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.