AFA, AAW nor the AAF
In my 40-years in Advertising, I didn’t know of them—and they didn’t know of me.
This came to my mind when I was gathering images for the previous posted story of Jack Allen.
This ad, below, had been passed on to me for my archives and Jack hadn’t seen it for years! It was an ad from “The Joint Commission–Advertising Federation of America and the Advertising Association of the West”. Jack said it would have been in major magazines in 1965. It was of the time when advertising was a man’s career.
This 1959 photo of me, (six years earlier) celebrated in my father’s work publication, shows that a daughter had planned to create art for advertising.
There were other such daughters, I know because there were many other females who were in the graphic arts in San Francisco, when I was.
In May, of that year of the AFA & AAW ad, I had just begun my free-lance career as: Ann Thompson Graphic Design at 728 Montgomery Street, San Francisco. I can’t remember being afraid when Butte, Herrero and Hyde told me that they were dissolving their partnership and that I would be on my own. I just slid into it—as Bill Hyde offered me a drawing board to rent in his studio. If I had seen the ad, I would have suggested: “Should your child be in advertising?”
I had been on my way into this field of work, long before I knew of it.
I am writing this of my childhood as an example of how the interest and practices of young children can show their budding interest toward a very rewarding career. (I’m also including some “nostalgia” from the 1950s.) I was born a second generation San Franciscan and as a child, I was always drawing.
With simple sequence, I show my path—My fifth grade teacher had me decorating the classroom (a mural of a pioneer family with a covered wagon) (bats and ghosts and witches for Halloween) this, while other students were at their desks. I missed some lessons.
In 1951, there was a TV show, Cartoon Circus, at KRON (the local channel at the Chronicle Building) hosted by George Lemont. George would show simple strokes like an “S” for the drawing of a seal–on a large pad of paper and ask the young TV audience to send in their drawings. I arranged my seal in a circus setting with a ball in its nose. I colored my seal but made a big crayon smudge right in the middle! I cried that it was ruined and that I couldn’t send it in. My mother made me send it in anyway—and I won ! (An RCA 45RPM record player and two sets of records—and was invited to be on TV !) I brought my sister along and we appeared on the show. The Laura Scudder’s Blue Bird Products were the shows sponsor and there was a bowl of (what we called) “Corn Curls” placed in front of us. George asked us to try them. I said: ”Uuuum, they’re good”. So with my: “Ummm, they’re good” I had been advertising the show’s product, without knowing it.
A thank you letter was sent to my mother from George Lemont.
The TV cameras pointed to each set, all in a line on the San Francisco Chronicle’s main floor. This Illustration above, of the cameras at KRON, will be a surprise to all that know of Earl Thollander’s unique illustration style. (We all started, somewhere.)
The show that preceded our appearance was “Adventure Time” that showed old movie serials–a half hour chapter each weeknight. The host of that show was a popular singer with many top singles, Rusty Draper. For the TV commercial, Rusty sang about Roman Meal Bread. Rusty: “Oh it’s Roman Meal, both day and night–cereal and hotcakes, too…” This photo above shows how he looked at the time.
Most TV commercial were testimonials. Ronald Reagan cleaned his hands with Borax as a commercial for the TV’s “Death Valley Days”.
Years later, George Lemont became “Fireman Frank” featuring his puppets. My favorite was “Karl The Karrot” which was a real carrot –with “shades” on its smaller carrot nose. Its green “hair” would fly around wildly. When all became wilted and limp, new carrots would replace the old. George had many gigs and he had a syndicated comic strip, also with Karl as one of the characters.
As a new freelance artist In 1965 I was calling on the agency of Honig-Cooper & Harrington Advertising–and there was George Lemont! I told him that I had been a guest on his show–about 15 years earlier. I showed the portfolio of my work—just the real reason for my appointment—but it was a pleasure to see him.
Junior High art class introduced “posters” and the in the ninth grade, the yearbook illustrations. (In 2009, I used the dancing and 45RPM records subjects, again, for the 50-year reunion of Santa Rosa High School “The Panthers” and Montgomery High School, “The Vikings”.) I painted high school banners that hung across the halls announcing up-coming football games: “SANTA ROSA—BEAT CHICK-ALUMA !” Illustrated with scrawny chickens hanging out of garbage cans. (Nearby Petaluma was called the “Egg Basket Of The World”.)
(The artistic talent that I see from young students, today, is so much more advanced than mine. There are so many more influences—to inspire the young talents developing now.)
When I graduated from high school I was nearing my last lessons from the Famous Artists School correspondence course and my mother said, “You need to pay rent”. I said: “But, I live here!”. I had taken typing in high school, so for a time, I worked as a clerk but I kept drawing and painting at home.
During my last class at SF City College’s Advertising Department, the head the department told me of the opening for employment with Butte, Herrero and Hyde, where I learned in that one year, all I needed to be my own boss.
I joined the Art Directors and Artists Club of San Francisco (ADASF). Jack Allen was elected president of the club when I was elected the secretary. I donated three posters for their membership campaign. This close-up of my third poster shows my illustration and handwriting of the copy provided by copywriter, Larry McDermott.
In the 1950s, representatives of various paper companies would make personal calls on designers—showing papers of all colors and thicknesses – smooth and textured – but there was little to show the art studios and individual designers—how the papers would work with the various forms of printing and if the chosen stock was appropriate for embossing, folding, trimming and other effects dreamed up by a designer.
The ultimate paper samples were created 1963 to 1986:
Champion Papers: Imagination.
