Commercially Christmas

Commer­cially Christmas — And An Antic­i­pated Event: The Pacific Crab-Bash!

December usually inspired Santa on bill­boards, cards, and ads — and Marget Larsen produced many holiday graphic boxes and wrap­ping paper. The ADASF Annual Exhi­bi­tion gave her the Award of Merit in 1965. (Marget also worked at 901 Battery Street during the1980s, where she designed fabrics. I was in that loca­tion in those years and I would meet Marget briefly and also see our long time friend, John Pratt who was then an assis­tant to Marget.)
These outdoor boards are also from 1965.

Holiday Gift Boxes. Artist, Marget Larsen. Art Direc­tors, Marget Larsen /Robert Freeman. Copy­writer, Howard Gossage. Printer, The Finn Indus­tries. Client, Intrin­sics. (Photo: CA Maga­zine, Marget Larsen article, March/April 1988.)
B of A —Photog­ra­pher, Lee Blodget. Art Director, John McDa­nials. Copy­writer, John McDa­nials. Printer, Compton & Sons. Agency, Johnson & Lewis. Client, Bank of America.
OK-Used Cars—Artist, Lowell Herrero. Art Director, Gene Duffy. Agency, Campbell-Ewald. Client, Chevrolet Used Cars.
Yellow Pages—Artist, Henry Syverson. Art Director, Robert Watkins. Copy­writer, Hal Atkins. Printer, Art Craft Poster Co. Agency, BBDO. Client, Pacific Telephone.

At Vicom Asso­ciates / FCB Health­care, I was asked to tie-in “Santa” images with a line of phar­ma­ceu­tical client prod­ucts. The first four exam­ples, below, were for Syntex Labo­ra­to­ries Inc.: 1987, two 4½” X 6 ½” “Happy Holi­days!” cards. The two larger cards (the 2nd, so large, I show only the lower quarter of it) were for the Syntex marketing department.

The 1994 news­paper full-page for Genen­tech, Inc. was produced in one day! Creative director, Lester Barnett, came into my room and asked me to wrap a fir tree around the already posi­tioned type. Then off it went, out the door, and the next morning it was in the SF Chron­icle on December 251994.
I was also free-lancing for Pat Corman Public Rela­tions, repre­senting The Market­place; Santa was requested for their retail ads.

San Fran­cisco suppliers: typog­raphy, paper, and printing compa­nies in those days were so very generous with gifts to those who designed with these suppliers in mind. Pacific Lith­o­graph Inc. was one of the favorite printing houses in San Francisco.

Doug Ballinger, Ed Roualdes and Dick Vrooman — were friends, and after working with them throughout the year — all was cele­brated in December with the crab-feed that topped the “be there” list. The printed invites to this annual event were antic­i­pated and word spread fast of the date when the very best mari­nated crab was served with garlic French bread and with bottles of wine to pick up for your table.

I don’t remember Pacific Litho’s loca­tion; I seem to remember it on Vermont Street. There were places to park, then. After passing through the front door, the din of many voices and the whiffs of the huge amount of crab — pulled you into the huge press­room. The crowd seemed to be the whole of the adver­tising commu­nity and the whole Pacific Litho crew. I remember talking with the pressmen, who were always so busy when we’d be there at a press check.

Here, above, is the iron-on invi­ta­tion created one year by Lowell Herrero. In April 1976, I had moved my free-lancing to the phar­ma­ceu­tical agency, Barnum Commu­ni­ca­tions. In December, word in town was that year’s Crab-Bash invites had been sent — but nothing arrived for me. Rex Simmons, at my previous loca­tion, created this mock-up that got me in the door.

Ann Thompson

Witness of Creativity — February ’64 to April ’65.

I was only employed with Butte Herrero &Hyde for this short time before they dissolved their part­ner­ship, but I was able to see the creation of a great number of their jobs. At, that same time, I was able to create my very first bits of commer­cial art — a rose for a “shelf-talker” (very small, but my first printed piece of commer­cial art.)

And also, I executed my first “mechan­i­cals”, in other words: “paste-ups”— the Shell note pads, match­books and match­boxes. These were the client’s promo­tional give­aways. I was learning, all the time: what supplies are needed — how to keep the petty cash box “in the black” — where to research (like the SF Mechanic’s Insti­tute Library, located at 57 Post Street. It was founded in 1854 to serve the voca­tional needs of out-of-work gold miners)— how to package and mail finished art (to say, Chicago.) — and how to protect large trans­paren­cies of BH&H’s artwork. This last task required cleaning the trans­parency and its protec­tive acetate sleeve from lint, then framing it with clean black heavy stock at a uniform size to fit with the hundreds of their other samples kept in three file drawers. No digital files of samples in those days.

I met type-reps, paper-reps and printer-reps. I also had a last-minute lesson from BH&H’s book­keeper on invoicing, record keeping, etc. All of this I could never have learned at a school. It all prepared me for my life as a free-lance artist — which came sooner than I had expected.

