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 21961).

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 61988)

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 242013.)

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

IT” Was An ATM !

In August of 1974, I was free-​lancing at 300 Broadway, second floor. I was assigned the chal­lenge of creating a new image for Redwood Bank. I began with the colors so popular in those years, magenta and red. Here you see, just portions of pages of devel­op­ment — the last section shows the devel­oped logo used with the basic logo of each of the bank branches.

So busy was I, with the logo devel­op­ment, I wasn’t yet informed what this new “IT” was offering. As approved copy arrived for type­set­ting and I received my instruc­tions for a line drawing of the “Instant Teller” — I saw that this was very different ! There were many promo­tional pieces required : news­paper ads, folders, bank displays, outdoor boards, taxi backs and more. (In the third item below which was produced to mail the IT card to the Redwood Bank account holder, you can see that this is just my mock-​up of what would be the actual plastic card.)

I have to laugh at myself because at that time, I thought that this form of banking — using a piece of equip­ment instead of the personal inter­ac­tion with a human bank teller — would never catch on. Then, when it was said that a person would do their banking out on the street — then I was sure this was risky and a “bad Idea”! Recently, I looked up the first install­ments of this kind of service. In the US, a patent record issued to Luther George Simjian shows his 132nd patent (US3079603), was first filed on June 30,1960. There are reports of many banking machines with many names devel­oped in many coun­tries, but the “Instant Teller” was new to this area. I must have been too absorbed in my work to even read or hear any news reports about the new convenience.

Promo­tional pins, T-​shirts, and plastic tote bags —were added to the Redwood Bank’s campaign. When the equip­ment and the card that acti­vated the Instant Teller were ready, this news­paper story (below) appeared in San Rafael’s Inde­pen­dent Journal on August 21, 1975 describing a period of time when the equip­ment would be prac­ticed — inside the bank — to be followed by the instal­la­tion OUTSIDE and avail­able “24 hours a day, 365 days a year”! One of the last of my assign­ments was this round handout, a reminder to try “IT”.

There were many years when Redwood Bank offered this new method of banking at each of their branches. I never thought to take a photo when the bank had the large brightly colored images of the “IT’ logo at his loca­tion at 1447 Fourth Street, San Rafael, CA.— I thought it would, always, be there.

The first photo, the loca­tion, 1447 Fourth Street, as it was in 1964. The second photo is how it looks now. It was orig­i­nally a Pacific Gas and Elec­tric building. Today, it has two-​tenants, a dental prac­tice and herb store /​clinic. The bank has become Redwood Credit Union at the Montecito Shop­ping Center on Third Street in San Rafael. It has a green color scheme and ATMs outside.

I found it odd that there is no Internet refer­ence about the Redwood Bank and its branches, nor any refer­ence to the 1975 intro­duc­tion to “IT”! But recently, I found out that a personal friend, Ann Cameron, whose title at that time was Senior Oper­a­tions Officer, Redwood National Bank, was at the bank at that time ! She was able to bring a huge scrap­book of photos, news­paper clip­pings and bank publi­ca­tions. I asked Ann for her personal expe­ri­ences with the intro­duc­tion of “IT”!

She wrote :

Getting the first ATM (we called the Instant Teller) in Marin Co. sounds cool. And Redwood Bank was a bastion of cool, at least in the corner offices ! But for those of us who had to make it work it was night­mare. For starters during the roll out we had to wear T-​shirts that had the slogan, YOULL LOVE IT AT REDWOOD right across our chests. UGG we all hated it ! In the first iter­a­tion the money had to be loaded in to little envelopes, a five-​dollar bill and a twenty. Then the envelopes were loaded into trays that fitted into the back of the machine. Of course it broke down all the time and many nights a client would call me at home to come down and give them money from the back of the IT. As it was free standing kiosk in the parking lot secu­rity was always an issue. Auditing would have been most displeased if they ever figured out we just opened the doors and doled out money. The next gener­a­tion of IT did not use the envelopes. The currency was fed into the trays, $20.00 in the top tray and $10.00 bill in the bottom. Of course if you reversed the trays then the machine dispensed $20s where the $10s should be. I had a huge dog in those days and always took him with me on my night excur­sions to the Bank, my secu­rity. Inter­est­ingly during this same period Redwood was also exper­i­menting with what is now on-​line banking, we called it computer banking. We had a handful of clients who had access to their accounts via their home computer. Even­tu­ally the Bank decided they did not have the infra­struc­ture for all the compli­cated program­ming that needed to be in place to make computer banking viable.

Ann Cameron

From the scrap­book, I show these addi­tional images :

The first shows the outdoor instal­la­tion of the Instant Teller located in the bank’s parking lot with a group photo of the bank’s employees in 1976.
Second, is a clip­ping from the Vallejo Inde­pen­dent Press, August 12,1979.
Third, two pages from the Redwood Bancorp Annual Report 1975, which describes Redwood Bank’s inno­v­a­tive approaches to banking. (The illus­trator is not cred­ited and most likely would have been one of our Geezers, back in the day.)

Ann Thompson