so I could keep seeing Dick’s pain­tings. At one of our Gee­zer picnics, I told Dick that I did this-—I got one of his won­der­ful smi­les.

We will miss seeing any more new pain­tings with Dick Cole’s deft touch.
We will miss his jovial wit. We will miss his friends­hip.




Roma Wines & Chevron Campaigns

In April of this year, this pain­ting became a search, as to who was the artist ? I sent the chal­lenge out to ever­yone on our Gee­zer mai­ling list.
On Mon, 4/​18/​16, I wrote :
Sub­ject : A follow-​up for those inte­rested, it took less than a day to dis­co­ver the artist of the mys­te­ri­ous Roma Estate Wine pain­ting, There were several respon­ses, (Thank you : Kir­sten Nus­ser, Chuck Pyle, Robert Steel, Norm Nichol­son and Dick Cole.)

1-Roma Wine PaintingPhoto of Roma painting at The BuckeyePhoto of Roma pain­ting at The Buc­keye in Tam Val­ley

The ans­wer, must be this, from John Crawford—Clark Agnew ! There were simi­lar Roma Wine illus­tra­ti­ons on the web, but none that lis­ted the artist’s name. It took John with his abi­lity to iden­tify style with the artist’s name.
Clark Agnew did do other illus­tra­ti­ons for Roma Estate Wines and other adver­ti­se­ments that have a simi­lar look. I never knew the story of “the world’s lar­gest winery.”

This was an adven­ture and an edu­ca­tion for a Sun­day afternoon—thanks to Jerry Gib­bons and his que­s­ti­o­ning friend, Anna Lind­gren (who used to work at BSSP). Greg Stern (But­ler, Shine, Stern & Part­ners) joi­ned in the search.

Larry Niel­sen thought to visit The Buc­keye Road­house on Sho­re­line Highway in Mill Valley—to see the pain­ting first-​hand. Jerry Gib­bons wrote : “I’ll invite John Cra­w­ford and Greg Stern to join me at The Buc­keye.”

Ann Thompson

4-​18-​16 This, addi­ti­o­nal story, from John Cra­w­ford :
While I was pro­w­ling around the inter­net look­ing to unco­ver the illus­tra­tor respon­si­ble for The Buckeye’s Roma Wine illus­tra­tion, it occur­red to me that I had a cou­ple of gou­ache illus­tra­ti­ons for Chev­ron han­ging down­stairs, and that I’d never taken the trou­ble to find out who did them. These are lite­rally “found art.” When I was wor­king at BBD&O in the early 70’s, I par­ked my car out on Sacra­mento Street one eve­ning and ran in to get something. When I came out, I saw a trash bar­rel full of old art­work – BBD&O had obvi­ously been cle­a­ning out their art files. I grab­bed a cou­ple of color­ful pie­ces off the top of the pile and put them in the back of the car. They were illus­tra­ti­ons from the infa­mous “Chev­ron Island” cam­paign. They fea­ture Irene Tsu as a Hawai­ian hula girl on behalf of Chev­ron avi­a­tion fuel. In one, she is tug­ging on the pro­pel­ler of a piper cub, which seems like a ploy to dis­play her cle­a­vage. In the second, she is gestu­ring at the gas pump while anot­her Piper buz­zes the field. As I said, the cam­paign was infa­mous.

There had been a wri­ter at BBDO, Bill Dom­brow­ski, who wor­ked on this cam­paign and who later ended up at Y&R in New York, where they had an annual com­pe­ti­tion for “Worst Ad I Ever Did.” Every year, Bill would enter the Chev­ron Island cam­paign and every year it would win. A lot of this could be explai­ned by the fact that Herb Ham­mer­man, the noto­ri­ous Direc­tor of Mar­ke­ting at Chev­ron, had a fix­a­tion on Irene Tsu, which resul­ted in her being fea­tu­red in a lot of unli­kely sce­na­rios invol­ving tires, tiki gods, etc. (I don’t mean to imply any­thing other than an inno­cent infa­tu­a­tion – Irene Tsu was, for several years, the live-​in gir­lf­riend of Frank Sina­tra and would have had little time for Herb Ham­mer­man.)

(BTW—Wikipedia : Irene met Frank in Flo­rida while she was fil­ming “Chev­ron Island” and he was fil­ming “Tony Rome.”) 1968-​1969.

The late Floyd Yost used to tell a story about being assig­ned to cre­ate an out­door board fea­tu­ring Irene Tsu dan­cing the hula on top of the Chev­ron gas pumps. Floyd attemp­ted to explain the com­po­si­ti­o­nal chal­len­ges invol­ved : gas pumps = strong ver­ti­cal ele­ment ; Irene Tsu dan­cing atop gas pumps = very strong ver­ti­cal ele­ment ; out­door board = strong hori­zon­tal ele­ment. This see­med to be lost on Ham­mer­man. Floyd was bund­led into a cab with Bob Hil­ton, the mana­ging direc­tor of BBD&O, and Ham­mer­man to view the pre­miere of the out­door board on Van Ness Ave­nue. Ham­mer­man was irate : “I can’t see Miss Irene’s face ! It’s too small!” Floyd again attemp­ted to explain the com­po­si­ti­o­nal dif­fi­cul­ties, whe­reupon Ham­mer­man said, “Well, make her HEAD big­ger!!” Floyd said, “Herb, you could have been Walt Dis­ney.” Ham­mer­man : “What?” Floyd : “That was Disney’s big inno­va­tion – he made the heads big­ger.” The cab drove off, lea­ving Floyd on Van Ness Ave­nue, and when he got back to BBD&O, he was no lon­ger employed there.

Chevron outdoor Irene on top of gas pump

Out­door board—Irene on top of gas pump by Char­lie Allen

As a sur­prise birt­hday pre­sent many years ago, my wife had the Chev­ron illus­tra­ti­ons fra­med for me. In the pro­cess, the tis­sue over­lays had been dis­car­ded. This com­pro­mi­sed their his­to­ri­cal value, since the tis­sues had ori­gi­nal Ham­mer­man client nota­ti­ons. (e.g. “more spar­kles on teeth!” “fix hair!”) Any­way, I have found that these illus­tra­ti­ons were the work of Char­lie Allen, one of the great Pat­ter­son & Hall illus­tra­tors, who pas­sed away in 2011. I’m sure many of you will recall him. He was a much more gif­ted artist than Clark Agnew, who did very well on the east coast, but could never have got­ten in the door at Pat­ter­son & Hall. I should have dug a little dee­per into that BBD&O trash. There was a lot of dis­car­ded genius in there.

John Cra­w­ford

This is the final ad for the art above


I enjoyed the recent sto­ries on ROMA and Chev­ron. Here’s anot­her from the P&H archi­ves. I remem­ber chat­ting with Char­lie about these ads. He thought it was a silly con­cept, but was glad for the work. And, boy could he paint a pretty girl.
Bruce Het­tema

Anot­her piece from the cam­paign


I’ve found a few exam­ples of ROMA in our archi­ves. It looks like they did more or the pro­duct illus­tra­ti­ons of bott­les and glas­ses, but I did find a Bruce Bom­ber­ger B&W ad.


Roma-artist-unknnown Roma-Bruce-Bomberger

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