Louis Macouillard, Location, Location

Louis Macouil­lard, Loca­tion – Loca­tion

I never got to meet this fine San Fran­cisco painter/​illustrator who was known for his water­color paint­ings, posters, menu covers, murals, stamp designs and more. Of French decent, he was born in San Fran­cisco in 1913.
In the early ‘30s he attended San Fran­cisco Poly­technic High School (1884 – 1973).

701 Fred­erick Street, across from Kezar Stadium, I show the two gymna­siums, as they are today and a photo showing the main building. Also, here is a Google photo, showing the distance between the two gyms, where the main building once stood.
I know three of my friends who schooled there in the late ‘40s and ‘50s. The photo of these friends in art class, are today’s artists : Norm Nicholson and Tony Calvello. The school offered a prepa­ra­tion for a career rather than require­ments for an acad­emic college.

By 1934, Louis was attending the Cali­fornia College of Arts in Oakland (which was renamed in 1936 as the Cali­fornia College of Arts Crafts). The history of this college goes back to 1902. Louis then studied study at the Art Students League in New York City.
Back in San Fran­cisco, he opened his studio on Hotaling Place. He became art director for Velve­tone Poster Company at the same loca­tion in Jackson Square.
Following the early proce­dures that put printed words on felt pennants, this poster company pioneered the high quality screen-​printing of a “poster”. Here is a photo of that pioneer poster company and the poster that Louis Macouil­lard created for them. The third showing is Hotaling Place, today.

Louis was a Lieu­tenant in the Navy during WWII in the South Pacific. Research stated that a spread of his paint­ings from this area of the world was shown in the October 18,1943 issue of Life Maga­zine. The cover, shown below, shows Ensign Louis Macouil­lard and Grace Harrison, who was an adver­tising copy­writer in San Fran­cisco. They had married in July of 1943 and they remained together until his death in 1987. Grace died in 2000. Nowhere on the web could I find the story in the maga­zine, so for $6.59 I bought a copy so that I could share it here. This issue had many adver­tise­ments of prod­ucts known then and now, with illus­tra­tions from the very talented commer­cial artists of the time. Besides the British Pathé News in the theaters and the limited photos in news­pa­pers, Life’s exten­sive photos covering WWII in many parts of the world was an exten­sive and current view of the war.
Here is Life Magazine’s story about Ensign Macouil­lard and repro­duc­tions of his paint­ings, on loca­tion, followed by a painting that he created near the ancient temple, Marea Tainuu on the island, Ra’i?tea, French Poly­nesia.

The last image is a remem­brance written by Fred Meinke. Fred and Cal Anderson, (two of our SF adver­tising friends) also painted when “off-​duty” at a WWII loca­tion.

During the 1960s, Louis carried on the assign­ment of menu covers for the Matson Line. He followed three previous artists who had illus­trated trop­ical scenes for the line’s voyages to Hawaii and other trop­ical Matson desti­na­tions. From the Macouil­lard collec­tion, I show just three. There seems to be just one menu showing San Fran­cisco.

Through the years, there are so very many exam­ples of Macouillard’s fine art and commer­cial assign­ments found on the web (Louis Macouillard-​Images). I show a few well-​known exam­ples and include some that are in private collec­tions.

A few notes from the above collec­tion :
The 1950s illus­tra­tion “South Shore St. Peter’s Church Royal Bermuda Yacht Club Bermuda After­noon” was one printed by Portal Publi­ca­tions, Ltd. (founded in 1954 in San Rafael, CA)
Summer Fog” was one of four prints (date unknown) by Bohemian Inter­na­tional Publishers, Ltd..
The Bank of America mural in San Mateo, CA.
BofA was formerly, The Bank of Italy in San Fran­cisco. During the 1906 earth­quake and fire, all funds were moved for safe-​keeping by A. P. Gian­nini to his home San Mateo.
This 1970s mural is a tribute to Mr. Gian­nini and that history. It was designed by Louis Macouil­lard. Glass tiles were set by Alphonso Purdinas.

Louis was a very skilled, life-​long yachtsman and he hand­crafted one of the first trimarans to sail on San Fran­cisco Bay. Besides their home on Russian Hill in San Fran­cisco, the Macouil­lards also lived in Glen Ellen, Sonoma County, another area of inspi­ra­tion for his painting.
Louis Macouil­lard died on November 26, 1987 in San Fran­cisco.

Ann Thompson

Wearing Graphic Messages

The Sand­wich Board I found this photo, below, as just one early example of graphic adver­tising that gave the wearer an income. In 19th century England there were Sand­wich Men or Human Bill­boards. This was also a common sight during the “Depres­sion” years in the USA. Persons who wanted to convey their own personal state­ments or “causes” also used the “sand­wich board” method for commu­ni­ca­tion.