Champion Paper Company found the best way to show the unlimited possibilities of the use of their paper stocks and they reached the “creatives” through their mailboxes. The art directors hired by Champion Paper Co. changed as the subjects of the books changed: Milton Glaser, Ivan Chermayeff & Geismar, George Tscherny, Henry Wolf, James Miho. Massimo Vignelli, Paul Rand and Richard Manville. The first booklets were printed in Ohio, where Champion Paper Co. was located.
There was such a variety of images and styles needed for each book—often just one image per artist or photographer was needed. For the sixth book (1964) Jack Allen said this was the image he sent for the theme of the “Wild West”.
For each brochure, using 5 or 6pt type on each page, the art director made sure that all papers and printing methods were accurately described for each image—still, today, valuable lessons. There were 26 of these paper samples.
As an example of the increasing value of well-designed books, folders, brochures, posters, magazine illustrations, from the past—there is a constant demand for them by collectors.
The purpose of the “Imagination” series is written on the inside back cover of this next example. “The papers used in this book were chosen from the Campion Papers line, the world’s largest selection of commercial printing papers. Each sheet was chosen for its particular characteristics to enhance the graphic technique presented on it. "Champion Papers are created with Imagination for designers and printers with Imagination.”
I have had most of these brochures but I have kept only this one, featuring San Francisco, that shows my friends in the graphic community—and views and history of the city of my birth. I find that this “Imagination XII” (1968), is the ONLY one that shows a handful of the members of the graphic community to which the sales-piece was directed. At the time of this twelfth booklet, the design was in the hands of James Miho, at Needham, Harper and Steers—located in New York City. Miho came here to work with photographer, Jack Allen and designer, Nic Sidjakov. They would know who’s faces to feature for the “live” notable persons—San Francisco’s designers, entertainers, sports figures, et all.
Jack said that, on arriving, Miho bought himself a camera. Miho shot the 64 photos of bay windows for the cover and the 28 photos for the two pages of “signs”. Then, for the next year and on he took his own photos for the publications.
The cover shows Miho’s SF bay windows.
The inside cover and first page is a Panoramic City View–Drawn by C. R. Parsons, initially published by Currier & Ives in 1878. The next page, from a Union Street antique shop, shows a light bulb holding a Clipper Ship, reaching the shore of San Francisco. Then, various sizes are examples of the ornate billheads of the early days. Also there are two 1850 photos of Montgomery Street. Next, at the top: “April 18th—1906—5:12 AM” and the description of the San Francisco Earthquake printed on red with only black ink: “Suddenly the whole street was undulating.” (Photographer unknown, courtesy of Elizabeth Charleston.)
Then with two inks on red, there is a photo from a simple box 3A Kodak Special taken on Sacramento Street by Arnold Genthe, who wanted to be one of the world’s best portrait photographers—but was known for this photo which is in the Library of Congress.
Single and four-color printing show examples of various building constructed from 1906 to the time of this booklet.
(Line Engravings of Early Buildings–courtesy of Howell Books.)
Frank Lloyd Wright Building, top row (Photograph by Jack Allen.)
Now we show two pages and two half pages of San Franciscans from history and some notables of our time.
I have enlarged the names to match the numbers above each photo.
Faces from history: Courtesy of the California Historical Society, de Young Museum, San Francisco Golden Gate Park and The American West Magazine.
Contemporary Faces: Photography, Jack Allen
The faces with the connection to the graphic arts:
17- Lowell Herrero, Graphic Designer
18-Andy Quattro, Graphic Printmaker
19-Bruce Butte, Graphic Designer
20-Anne Butte, Graphic Designer
25-Gordon Ashby, Designer
26-Jack Allen, Photographer
27-Nicolas Sidjakov, Graphic Designer
28-Tom Kamifuji, Graphic Designer
29-Elizabeth Charleston, Artist
32-Marget Larsen, Graphic Designer
41-Barbara Stauffacher, Graphic Designer
44-Dick Coyne, “Communication Arts” Editor/Publisher
48-Bob Freeman, Advertising Executive
49-Walter Landor, Industrial Designer
51-Bob Seidman, Graphic Designer
52- Bill Hyde, Graphic Designer
Jack Allen wrote:
One of the photographs I had to take was for Champion Papers. In this instance it was for a booklet showing their various papers and highlighting the famous people of San Francisco. Joe DiMaggio and Carole Doda being two on the list given to me. Now, Joe I recognized as the famous baseball player, but Carole was not familiar to me until I found out her address was North Beach and her claim to fame was the size of her chest as she emerged perched on the grand piano to begin her performance. Carole had a lovely voice. Andy Quattro, my God. Every year Andy and two other guys and myself used to go down to Pebble Beach and play golf. It only cost $35 then. Wow. And I let Andy use my studio when he was with lean times. He was a funny old duck.
"Marget Larsen" designed the SF Art Director's Club Issue for me and we silk-screened every copy on Foote Cone's floor. I fell in love instantly with Marget but Bob Freeman beat me out.
Good old Howard Luck Gossage. I had a wonderful 6 am chat with him at his house. He was a genius.
Ernest Braun. This photo showing the California Street cable car with the view to the east toward the SF/ Oakland Bay Bridge was first commissioned for the 1964 book: ”Our San Francisco”. Braun’s contribution, as series titled “Shapes Of The City” has an introduction by famed writer and columnist Herb Caen. Caen says of Braun, “The photographers have come closest to capturing the feel of San Francisco - and no one has come closer than Ernie Braun.”
His full biography is on line. Mr. Braun lived in San Francisco in the late 1940s, a town that he loved. “The history and geography of San Francisco simply won me over,” he said. “I loved its great contrast of shapes, colors, people, buildings, and happenings. Each street had its own character to enjoy. The bay and ocean completed the photographer’s dream. Surrounded by water on three sides, the city appeared to be floating.”