Ann Thompson

BH&H Creativity as shown in the 1964 and1965 ADASF Annual Shows’ Publications

This “GOODYEAR” ad is in color because I saved a copy torn from Life maga­zine. More about its creation can be found at Our Favorite Places-Community of Creatives. See “How It Happened”.

The following B&W scans are from the annuals.

This completes my nearly complete collec­tion of the exten­sive accom­plish­ments of Butte, Herrero and Hyde from their last year as a partnership:

Self-inventive “Gofer” Duties — After Heavy Rain.

Above the recep­tion area of Butte, Herrero and Hyde’s second floor studio, there was a small storage space on the roof, with windows for light and shelves for storage. This is where a lot of finished art from past jobs was kept. One very rainy after­noon, when the part­ners had headed out for lunch (was it Venessi’s or New Joe’s or Enrico’s — up the street on Broadway, or lunch with Hal Halber­stadt at ChoCho’s, or the Owl ‘n’ Turtle, or the Iron Pot or Gino’s) — I locked the front door, put a chair on the recep­tion desk and climbed up to push up the trap door in the ceiling. I pulled myself up and into the storage space. As I had guessed, with the heavy rain, there were many areas getting wet.

I moved a lot of illus­tra­tions that were still dry. The water seemed to flow down estab­lished chan­nels, so when I left, every­thing was in a dry loca­tion. By the time BH&H had returned, I was back at my drawing board and they never knew that I protected (maybe what they no longer even wanted).


When I was there, the part­ners had a yearly produc­tion — the Shell Chem­ical Calendar.

Shell Chemical’s office was in San Fran­cisco. When it was time for the calendar to move through the studio, there was much activity. Confer­ences were many on the style and details of the new calendar. One of the little addi­tions — barely notice­able — was the graphic deco­ra­tion that was added on each of the special days of the month. These were authentic images taken from flour sacks of the past — so plen­tiful in early Amer­ican bulk supplies of flour. Each image was sized and muted, so they were seen on the date — but still subtle. Phases of the moon were styled and placed. The refer­ence for the dates of the moon’s changes came from the predic­tion records that I picked up at the US Federal Building at 30 Sansome Street.


My special assign­ment at the last phase, close to the dead­line for all to be completed, was answering the phone calls from Shell’s David Davies. I was to tell him that he could not see the ongoing devel­op­ment of the paint­ings — and that Lowell was at his cabin in the Sierras and would deliver the finished art when it was completed.

Ann Thompson

Click on an image for a larger view and the collection.

Free-lancing, many styles, many locations.

This free-lance artist had the benefit of having varied clients, using many styles: illus­tra­tions, graphic design, humorous illus­tra­tion and fine-art painting — and working at varied loca­tions, as you will see, below.

Dick Moore
After attending the Chicago Academy of Arts in 1948 – 50, I then enlisted in the Navy for four years. After my discharge in 1954, I worked in a variety of art studios in Illi­nois, Okla­homa, and then Albu­querque, New Mexico where I began doing portraits of friends and painting in the surrounding Sandia Mountains.
Then in 1959 I moved to the Bay Area where I part­nered with Fred Meinke who had a small studio on Sacra­mento Street and we began to build a repu­ta­tion of an art service, which we called the Meinke-Moore art studio. We found a new loca­tion on Front Street and then moved again to Powell Street, near Wash­ington Square. With this self-promo mailer, we sent out a full size paper “hopscotch”!


After 5 years I decided to continue working free-lance on my own in San Fran­cisco. Fred and I remained the best of friends. During this period I was lucky enough to work with G. Dean Smith, a well-established designer who always managed to improve my work. We spent many years working on various projects, not the least of which were many years of bill­boards and bus cards for ABC’s Channel 7.

I moved to Muir Beach, Marin County, in 1967 where I continued to work on Dean’s projects. In 1969 I moved to Colorado, spent a year there and then came back to Cali­fornia and the Russian River area in 1970. In 1974 I moved to Hawaii and spent 7 years in Kona on the Big Island doing water­color painting (as Richard Moore) and some small commer­cial projects.

I returned to the bay area in 1982 and continued to free-lance until becoming employed at Colossal Pictures doing anima­tion back­ground painting and moving to computer painting during a 6‑year stay there.

I then had an oppor­tu­nity at George Lucas’s Indus­trial Light and Magic, painting in the computer for a 7‑year period, lasting until 2004 when I retired and I still continue to paint and dabble in a few art projects.

And the beat goes on! So good, so far.