The next biped adver­tise­ment surface for displaying a message was the T-​shirt. The orig­inal short sleeve under­shirt became outer­wear for the army and then many laborers began to work, wearing only their T-​shirt. Adults and chil­dren knew the “T-​shirt” by 1920. Consensus seems to say that the first time that a T-​shirt was used to send a message, was in the 1939 movie, “The Wizard of Oz”. In the Emerald City of OZ, the three OZ workers, the ”Wash & Brush Up Co.” who re-​stuffed the scare­crow with his own hay, wore green shirts showing only two letters : “OZ”.By the early ‘50s there were other printed t-​shirts, produced in Florida.

Then in the early ‘60s Marget Larsen who was designing for Weiner & Gossage’s client, Rainier Ale of Seattle, created the 1961 ad with the offer of possibly “the first sweat­shirts ever!” to have silk-​screened photo­graphic portraits. This also was where Howard “Luck” Gossage created his very “wordy” ads. His low-​key plug for Rainier Ale was in the top line : (Rainier Ale Strikes a Blow for Culture ; a Public Service Adver­tise­ment).

This ad ran in the New Yorker. It offered a sweat­shirt for $4 to wear while listening to the San Fran­cisco clas­sical music station, KSFR. The ad suggested that this would include the recip­i­ents into the realm of “High­brows”. Later the entire Boston Symphony Orchestra wore the Beethoven sweat­shirt on Beethoven’s birthday. Lith­o­graphing half-​tone images on a sweat­shirt started a whole industry !

Cotton Shirts T-​shirts and sweat­shirts are woven and soft enough to not require much care so for most sports it is ideal. Cotton and thinner mate­rials are usually used for bowling shirts. The team name or image can be lost in the wrin­kles. Dick Moore gave the art for this “Rolling Toads Shirt” to the bowling team. He never saw the shirts in person but did receive this photo.

Also shown is Dick’s design and illus­tra­tion for a T-​shirt for a fishing tour­na­ment. (He produced some commer­cial work as well as being a fine art water­col­orist while in Hawaii.) As I write this, Dick’s is sending his orig­inal art to be printed on (yes) “The Sons of Cham­plin : Home Grown in Marin” T-​shirt.

As I began my life in adver­tising, I never knew that I would be involved with clothing. Spon­sored Bene­fits The public’s partic­i­pa­tion in cycling and running events has required apparel to empha­size the popular events. Here is a shirt design that was repro­duced for Houston’s Amer­ican Rheuma­tism Asso­ci­a­tion, a 1988 Benefit Run. Also shown, three possible designs for the Amer­ican Lung Asso­ci­a­tion of San Mateo’s Fund Raising, Sofitel Bastille Tour. The French theme was initi­ated because The Hotel Sofitel (later, Pullman Hotels & Resorts) contributed their loca­tion as part of the cycling tour.

Product Promo­tions As a layout artist for an agency for phar­ma­ceu­tical prod­ucts, I was to design sweat­shirts for persons within the compa­nies. In some cases, jackets and base­ball caps were offered.
Jack Davis was known espe­cially for his illus­tra­tions for MAD Maga­zine. To sell the client, Naprosyn, on the visual for a sweat­shirt for their employees, I tried to guess what Davis would do. Next you see his b/​w layout and, lastly, his full colored art printed on a sweat­shirt.

Under-​Stated Iden­tity Some­times the client’s iden­tity was small, as this shirt for Apple Univer­sity. Apple University’s Molly Tyson and I created a series of items in the same style. There were many sketches to develop the “Lead­er­ship” image.

Just for Fun Next, body-​promo could be for private events. These items were created for fun and for free. “Vicom” Asso­ciate had begun as Barnum Commu­ni­ca­tions, and then became Vicom Asso­ciates and finally, FCB Health­care. These designs are cred­ited to many in the agency’s art depart­ment. I have no record on who did what. These were for agency events : The Vicom Asso­ciates soft­ball team,
I previ­ously showed the agency’s bowling shirt and then there was the “Ship of Fools”, an agency party of some sort, on The Ruby, which was hired for the night on the SF Bay. It all was so very foolish ! In the star-​less, moon-​less night, no life preservers to be found, no deck shoes on the decks, no sober words from the captain, and no calm water. At times the deck was almost perpen­dic­ular to the bay. The trip from San Francisco’s China Basin to Sausalito and back was scary and still great fun, having survived to tell about it.

Socks That Say Some­thing I didn’t even know that this could be a possi­bility. (Dick Moore wears’um.)

Bodies as Bill­boards, Tattoos ! I have nothing to show, here. I have read that persons have sold areas of there skin to adver­tise prod­ucts and websites !

Ann Thompson

Geezers Gathered 2017

click on the photo for a larger view.