Two facing pages of signs of all kinds–even the instructions on the street surface, on both sides of the cable car slot. All of these photos were by James Miho.
Fish-Eye lenses became popular in the ‘60s! Here, the first one, is above the Golden Gate Bridge—the second is above Coit Tower and shows a ring of the wharfs on San Francisco Bay. Credit is listed to Joe Monroe. (I have not been able to find any other information of his work.)
Titled: “San Francisco is an international menu”—this next spread shows many popular city restaurants. I did show some of these on an earlier post, which brought comments of favorites that were in addition to these.
A 19th Century assemblage of playbills and theatrical memorabilia—opens to Theatre Construction—Robert Sullivan.
A foldout of sports subjects—Charles White III.
In 1960, at the age of 50, Elizabeth Charleston was in an automobile accident that limited her activities and mobility. She began painting for the first time while recovering. The late San Francisco Chronicle art critic, Alfred Frankenstein, reviewed a showing at the Pomeroy Gallery in 1968, and said Charleston had a "wonderful eye" for flowers — "totally charming, decorative and delectable”. Her works are available widely today, and have been shown in numerous museums and galleries in the US, Brussels, and Paris, This might have been her only commercial work.
The last photograph, “This peaceful harbor scene of sail-boats, dwarfed by the Golden Gate Bridge”: Photograph by Burt Glinn.
The copy on the inside back cover explains the back cover:
”To enhance the effect, an additional impression of black ink and spot varnish was used to give the impression of blacked out windows.”
Why? What I learned, when growing up, was that “blacked-out windows” referred to when San Francisco thought that the city was the next to be attacked. At that time, St. Joseph’s Hospital (now condominium apartments) at 355 Buena Vista East where I was born in December of 1941—had blackout curtains on the windows.
Was the designer just making a graphic design choice?
So, now, getting back to the question, “Should your child be in advertising?”
Today’s bombardment of TV, radio and Internet commercials are so repetitive, juvenile (with apologies to all juveniles) and possibly dangerous (even advertising medications that can cause death and add to the cost of the product)—all with tedious music or sound effects or voices singing “Liberty, Liberty, Liberty, Liberty, Liberty (Insurance)”. They make me mute the ads or change channels. Audiences are leaving TV for other media.
In a pharmaceutical ad agency, I did work on some internal video promotions. And I also created a storyboard for the launch of the new pain reliever, Aleve, but I never knew if it made it as TV viewing, maybe it was just an internal promotion.
I am glad to have the majority of my career in only printed publications.
The “Imagination” series above was an expensive, attractive and educational advertisement of papers. When graphic art in books, magazine, posters and other varied publications is—clever, beautifully illustrated, photographed and written—it can be revisited, saved and even collected more than fifty years after its first appearance.
My saved collections have been my source for Geezers’ Gallery.
A Day at the Races
Marc Ericksen’s First San Francisco Freelance Interview: A Day at the Races.
As a young illustrator, I found myself working at Artworks at 50 Gold Street in North Beach. I had graduated from Art Center in 1975, worked a year as a staff illustrator in Chicago at O’Grady Graphics at 333 Michigan Avenue. While it was a great shop, and I had appreciated all I had learned there, the weather was brutal.
After some degree of deliberation, part of which involved my working late on a deadline during a blizzard, walking at 9 PM to the Northwest Station to catch the last train to Arlington Heights Station, only to arrive to find all the locks on my ancient Alpha Romeo 4 door frozen solid. By the time I had walked a mile or two to our apartment in my street shoes, Levis, shirt, and light jacket – – my face was also frozen solid.
I terrified my wife by tapping on the back patio sliding glass door, because I was pretty sure I wouldn’t survive walking the rest of the way to the front door.
So I moved with my wife Dianne and our two sons, to the Golden West: San Francisco.
Artworks was a wonderful shop. Don McKee had a great cast of talent there, and I learned from folks like the great Stan Fleming, another Chicago transplant, who gave me an appreciation for the myriad aspects of preliminary art as well as tips for dealing with clients, art directors and designers. I met my future studio mate of 35 years, Robert Evans there who showed up one day in a work-study capacity from The Academy of Art. Dennis Ziemienski was another major talent at the shop. I was about ready to launch out on my own after 3 terrific years at Artworks when I was approached by Dennis about sharing rent on a studio he had located just up Sansome Street and right around the corner on Broadway. It was a 2nd floor walkup above a little Chinese restaurant, overlooking the hustle and bustle of North Beach. It was a little tight for the two of us, but Dennis wanted to use it as a satellite site, while he worked out of his Palo Alto studio.
I found the place to be perfect for the work I was doing, a mix of finished illustrations for smaller tech clients and startup gaming companies, as well as a fair amount of preliminary art for all the local agencies: Storyboards and comprehensive sketches. I was very comfortable with the mix, given that I had paid half my way through Art center doing similar work for agencies in LA while a student. I had my drafting table, lights and a chair. The traffic outside helped me to feel a part of the local art scene, and the redolent aroma of Chinese cooking right beneath me. What could be more San Francisco? I would even duck below into the eatery a couple of times a week for a quick lunch. It was always busy.
One of the groups I had not worked with was D’Arcy-MacManus, so, as was the custom, I called and asked whether I could show my portfolio. I had only been on my own at this point for a week or so, so this would mark my emergence as a true free lancer, my dream come true! My first on-my-own appearance before a creative!