1. ABC Outdoor Boards — AD: G. Dean Smith, Illus­trator: Dick Moore, 1960s
2. ABC Outdoor Boards — AD: G. Dean Smith, Illus­trator: Dick Moore, 1960s
3. ABC Outdoor Boards — AD: G. Dean Smith, Illus­trator: Dick Moore, 1960s
4. “Bonanza” (Bank Calendar for East Denver, Colorado)— Artist: Dick Moore, 1970
5. “human be-in” Poster (In an OMCA Collec­tion) — Photog­ra­pher: Lorin Gillette, Design/Collage: Dick Moore, 1967
6. San Fran­cisco Magazine,“The Mark”, Cover — Artist: Dick Moore, March 1966
7. Sons of Cham­plin, Logo — Designer: Dick Moore, 1973
8. Keystone Lodge, Colorado, Banners— Design: G.Dean Smith / Dick Moore,1973
9. Paul Masson, P.O.P. tear-off — Agency: Brown Vint­ners, AD: David Reid, Artist: Dick Moore, 1969
10. Argonaut Insur­ance Co., Annual Report — Agency: The Wyman Company, AD: Don Carlson, Cover Artist: Dick Moore, 1963
11. Argonaut Insur­ance Co., Annual Report, Spot Illus­tra­tions, (same as above)
12. “SYBYLL” Book w/29 Illus­tra­tions, Cover and inside dust jacket — Author: Bea Seidler, Cartoonist: Dick Moore, Printer: Pisani Press, SF, ©1966
13. “Gemini” San Fran­cisco Funky Features, Poster — Illus­trator: Dick Moore, 1967
14. “End ‘o Steel”— Author: Glen Dines, Illus­trator: Dick Moore, © The MacMillan Company, 1963
15. Chapel at Kala­pana, HI. Greeting card. (Collec­tion of the Dole Company) — Artist: Dick Moore, 1964
16. Retelling of a Jack London story — (Author and Publisher, unknown) Illus­trator: Dick Moore, ©1964
17. Purity Stores, News­paper ad — Agency: Hoefer, Dieterich & Brown, AD: Richard Wilson, Cartoonist: Dick Moore, 1962

The Prince Of Pranksters

The Prince Of Pranksters

One of the finest people, (not just a rapid-fire, right-on Art Director) — but a real “people”, was named Herb Briggs.

He was working at BBD &O when I fist met him. I was a curious young-punk Junior Writer back then and Herb was nice to me.

An unusual event for that agency. Herb Briggs was Hal Riney’s go-to man when Hal needed a fist full of rapid designs to show an existing client, or to pitch a new one. Because of all the Riney pres­sure (and anyone who worked for Hal knows what I mean), Herb drank a bit (Harring­ton’s Bar usually). That’s where I’d spot him on my way to work.

But, the story I’d like to tell is about Herb’s time at Y & R in the early 60s. That’s when he was the consu­mate “prac­tical joker” (please kids, don’t try any of these without parental super­vi­sion). Herb was about 5 foot 8 and he prob­ably weighed about 180, but he was incred­ibably powerful. His ulti­mate gambit was to quickly run up behind someone much bigger than he was who might be standing next to a large Mat Room waste basket and fold them in half and put them butt-first into the waste basket. He could do this so fast the other person didn’t have time to put up a struggle. It was all done in the time it would later take Herb to devise 5 roughs for a Riney presen­ta­tion. That’s fast.

Another wondrous moment devised by the Master, was to watch him walk into another art direc­tor’s office, holding an unseen can of rubber cement remover at his side. He would leave a film of the stuff streaking the floor beside the unweary Art Director. Then Herb would mumble about looking for some­thing, and quickly leave the victim’s office. Once out of sight, he would light a match and listen to the scream as the rubber cement remover burned (like gunpowder)…leaving a large puff of smoke and instant fire next to the unsus­pecting victim’s desk.

But, the thing that caught the entire Creative Depart­ment’s notice, was when Herb hung someone out the window by his feet (I told you Herb was strong). No he didn’t’t drop the person and gently pulled him back into the office and that was the final straw.

The next time, Herb came to work, the Creative Staff grabbed him, put him into a rolling office chair and completely immo­bi­lized him by covering him with masking tape.…head to toe and taping him to the rolling chair. They put a card­board Derby hat on his head, taped a cigar into his mouth and wheeled him onto the elevator. Then they pressed every button on every floor.

Need­less to say, that day ended the immortal Herb Briggs pranks.

Within a year or two of the event and moving over to BBD&O, The Master stopped drinking, rode his bicycle to work and was a very warm, friendly person to be around. Over those years, Herb helped me find work at many agen­cies, with a simple phone call. Everyone knew Mr. Briggs.
And, although, this story may seem an embar­rass­ment to my friend, it is meant to honor him. He was a Master. He was the unwit­ting role model for the crazed, beatnik-hippie-pot-smoking-destroy-the-art-room-destroy-Jack Tormey’s antique liquor cabinet looking for another bottle of Inglenook (my event) times that followed.

Mr. Herb Briggs was the ulti­mate, and one of the first of the real Mad Men. I truly miss him.

Todd Miller