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 Sal 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:
Painter to Graphics to Painter
Ward Schumaker’s Bio: Painter to Graphics to Painter
By the time I was six I knew I would become a painter. But in 1965, at the age of 22, I entered a competition put on by the governor of Nebraska (my home state) and after judges awarded me first place, the governor went crazy, called my entry “filthy and disgusting” and threatened me with prosecution for creating pornography. I quit painting, moved to California, and became a paper salesman.
And I might have remained a paper salesman my whole long life except that I also became a father. How could I tell my son I was a paper salesman? Not that there’s anything wrong with that — unless you realized you’d been created to paint. So, without knowing anything about design, I started doing paste-ups for designers (Fetzer-Conover) and ended up working for Snoopy at Determined Productions.
In 1978, 35 years old, I quit. I rented a desk from Corporate Graphics and began illustrating.
Rapidograph dots was my specialty and on my first day out, I got my first editorial work: Rich Silverstein at San Francisco Magazine: 40 hours, $40; as well as the cover of Coppola’s City magazine: same price. The next week Mik Kitigawa gave me my first commercial job (a jug of milk): 40 hours, $1000. This seemed pretty good! It was not quite what I wanted to do, not my taste, but it sure beat paper sales.
Seven years later Linda Hinrichs asked me to do drawings for Dole Mushrooms; she wanted them done in pencil and done loosely, like a sketch book: right up my alley! From then on I kept getting work closer and closer to my desires. FedExpress arrived, enabling me to work on the East Coast; then emails opened up Europe and Japan. I began creating illustrations for the NYTimes, Gourmet, the Boston Globe; as well as Le Figaro, Hermès and Playboy Japan.
Note: Above is *my personal collection of Ward Schumaker’s early art styles (which I gathered and saved as I followed Ward’s successful entry into San Francisco’s graphic community. Some of these show their age and I have noted the years that they appeared in publications here in the San Francisco Bay region. The years show at the bottom of each image when they were published. (Self-promotions of the1970s and assignments from 1982 to 2008.)
Ward has said that he is surprised that I have this small collection (of his extensive early work). I met Ward as he called on our art studio, representing Carpenter-Offutt Paper and as he started creating commercial art, I became a fan of his unlimited original styles.
1‑adam.eve.snake: illustration for book, God’s Femur. Client: S F Center for the Book
2‑asleep: illustration for book, The Art of Being a Woman. Client: Potter
3‑au.chat.agile: illustration for book Two Kitchens in Provence. Client: Yolla Bolly Press
4‑Bark.Magazine: illustration for article on dogs. Client: Bark Magazine
5‑black.dance: cover illustration for Datebook. Client: San Francisco Chronicle
6‑charitybiz: cover of book, Charity Biz. Client: Payot
7‑circus: cover of book, Sing a Song of Circus. Client: Chronicle Books
8‑columbus.bakery: logo for bakery café. Client: Columbus Bakery
9‑Dix.Jours: cover for book, Dix Jours dans Les Collines. Client: Rivages
10-esquire.japan: cover for magazine featuring Northern California. Client: Esquire Japan
11-hemispheres.cover: cover for inflight magazine. Client: United Airlines
12-hermes: catalog for the press. Client: Hermès
13-in.my.garden: cover of Japanese children’s book, In My Garden. Client: Chronicle Books
14-Japanese.Cultural: illustration for brochure. Client: S F Japanese Cultural Center
15-lagom: cardboard calligraphy. Client: Afar Magazine
16-mooses_cups: logo for San Francisco restaurant. Client: Moose’s restaurant
17-paris.bouge: calligraphy for magazine cover. Client: Le Figaro
18-reading_cat: illustration for bookmark. Client: S F Center for the Book
19-sfchronicle_anniv: calligraphic illustration for cover of the Datebook. Client: S F Chronicle
20-shrek: calligraphic illustration for Broadway play. Client: Spotco
21-wash.post.nixon: illustration for magazine. Client: Washington Post
Around year 2000 my then new wife suggested I return to painting and now that’s all I do.
You’re invited to visit my current show at Jack Fischer Gallery in San Francisco at 16th and Potrero (until 11 May): Spyder Gears + Identity Maps. Link to: Jack Fischer Gallery Exhibition
Much of my fine art consists of large hand-painted books with hand-cut stenciled typography and recently a trade version of one – – an anti-Trump book called Hate Is What We Need – – was published by Chronicle Books. Buy it on Amazon or Chronicle’s website.
My wife, Vivienne Flesher, will be showing at Jack Fischer Gallery’s Minnesota Street Project venue, with an opening 01 June. I’d love to see you there! And my son is now a Martin Luther King, Jr., Visiting Scholar at M.I.T. He creates extraordinary, amazing computer music. I’m so proud of both of them. And at 76 years old, they make me realize what a fortunate guy I’ve been.
POP and POS
In the years shown here, “Point Of Purchase” and “Point Of Sale” were the terms to describe the many items that made products appealing, (Today the term: Point Of Sale or POS is widely defined as the process of purchasing the product or service.)
In the years of 1970 to 1975, I was able to touch on this area of marketing. From label and product designs to the promo pieces that brought attention to the product in a store setting. These assignments gave me a sense of being there, greeting the customers. (I was young.)
The A. Carlisle & Co. of San Francisco had the printing and construction equipment to develop a variety of store displays. Carlisle’s creative directors gave me — twelve assignments. Here are some examples:
Shasta: In 1889 “Shasta” was known for the waters from the Mt. Shasta, CA region.