I took my portfolio case containing samples of my professional work, and walked down Sansome to the neighborhood for D’Arcy and entered the lobby. The receptionist made a call to find out who might be available to review my work. An Art Director named Chris Short agreed and an intern led me through the pristine walls and hip architecture of the agency to Chris’s office. I entered into the stylish bright white high rise office, Chris was nattily dressed, in a white shirt, stylish tie, and pressed slacks, and stood to reach across his long white desk to welcome me with a handshake and a smile. I thanked him for his willingness to review my work, and he was a perfect gentleman, as he replied “no problem at all, welcome to my office, and please, let’s take a look at your work“.
I lifted my portfolio, and with a quick glance for his permission placed the 20”x30” folio on the end of his spotless long white desk which was nearest him as he sat in his beautiful articulated leather executive office chair.
As I drew open the zipper of the folio, I began telling him a bit about my background and the nature of the illustration samples I was preparing to show, and he assumed a more comfortable position, and leaned forward for a better look as I lifted the unzipped cover. Upon the final opening, and as I was in mid sentence, a very large and gorgeously shining mahogany insect with swept back antennae and I suspect, smelling of Chinese cuisine, leapt from the center of my portfolio with the fervor of a stallion at the dropping of the gates at Churchill Downs. Racing the length of my open portfolio, he leaped off the zippered edge onto Chris’s pristine bright white tabletop, and ran in a perfectly straight line the entire length of the table and sailed off, disappearing from sight.
I was aghast, …and petrified.
Like an idiot I continued to stare at the point of last view of the roach. I’m actually laughing to myself now, 40 years later, at how I must have looked to Chris.
For his own part, the man was a saint. When I regained my senses, and looked back to his face, he sat looking at me with a twinkle in his eye, with a very slight smile. Raising his eyebrows, and much to my eternal gratitude, he then said, “So, Marc, tell me about this first piece.”
We spoke together that day for about 20 minutes of his valuable schedule. He was kind in his appraisal of my work, and I thanked him for his time.
A week later Chris called with a job, and we commenced fifteen years or more of working together, and he never mentioned our day at the races.
A talented Art Director. And, a more perfect gentleman.
(Note: Marc sent us this story above, but I must add a short bio.:
1966 – 1972: Age 18, Paratrooper, U.S. Army. 1966 – 1972: Age 18, 2 tours in Vietnam, Left active duty age 24 with the rank of Captain in May 1972.
1972 – 1975: Age 25. Attended Art Center College of Design, Los Angeles. Graduated with a scholarship, and Bachelor of Fine Art with honors.
1975 – 1978: Illustrator, O’Grady Graphics, Artworks,S.F.
1982 to 1987: Chairperson, Chairman, and President, San Francisco Society of Illustrators, (2 years.)
1986 to 1995: Chairman of the SFSI Air Force Art Program, (9 years.)
1978 – 2015: Marc Ericksen Illustration.
Crystal Cruise Lines Watercolors:
2015 – Watercolor illustrations for Crystal Cruise Lines, Agency: DDB West — Creative Director: Joe Kayser.
Shown are 15 of 19 pieces (20” x 30” each) required to be created within 14 days without fail.
Publication Illustrations above: Ancient Football-PC Magazine, Ballantine Publishing-Case of Curiosities, Baltimore Sun-Catch 22, Communication World-Russian Bear, Sharks-Bernie Nichols-Goal 1000, USAF Collection P‑51D – – Drop Tanks and Engage, Varian Silicon Chip Disc Autoclave
Product Illustrations above:
Anheuser-Busch Shock Top — Belgian-style wheat ale,
Video Games: Chex Quest- Galaga-Atari, MegaMan-Cannon Arm PRGE 2018
See also, this 2012 video: Game Box Art:
and, at the right – – Artist’s Sites:
Marc Ericksen’s link shows his many styles of finished art and preliminary art – – from 1978 to the present day.
Jack Allen — Ad Man + Photographer + Painter
Y&R New York As my old boss in New York used to say, “Where else can you have so much fun and get paid for it too”. Every morning I'd get on that Long Island train and head into New York. I usually got a place to sit from Levittown and I could get my sketches done and then I had a leisurely walk from Penn Station up to 39th and Madison. I could stay underground if it was raining. On a nice day it was beautiful. People watching and I got to see the latest Doyle Dane Bernbach's latest poster in the subway.
On a hot day it would be sweltering. There was no air conditioning in old 285. We would put towels under our arms to keep the sweat from ruining our drawing. Guerney Miller would pop in about 9:30. Guerney and I shared an office. He was our sketch artist and if our client demanded a more finished sketch Guerney was the man. At noon Guerney would bring out his guitar and have a jam session. That drew the music lovers.
When I went to New York, my uncle gave me three of his suits. He was a banker. Well, that’s how I looked, like a banker. Guerney made fun of me and took me down to J Press and got me a proper hat and of course a Brooks Brothers Suit and shoes to match. My wife would never let me hear the end of this. I must have worn that suit to bed.
One day I was sitting in the office I shared with Guerney, and Bob Hope walked in. I swear to god. Bob Hope.
He was doing some promo for the agency so the account executive thought he'd give the troops a thrill. What a thrill. We had a real conversation with him.
Later in life I met Bing Crosby and that kind of completed the two road boys.
It was strange being one on one with the stars of the galaxy like Irving Penn and Norman Rockwell. I never did get used to it.
A picture of yours truly in the headman's office in Y&R NY after we won the art director's award.
Of course the troops had to gather and it was all-new to the kid on the left.
Fred Sergenian 'Sarge' imagine telling him you were leaving Y&R and going back to California.
I still shudder. The guy on the right is Fred Papert, of Papert Koenig &Lewis fame to be.
