A Tribute to Dick Cole
You 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.)
Photo 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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
For Love And Money
Our previous collection presented posters that were done with “Love”, for no pay. Now I show this collection done for various reasons—and, for money. Assignments had challenges, sometimes very difficult, but I don’t remember any illustrator or graphic designer who didn’t love creative work. There were always many commercial needs for posters—as large as outdoor boards and some even small in size, which had messages worthy to be tacked up on a wall.
The creative talents in the San Francisco Bay Area were well known. The “Rock Posters” identified a new culture in the area. The culture was shown in the “costume” of the day. Levi’s men’s wear changed dramatically. Chris Blum, at Honig-Cooper & Harrington created over 75 Levi’s posters for Levi Strauss & Co from 1967 to 1984, hiring a number of local artists.
1970s, “3 Legged Levi’s,” Artist : Victor Moscoso, Lettering : Tony Naganuma
1971, “Cowboy,” Artist : Charles White III, Lettering : Tony Naganuma
1971, “18 Wheeler Truck,” Artist : Michael Schwab
1974, “Levi’s Shadow,” Artist : Bruce Wolfe
1980, “1980 Olympics-Cycling,” Artist : Nicolas Sidjakov
My introduction to poster design :
1-In 1967, as I was still in the Belli Building, this California University Class Reunion poster was assigned to me through ADS Advertising. Apparently someone from the “Class of ‘42” knew someone in the agency and the assignment came to my free-lance studio. The most difficult part of the job was spacing and cementing the individual alumni names framing the artwork.
2-1969-This, small and inexpensive flyer/poster was for the night classes that were offered at the deYoung Museum. I was then free-lancing at 680 Beach Street and I would drive to the museum at night and “throw pots on the wheel”!
3-In 1970, A.Carlisle & Co. asked me to create two layouts for Levi’s. This tied into fashion change at that time. One design was to be chosen for a poster and sales folder. I was hired often to create layouts when several printing houses and art studios were competing with each other.
4- From September 1975 to September 1978, I worked for the San Francisco Ballet.
I learned a lot about this ballet company in those years because I was involved with posters, brochures, direct mail pieces and newspaper ads. By just changing the colors and the type, this Winter/Spring Season poster adapted well for the additional poster for the special guest performances of Valery & Galina Panov.
5- In May of 1979, Ayer /Pritikin & Gibbons asked me to create a simple B&W line illustration of Maiden Lane (their location) to be used on the cover of folders for internal use in that agency. On each of the printed folders, I was instructed to hand-paint only the area of their sign—as I show here (I don’t remember, now, the actual colors). Weeks after I was paid, I stopped by the agency and found that the art had been enlarged—larger than a poster— to the height of their wall in their receptions area !
6- Again I was hired only for a layout, its purpose was to get approval for the elements of a proposed design. For the 1979 poster for the San Francisco Opera, La Gioconda (previously assigned to Bruce Wolfe) I was instructed by Catherine Flanders, at D’Arcy-MacManus & Masius, to create a layout of a carved, stone (marble?) lion with the scene of a “ship on fire” in its mouth. The type was already styled. The SF Opera approved this layout and then Bruce Wolfe created the finished art.
7- Since the early ‘70s, I worked often with “medical agencies” such as Vicom Associates. In 1982 at 901 Battery Street, I was asked to imitate George Montgomery Flagg’s image for their client, IVAC.
8- In 1985, again with Vicom & Associates, I had the chance to create the layout and the finished art for a poster for Cutter Biomedical. Previous to the accepted layout, I presented 30 “thumbnail” sketches at 4”x 5”, as possibilities.
9- Skate America International ’91 The full color art for this poster and B&W version for newspaper ads were for art director, Gail Perry Johnson,
The following is a collection of posters by various artists working in the San Francisco Bay Area.