In the years after 1931 it was developed into a ginger ale or soda and they were offered usually as a mix for alcoholic drinks. In the 1950s Shasta Cola became available in cans. Operating from their headquarters in Hayward CA, the Shasta company was a nearby client for advertising assignments.
1970 Shasta Cola, Shelf-Talker. This was an unusual idea at that time – opaque inks printed on foil, with a die-cut. This was to show along with the Shasta Cola displayed on the market shelf.
C&H Sugar: (California and Hawaiian Sugar Company) As early as 1906, ships from Hawaii were sailing into San Francisco Bay, then northeast through San Pablo Bay reaching the port of Crockett where they offloaded raw cane sugar. C&H today, produces 700,000 tons of sugar annually. C&H was a steady client for San Francisco ad agencies and printing companies.
1971 C&H Sugar Hawaii (3‑D wire hangers). Here the request was to have two “Wire-Hangers” with two different scenes on each side (one showing daytime and the other side, nighttime. Also there was a banner with the words: “LUAU LAND”
1972 C&H Sugar (Wire Hangers). I first tried other rough ideas: an egg and bunny as a folded die-cut in an egg shape – – a little bunny – – a chicken – – then two layouts preceded the final five wire-hangers.
1973-Electric & Gas Industries Association –EIGA. Originally headquartered in San Francisco, with roots from the early 1930s, EGIA began as a nonprofit membership association with the mission to help promote the sale of energy-efficient appliances for retailers throughout the state of California. EIGA is now located in Sacramento, CA.
1973: Clorox’s Liquid-plumr
“Liquid-plumr” made by Clorox with headquarters in Oakland CA, was another regional client. Not having a color Xerox in those years, I show these four examples in b/w. The one chosen was to be rendered as finished art, printed and then placed in markets near the product.
The large wine industry in California gave the Carlisle Company many opportunities of displaying a variety of displays and bins that would hold many bottles and have photographs portraying an elegant display of the wines.
1973: Inglenook wine was founded in Rutherford, California during 1879 by Gustave Niebaum, a Finnish sea captain.
This Inglenook page of layouts offered the client a choice of photographic settings. The clients would choose the mood that they wanted displayed and a photographer would follow the basic “look” and be the one to choose all of the elements for the “table-top” setting. The chosen “look” is shown also.
1973: Chilean Wines. Carlisle’s client, here, might have been a company dealing mostly with wines imported into San Francisco Bay. It might have been the beginning of the San Francisco Wine Trading Company. (I have no other source.) For this assignment, we offered many choices of subjects for the “feel” of a Chilean vineyard. Two of the subjects were developed.
1973: One of California’s oldest and most renowned wineries, Geyser Peak Winery was founded in 1880 by Augustus Quitzow, a pioneer in Alexander Valley winemaking,
1974: POP concepts for imported BABYSHAM.
1973 – 1974: Annacorré. I don’t have notes on this display sheet as to who brought this job to us, nor the name of the parent winery. I cannot find any information about this wine, on line.
United Vintners Starting in 1975 I got a number of assignments from United Vintners, usually through ad agencies such as McCann Erickson. Some assignments were also for magazine ads, and posters for Guild Brandy. A “warm-up” jacket was offered.
How many ways can you offer a wood wine-rack for $22.00?
For Inglenook, these b&w copies were Magic Marker color sketches to show eleven ways to make that offer on their in-store display bins.
This other (folded) display layout was to be placed behind a collection of Inglenook bottles.
United Vintners, in those days, also had the three TJ Swann ($1.75) fruit wines: Easy Nights, Mellow Days, and After Hours. These are no longer available in markets. This “Dial a Wine” was to be attached to the refrigerated cases that held these wines. The turn of the dial to 15 descriptive sentences, would offer the suggested fruit wine for each occasion!
This was one of three strange assignments, so far in my career. (The first was the packaging of mealworms for fishing. (“Mighty Mealys” was a previous story.) The other was for a J. Walter Thompson client: Shakey’s Pizza. They planned a Christmas P.O.P. poster showing a slice of pizza with the Shakey’s logo as the star on the top. 7‑Up was an additional product to show – so bottle caps were ornaments and the 7‑Up bottle was the trunk of the tree. (I’ve tried to forget that assignment.)
Paul Masson (1859 – 1940) emigrated from Burgundy, France to California in 1878. In 1892 he developed his first sparkling wine. Masson eventually became known as the “Champagne King of California”.
Late 1970s: David Reid, creative director at Browne Vintners, planned that this poster for Paul Masson wines to be, actually, a P.O.P.!
The artist, Dick Moore, said that it was offered FREE– as a “tear-off-sheet”.
ADASF 1958 – 1971
Here is a collection of designs accepted in the annual exhibitions of the Art Directors and Artists Club of San Francisco. Point Of Purchase aka: Point Of Sale.
One might question how a large outdoor board could be a point of sale. The two “OK” boards, in the ‘70s, were place at the side of the large Chevrolet lots selling “OK” approved used cars. Too bad, that the annuals were only in black and white. (I had one color example, so I added it.
The many San Francisco Bay Area graphic artists and art studios — had steady sources of employment. Reviewing all of these examples from the few years shown, I wonder how the POP industry is operating now. Do artists still have the freedom to develop and render various choices for the client, printing shops, or ad agencies – – still with markers or what?