There were 75 art directors at Y&R when I was there and a lettering man and a type-setter and a raft of production people and a little grey haired lady to usher the work through and three art buyers.
It was strange, but it worked just fine.
Telling my boss I was leaving was the most difficult thing I've ever done. I felt like a traitor. I still do.
San Francisco was warm and exciting. Foote, Cone & Belding was on the top floor of the Russ Building and when the wind blew the building swayed. I know because I worked there many nights.
The people in this story are Ford Sibly; head of office, George Richardson: head of S&W account team, Pete Peterson: Assistant Account Executive. George kept a bottle of booze in his desk for celebration and we managed to find a few times to celebrate. S&W let us run the show and we pushed it as far as we dared.
We got them to go with a full-page color ad in newspaper and got Herrero to design it. It won an award in the New York art directors annual. That made Joe Blumeline, our client, very happy. He felt he was getting his moneys worth. Meanwhile, Ford Sibly was sinking into alcoholism and head office was sending a new man out. Clients were scattering and heading for the door.
Honig-Cooper, sensing an opportunity, pounced on it.
I didn't like the idea of working for Honig-Cooper so I looked to Holst, Cumming & Myers, as they needed an Art Director. And they had a ton of Matson Lines work with two ships due to come on the South Pacific Route, and one more on the Hawaiian Route.
The map painted on the model’s forehead at the studio of Butte, Herrero and Hyde and then we rushed him to our studio and shot him.
We also did a photo shoot with two models to Hawaii and one of the models got measles and was confined to her cabin the whole trip so the other model had to carry double load. She was not happy
I worked day and night. When they turned the heat off in the building, I would take the drapes off the windows and catch a little sleep. It was fun work, designing menus and all sort of non-ad stuff.
Y&R San Francisco George Richardson invited me to his place in Novato. He was moving to Y&R (SF) and wanted me to come back to run the art department. I agreed since I was now, thru with Matson Lines. It's funny how the names kept changing on these agencies. Y&R was a great agency. Don Sternloff was head AD when I joined them and he was much loved by the troops. Which made me dog shit since the writing was on the wall.
I was teaching at the Academy of Art at night and I followed the old Art Center motto, drive them, hard. If they survived, they were keepers. I found two keepers: Mik Kitagawa and Dave Sanchez. I hired them.
Sternloff was let go and I was anointed. The agency had the number one show on the air, Maverick with James Garner as Maverick and that was pure gold in the advertising world. Plus we got Langendorf Bread and we turned Kaiser Industries loose on Mik and Dave. Our plates were full and we were completely busy DAY and NIGHT. Mik and Dave wondered what they had signed up for.
After a few years of this, it wears on you, and it wore on me. I developed an ulcer. I had told myself I would quit this business if I got sick, so I marched in and turned in my badge. They sent out an AD from NY, Mason Clark, and I went home to recoup. Now what do I do?
San Mateo Garage
Why don't I try photography? OK, I bought a Hasselblad and I was off. I got some models to pose for prints and rented a garage with a skylight in San Mateo. I cobbled a portfolio together and let it be known I was starving and got a call from Portland, Oregon. It was from my old friend, Pete Jenkins and it was work. Meyer and Frank wanted a series of NP ads hi-lighting M&F, full page too. I got a designer, Dick Snyder, and an Account Executive, Perry Leftwich –and I put a darkroom together in the garage. I hired models and when clothes arrived from Portland, we shot up a storm.
We designed ads and they wanted MORE. We were a hit. I had visions of forming an agency and we pitched Harrah's club. It went well and Bill Harrah wanted us but his ad manager got him to change his mind (the ad manager was afraid of losing his job) so we didn't get the account.
Dick Snyder had trouble with the free-lance world so we disbanded.
And Perry went back to salary.
M. Halberstadt Meanwhile, the photographer Milton Halberstadt invited me to lunch and suggested we might pool our talents. He had a beautiful studio in North Beach and I said yes, quicker than dirt.
At first we had fun—as Hal liked the sets he was so good at putting together—and I liked the people. So we fit well (Bank of America). And we enjoyed lunch at New Joes. And Hal was a Master Photographer so I was learning every day.
Chicago Rep, Jack Kapes Another thing fell out of the blue. Jack Kapes, an agent from Chicago. Jack was looking for photographers to represent. It seems Art Directors in Chicago would dearly love a trip to San Francisco to work with a San Francisco Photographer and get away from that Chicago cold.
And so it started. Leslie Salt Co, Cilux Paint, Champion Papers. They came out with their wives for a little vacation and of course we showed them the town. We were beat by the time they hauled anchor but richer by far and just like the Tea Trade, we had established a trade route. One of the fun ones I recall was when Pillsbury sent me to Jamaica and then I shot the cake at Hal's studio.
Vanderwater Studio As in many things, they don't always work as planned. Hal and I parted as friends and I moved to Vanderwater Street in my own studio, next to Veneto's Restaurant. Years of work came out this Studio.
More work in the very busy mid-1960s.
Eichler was a great one that got you a sure medal in the art show. Working with Sidjakov was such a pleasure. Pacific Telephone was another winner and putting Wally Summers in a phone booth as Superman, had to be my biggest thrill. Honig-Cooper surprised me when they hired me to shoot a Levi's series and the kids we hired turned out to be wonderful. One of the greatest AD's to work for was Hal Riney. You had to burn rubber as he was never satisfied but the work was superb and you could be very proud of it. The free ones were often the most exciting as the Christmas Card ad for BBD&O showing all their kids. It was like herding cats. But I loved it.