A- Pacific Northwest, United Airlines, Artist : Stan Galli, Art Director : Eugene Raven, 1958
B- Shipstad & Johnson Ice Follies, Artist : Larry Green. I remember this poster in color, but I could only find this, as shown in the 1964 ADASF Annual Show publication. This poster was a big departure from the usual “ice follies” traditional style. This was art directed by Jack Keeler at Campbell-Ewald, 1964
C- Moby Grape /Jack the Ripper /Big Brother & The Holding Co., Artist : John Lichtenwalner, 1967
D- “The Silent Majority”, Artist : Primo Angeli, 1969
E- Cliff House, Artist : Stephen Haines Hall
F- SF Jazz Festival, Presented by American Airlines, Artist : Ward Schumacher, 1994
San Francisco’s Art Clubs 1958 – 1984
In 1958, the 10TH Annual Exhibition of San Francisco Advertising Art was a partnership of The Art Directors Club and the Society of Designers & Illustrators. In 1962, the San Francisco Society of Illustrators was founded. Some time before 1964, the San Francisco Art Directors And Artists Club was established. Then Bill Hyde designed the new logo and it became, in 1965, the Art Directors And Artists Club Of San Francisco.
In 1971, after copywriters and other graphic talent joined the club, the title became the San Francisco Society of Communicating Arts. In 1984, SFADC, the San Francisco Art Directors Club was located at Fort Mason.
Members Contribute Their Talents
Contributing to the success of these clubs, were the many members who offered their expertise, time and energy.
The 1967 ADASF Exhibition Annual (6”x 6”)
These photos (credit for photos is unavailable) show just some of those who contributed their assistance for the success of the 1967 event. (Adele Smith was paid, but she contributed much, much, more than her job description.)
Posters And Mailers
For annual exhibitions, special events and membership drives — various members created the design for each promotion and enlisted the generous help from copywriters, typographers and lithographers. Here are just a few as examples.
1 1966 ADASF “CALL FOR ENTRIES” for the 17th Exhibition
Created by : Chris Blum, Typography : Timely Typography, Lithography : Gordon Dettner Printers
2 1967 ADASF “LUV-IN” Surprise Party for the club’s secretary, Adele Smith
Created by : Bill Hyde, Copy by : Alice Harth /Harriet Hunter, Typography : Reardon & Krebs, Lithography : NAVH San Francisco Printers
3 1967 ADASF “A NOBLE ‘GESTURE’” Membership Offer
Created by : Ann Thompson, Typography : Reardon & Krebs Lithography : Dobson, Inc.
4 1968 ADASF “eureka ! a miniature gold rush!”
Created by : Gerald Melcher, Typography : Headliners & Falk Typography, Lithography : Pacific Lithograph, Co.
5 1968 “ADASF WELCOMES COPYWRITERS”
Created by : Mike Bull, (No other credits available)
6 1968 “ADASF MEMBERSHIP OFFER”
Created by : Ann Thompson, Copywriter : Larry McDermott, Typography : Rapid Typographers,
Lithography : Leisenring Printing
7 1969 ADASF & SF WRITERS CLUB “The 1969 Communications Fair”, twelve page brochure
Created by : Jerry Huff (show chairman), Five full page illustrations : Ed Taber, Typography : Reprotype Studio, Lithography : Peter Wells Press
8 1970 SAN FRANCISCO AD CLUB Request for avant-garde submissions
Created by : Primo Angeli (Included in a collection of “Images Of An Era : The American Poster” sponsored by Smithsonian Institution, 1976)
9 1969 ADASF “GENISIS 1” FILM EVOLUTION (An Exciting Collection of Student Films)
Created by Mike Bull, (No other credits listed)
10 1984 SFADC “GREAT IDEAS THAT DIDN’T FLY”- COMP SHOW, Call for Entries
Created by : A.D. Perry Gorchov, Design & Illustration & Hand-lettering : Dugald Stermer, Co-Design : Ron Chan, Lithography : Cannon Press /Charles Douglas Litho