1970 Anti War Project

In early 1970s I was a writer at McCann-​Erickson Adver­tising Agency. The Agency was asked to create a Pro Bono Anti-​Vietnam project for Clergy and Laymen Concerned. The Creative Dept. submitted adver­tising against the War in Vietnam. I wrote a full page print ad that ran in the Chron­icle, N.Y. Times, etc. The head­line said Our Government’s Peace Plan is a Bomb…with a slogan that read End the Endless War.

I also created a radio and tele­vi­sion commer­cial featuring Direc­tion by Haskell Wexler and actor Henry Fonda’s Voice Over. We recorded Henry Fonda in the billiard-​room of his house. When we first drove to his house Henry Fonda greeted us in his front yard wearing jeans and gardening gloves. He said he was doing some “weeding”.

At one point during the recording of the commer­cials, Mr. Fonda commented on the script, saying, “Jane should talk more like this when she talks about the War”.

Later, Haskell Wexler said he was hearing too much noise on the recording. We went to Mr. Fonda’s deck which over­looked the U.C.L.A. campus below and saw mili­tary heli­copters and tear gas smoke across the Univer­sity below. We patiently waited until the Anti-​Vietnam Student Protest ended before contin­uing to film our Anti-​Vietnam radio and tele­vi­sion commer­cials.

This is the submis­sion I made to KQED. They didn’t use it…but, it does seem to be appro­priate for Geezers.

Todd Miller

Imitating The New Yorker Cartoonists

Imita­tion is the sincerest form of flat­tery.” This is the famous quote used since it was stated by the English cleric and writer, Charles Caleb Colton who lived from 1780 – 1832. Artists, through the years, have learned from each other and often there is an obvious simi­larity achieved in their work. I found that it was chal­lenging to imitate the art styles of others. As a layout artist, I could present a partic­ular artist’s style- — with the plan of the client hiring the artist known for that style.

In 1968, Charles Matheny Adver­tising was located on the second floor of the Belli Building (where I was begin­ning my graphic art career) we both admired James Thurber who was an Amer­ican writer with a unique style of wit and humorous illus­tra­tion. Thurber’s cartoons and short stories were published mostly in The New Yorker, and he was also a jour­nalist and a play­wright—

–but he could no longer be reached :
James Grover Thurber (December 8, 1894 – November 2, 1961).

So imita­tion was our answer.
I offered a similar “look” (not truly copying his style — not really fooling Thurber fans). Charles Matheny had a long career in copy­writing for adver­tising. There were various campaigns for his client, Cali­fornia Casu­alty. These ads, folders and counter card show the art style that didn’t take much time to execute so it fit the client’s sched­ules and budget for this campaign.

In 1975, there were two ad campaigns, promoting the use of BankAmeri­card. I was to study Robert Weber’s cartoon style. His work was easy to find as his cartoons were also published often in The New Yorker maga­zine. Robert Maxwell Weber (April 22, 1924 – October 20, 2016 Known for over 1,400 cartoons that appeared in The New Yorker from 1962 to 2007 – this was an artist that could be reached in the 1970s ! The first ad shows Weber’s style. Next, my layout (imitating Weber’s style) and the final ad by Weber as printed in many publi­ca­tions.

With the second BofA ad — I again tried to guess the image that would sell the concept to the client, National BankAmeri­card Inc. (that I knew as NBI). (After all these years, my files are incom­plete and I cannot remember the creative director that guided me.) I was not able to have a copy of the second final printed ad showing Weber’s final art — but here is the Xerox from those days that shows his plan. I was able to use this image in preparing the type and place­ment of the art before his final illus­tra­tion arrived.

Charles David Saxon (November 13, 1920 — December 6. 1988)

Maxwell “Bud” Arnold formed an adver­tising agency in 1970. He was creating effec­tive adver­tising campaigns for clients but he also felt that he could use adver­tising to reach an audi­ence on socially conscious issues. In September of 1976, for Maxwell Arnold’s client, Golden Gate Transit, I was asked to imitate a Charles Saxon style. (This was the only time that I had free-​lanced for Mr. Arnold. He died May 24, 2013.)

After being an editor for Dell Publishing before and after his service in WW2, Saxon began his career as a very well know cartoonist — first for The Saturday Evening Post and in 1956 he started producing his outstanding 92 covers and 700 cartoons for The New Yorker.
Following the two SAXON covers, below, this was my “Saxonish” drawing that’s Bud Arnold submitted to Golden Gate Transit for an approval of style—

—but the finished art was assigned to still another artist who was showing in several popular maga­zines and also worked for year for Disney : Henry ‘Hank’ Syverson (October 5, 1918 – August 12, 2007) Besides being a constant cartoonist for the Saturday Evening Post, This Week and The New Yorker maga­zines, his draw­ings reached other coun­tries with PAN AM Airways ads.
Here are some of Syverson’s creations :

The last ad appeared in October in the Marin County’s Inde­pen­dent Journal. It was then that I found out that the client had changed the artist from Charles Saxon to Hank Syverson.

Ann Thompson