One Super Star that was champing at the bit was George Coutts. The Joseph Magnin AD had tons of talent. I had a few drinks with him on a late shoot one night and when I finally said good night and locked up, I went out to my car and dropped the keys in the street. I didn't see them so I got on my hands and knees and just then a police car came around the corner. He flashed the light on me. "Can I help you sir?" he said, ”I'm looking for my keys to my car”, I said. "You better not find them”, he said. One of the hazards of flying at night.
Sutter Street The Portland People at Dawson, Turner & Jenkins were putting pressure on me to start a branch of DT&J in San Francisco and sent a young fellow down to help in that endeavor. First we had to move to Downtown, Sutter Street. Then we had to get agency type furniture and all while photography was going on. Nude photography for Avon. I scoured the model files in SF but they were light on the right kind of nudes so I flew to Los Angeles, found a young lady that fit the bill and booked her. She arrived on a Monday and the clients arrived from Chicago and Sidjakov, the package designer arrived, and my assistants got to work and the young lady stripped. She had no modesty and said her parents were nudists and they had been that way as long as she could remember. We photographed uninterrupted.
Dawson Turner & Jenkins brought a political type pollster down to shake the tree on the Pete McCloskey race against Shirley Temple Black for Congress. He won. Again, I got a call from Dawson, Turner & Jenkins. They wanted a campaign of newspaper ads, full-page size.
Covering Meier and Frank’s “Jerry Frank” who was making a run for Governor. The success of this campaign led to an offer to move to Oregon and an “offer I couldn’t refuse”. The agency, Dawson, Turner & Jenkins, got swallowed up by Lennen & Newell, then somebody else, then Richardson, Seigle, Rolfs & McCoy became somebody else and Macy's bought out Meier & Frank–––and I started designing work for the Port of Vancouver:
and I figured it was time to retire.
By this time they had done a pretty good job of brainwashing on me as how beautiful Oregon was and I was resigned and my wife and I weren't getting along. (Old story) So we went.
Solo-ing It-In Oregon Tons of work. Had my own way, pretty much. Nice people.
Jk Gill’s, Oil Heat, Port of Vancouver, Blue Lake Green Beans.
Oregon. Oregon, what have I done? Left everything for the unknown. Politics, know the Governor, know the Senator, work on his campaign. Packwood's in trouble.
Work. Work. Jk Gill’s. A stationary store. A big stationary store. Many stores. Why not give it a cluttered look. I found a young artist that had a great "busy" look and had him do an ad. Perfect. And Newspaper ads for Kasch's Nurseries. White Satin Sugar: A perfect place for Herrero to strut his stuff. As well as sweet photos.
Oil Heat Dealers. A collection of dealers in Oregon, Washington and Idaho that service and sell heating oil to homes in the Northwest. Reminder ads that are visible, aught to do it.
A rumble this summer by hippies threatened to spill into riots. I suggested we put up a series of billboards that say, "WAVE TO A COP TODAY" –and sponsor a music festival in McIver Park (a mile away from downtown). It worked. I was also involved with "lighting the bridges in Portland" which taught me "stay away from Architects". The things I did with Frank Farah at this time: we designed and Frank illustrated the walls of the Bend, Oregon Bus Station. Quite something, in Bend.
The sale of agencies was humongous. I never knew who was going to be my boss on Monday morning. It got to be a joke. My friend that started this whole thing, Dick Turner, had jumped off Suicide Bridge. And Pete Jenkins, his partner, had taken his ill-gotten gains and fled to Europe.
I became an account executive and married one of the Oil Dealers that I was fortune enough to stay married to for 46 years until she died last year.
William Cain Advertising I met Bill Cain on one of our Oil Heat trips to Hawaii and looked him up when I got back to Oregon. Bill was the owner of William Cain Advertising and had just had a revolt from his crew and they had walked away with his star account. Nike. He did have another account, Louisiana Pacific so he wasn't totally wiped out and he needed an art director. What the hell. We had a good time I still had Port of Vancouver, Bill had Louisiana Pacific, and everything swam along. Until Bill decided to sell the agency– including "my Port"–– to Gerber Advertising.
Gerber Advertising After the dust had cleared, I agreed to work for Gerber for 10 years (I actually worked for twelve) In that time I produced ads for Louisiana Pacific Windows and many other products.
I retired at 65 to paint
I said to myself, "what am I going to do with myself when I retire?"
"But I don't paint"
So I tried. And my wife said, 'What are we going to do with all these paintings?"
I did 25 paintings a day.
I found a slow style. Wysoki
It was peaceful, fun and it was slow.
It took me a month to do a painting.
My wife said "good boy".
"Now let's get rid of this painting.
So I called a Jigsaw puzzle company and soon I was painting another one.
I've now done 96.
They rejected most for being too salty.
But happy wife, happy life
–that tuned in jigsaw puzzles.
Politics. That is what I would say most typifies Oregon. Small-town Politics.
I learned to love the people and the quirks and the laid back life.
Looking back I suppose what we did isn't so important but it sure was exciting and alive. We were making beautiful statements and bringing art and commerce together in a new, bold way.
We can be proud of the work we did and now that I'm out to pasture, I can see the work we did is so much superior to much that is done now because it mattered to us. Our 1/8 of an inch made all the difference in the world and was worth fighting for.
Thank you, Ann and Piet, for shining the light on the 50's and 60's.
We welcome your comments on this story or to say hello to Jack. All comments will be reviewed before forwarding to Jack.
I don't know if Jack remembers, but he called me at KPIX and offered me the job as AD at Y&R.( I was in his ad class at the Academy) I got Mik (Kitagawa) the Job at KPIX and told him about the offer, and if I don't get the job maybe you will. So I helped him pull his portfolio together and we both applied for the one job, on the same day, with Jack. We were so inexpensive he could hire us both for the same money.
Writing That Gets Read.
What I miss most about the world of today’s advertising is the eye-catching, thought provoking Headlines of the Golden Age.
I guess, Volkswagen started a lot of it with one word, Lemon.
I am enclosing some ads here that I feel are examples of what seems to be missing. My ego won’t allow me to tell you who wrote these ads but I will acknowledge the Art Directors and Photographers who played a big part in helping me create them.
Agency: McCann Erickson (San Francisco)
1 Del Monte — Art Director: Jon Hyde; Photographer: Ed Zak
2 YOSEMITE — Art director: Jon Hyde, Photographer: John Muir
3 AIRPORT HILTON — Art Director: Jerry Leonhart; Illustrator: Chris Corey
4 SKIING AT YOSEMITE — Art Director: Jon Hyde; Illustrator: Larry Duke
5 McNevin Cadillac — Art Director: Bruce Campbell
6 THINK. DON’T DRINK. — Art Director: Jon Hyde
Another quick tale:
I once did a B.A.R.T. poster for MasterCard and the headline said;
Bay Area Rapid Transaction.
Advertiser: MasterCharge – San Francisco
Advertising Mgr.: Rick Wynne
Agency: Foote, Cone & Belding / Honig – San Francisco
Art Director: Kris English
It took up a wall in the BART stations. It won an Award so I asked photographer Ed Zak for a copy of the poster. In typical Ed Zak style he said he would have to charge me $25. to make a copy. Zak was one of a kind.
Oh yeah…sure…put that photo in.
It’s the first one I’ve liked in about 20 years.
Steve Rustad Has Tales To Tell
Steve Rustad Has Tales To Tell & Also Great Advice For A Young Illustrator (And For The June Graduate)!
I'm "still in the game." And will continue to be until the pry my Cintiq tablet from my cold, dead hands.
Regarding my ad days. Because I preceded by stint in advertising working educational films, most of what I did in the agencies were TV spots. At J. Walter Thompson and I worked under Mac Churchill who (I thought) was a certifiable genius. And a true Mad Man, though his roots were in the Chicago ad scene. Mac's legendary lunch regimen was a flock of double vodka martinis. The effects of which were never apparent in the afternoon - unlike most of the other JWT management at the time. (My opinion, don't quote me.) I'm not sure that my agency story is all that unique, or interesting. It was a crappy time for agencies in general, perhaps because it was the run-up to the agency merger frenzy of the 1980's fueled by the Brits, which I believe drove a stake into the heart of creative advertising. Unlike most creative managers of my acquaintance I worked very hard to support and promote my creative teams which earned me (for the most part) their undying contempt. As for the advertising luminaries that I encountered back then (Riney, Jay Chiat, Bob Hulme. Mike Koelker, Rich Silverstein, etc.) I'm sure I left no lasting impression.
I did these while at Ketchum in the late 70's working under Bruce Campbell:
I also did some print at JWT. I've attached some ads for Chevron and Dole and Hewlett Packard.
About a decade before I worked in advertising, I was a Federal Sky Marshal guarding flights out of SFO to points west, e.g., the Far East.
This photo shows me in the uniform of a US Customs Security Officer - my official job when I wasn't flying undercover.
Fast forward to 2007 I decided to recount some of my "adventures" in a blog, which I continued to post content to, on and off, for the next 5 years.
If you like, please check it out, click here Sky Marshal Story - Night Flight to SFO - #31
As a Sky Marshal (aka Air Marshal) assigned to PanAm from early 1971 to the fall of 1972, I conducted most of my in-flight security duties aboard the Boeing 747. At the time, I didn’t realize how revolutionary the 747 was.??The 60’s boom in air travel had created a major traffic jam at the country’s airports as the 707’s and Douglas DC8’s jostled for space at the jet ways. As a remedy, Juan Trippe, Panama’s legendary Founder and President, pushed Boeing to create a plane at least twice the size of the 707. In response Boeing produced the 747-100 or Jumbo Jet. It’s said that PanAm's influence as a “launch customer,” and the company’s hand in the design even before they placed their formal order, allowed Trippe to influence the development of the 747 in ways never seen before or since in the history of commercial aircraft. PanAm inaugurated 747 Jumbo Jet service in 1970. At 2.5 times the size of a 707, the wide body featured eight-across seating. The cockpit was on an upper deck, behind which was a “lounge,” for lack of a better word. The upped deck was accessed by a circular staircase – really a curved ladder – that looked like it had been yanked out of in artist’s studio in Soho. The powers-that-were decided to increase the teams of Sky Marshals assigned to 747 to three members, whereas 707’s and other “narrow-body” craft warranted teams of two. Usually two Marshals sat in First Class. The poor sap who drew the short straw sat way in the back of the cabin. Of the two Marshals who got to mingle with the carriage trade in First Class, one was required to sit at the foot of the spiral staircase. Since there were no assigned seats in the upper deck lounge we couldn’t position ourselves up there without blowing “our cover.” Yet, protocol required that no passenger was to visit the lounge without a Sky Marshal to keep him or her company. Any passenger who was hip to that knew exactly who was following them up the stairs. Most of flights I guarded over my tour of duty were a half to three-quarters full and – at least in first class – that left ample room to stretch your legs. However, I remember one flight where the increased capacity of the 747 was put to the test. The flight to SFO lifted off from Haneda Airport in Tokyo sometime after 10PM packed to the gills with men, women, children and babies. The cabin of the plane felt like a subway at rush hour. As a Sky Marshal, I’d never worked a flight where every seat was full. For the first half dozen hours everything was pretty normal. It was late, the cabin lights were dim and most of the passengers were snoozing. But as the evening dissolved into morning and folks began to stir, they did what most folks to when the first wake up…they went to the bathroom. Had they chosen to space the visits out, the plumbing might have handled the onslaught, but it seemed like everyone went, or wanted to go, all at the same time. In short order, the bathrooms began to fail, one after the other, until two long lines of fidgety passengers packed the two aisles leading to the last functioning bathroom in the back of Coach. It was so congested that the Marshal who had been positioned in the back had to work his way forward to the central galley just so that he could have some freedom of movement. Though the First Class bathrooms remained functional, airline rules forbade passengers from migrating past the bulkhead that separated the two sections. Then a woman with a sick baby burst through the curtains and headed for one of the First Class bathrooms with such fierce intention that she was virtually dragging in her wake the near-hysterical stewardess who had been trying in vain to explain the rules to her. Well, the sight of this determined woman breaching the sacred curtain of First Class broke the dam, as it were. Soon the aisles in First Class were also jammed with folks hopping from one to foot to the other. In the beginning, none of the Coach passengers who had stormed the bastion of privilege were aware of the bathroom on the upper deck but I knew it would be only a matter of time. Since the door to the upper deck bathroom was directly adjacent to the cockpit door, a scrum of passengers clustered in the upper deck lounge presented a security nightmare so I decamped from my seat at the base of the staircase to the lounge where I sacrificed my cover to spend the remainder of the flight standing sentry-like in front of the cockpit door. Interestingly, not one person that night asked me if I was a Sky Marshal.
© Stephen Rustad, 2008
These days, I’m working mostly in social media for a national food company. We have a sub-brand of sorts, Spoiled To Perfection (a video series) that discusses Fermented Foods, a hot topic among both foodies and Millennials This episode (from 2016) features some local (Sonoma County) talent in brewing:
When I have time I blog on my Rustad Marketing website (www.rustadmarketing.com) about topics I think might be relevant to folks interested in contemporary advertising issues and trends. Here’s one I wrote after a dinner with my daughter, who was soon to graduate from college and was fretting about her future.
Advice for A Young Illustrator
Some years ago, I had dinner with my daughter who, in my expert* opinion, is an exceptionally talented illustrator. After dessert, she confessed to me her concern that there wasn’t a place for her in the world of professional illustrators. I remember feeling exactly the same way when I graduated from college, nearly 50 years ago, and faced a bleak job market. Looking back over a professional career that has spanned more than 45 years (and counting), I want to offer my daughter, and others like her, some wisdom about seeking a career in what seems to be an overcrowded field with no obvious points of entry.
When I was first making the rounds as a young man entering the work world I received a profound tip about job hunting that proved to be true for me and many others: There is always a place for someone with talent, intelligence, a desire to work hard and – most important of all – a fresh approach to his or her craft.
Other qualities define my daughter: she has an unquenchable passion to create art of all kinds, and her work sparkles with intelligence, wit and a unique style. Coupled with her talent, these qualities complete the trifecta necessary to succeed as an illustrator.
So, how does my daughter and others like her find a place in a world crowded with talented, hardworking young men and women?
To begin, everyone who wants to sell their services, whether as a freelancer or a prospective employee, needs to view themselves from the point of view of the consumer. This is exactly the same advice I give to any marketer of a product or service. Don’t make the mistake of viewing the world from inside the bubble of self-awareness. In politics, this is called the echo chamber where all you hear is what you say. Businesses who behave this way are, “legends within their own walls.”
Any honest marketing effort starts by facing the hard truth that the great majority of potential customers don’t know who you are, and aren’t looking for you. Few people walk around thinking to themselves, “Who don’t I know that I should know”. The purpose of marketing is to change this. For the sake of simplicity I’ve boiled marketing communications down to three essential, sequential, components: awareness, relevance and action.
Awareness, means that as many people as possible, not just potential customers, have to encounter a memorable message about you. For a young person just starting out, awareness begins with friends and family – sharing projects and samples through broad reach social media such Tumblr, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest and Instagram. A website is essential, and platforms such as Squarespace are virtually free.
Relevance, that is establishing a connection with a potential customer or employer, is achieved by populating your website and social media with projects and concepts that reflect current culture, trends, activities and passions – yours as well as others. Popular topics such as food, fashion, travel, movies and technology provide ample opportunity to demonstrate your intelligence, humor and creativity.
Action, which can range from a prospect or customer returning a message to offering a job, is the result of effective marketing. Common factors that lead to action – assuming that awareness and relevance have been established – are passion, preparation and persistence. Of course, you can’t discount luck. Still, as the saying goes, “Fortune favors the prepared.” One reason this maxim rings true is because two crucial elements of preparation are passion and persistence. (A voice from the back of room heckles, “What about quality, expertise, experience and skill?” In the service of brevity, let’s agree that these are all part of preparation, as well.)
Finally – and here’s the clincher – our aspiring artist must clearly demonstrate a unique style. I see many artists who have talent, skill and appear to be hardworking but the portfolios appear interchangeable. Some of this is perhaps the product of working (or aspiring to work) in a “creative factory” (think Disney or Pixar) where a corporate style or “look” influences the art.
To wrap up, perhaps the most direct answer to the question, “Is there a place for me in the world?” is “Yes, once you give people a chance to discover your unique, original, voice.” Before Apple introduced the iPhone no one knew they needed a hand-held, flat-screen monitor that connected to the Internet. Afterwards, they couldn’t live without one.
If you're interested in knowing more about my daughter, here's the link to her website click here: