San Francisco’s Graphic Designers Made Their Creative Marks
Illustration by John Craig. Type and page design by William P. Davis.
Walter Landor From the above report by Ken Kelley and Rick Clogher in the August 1992 issue of PBS KQED’s San Francisco Focus magazine:
Walter Landor came to San Francisco and founded Landor Associates in 1941. At that time, the only industrial designer around told him “that there was barely enough work to support one designer in San Francisco, let alone two”.
“The designs that have come out of Landor Associates in the past five decades — whether Walter’s own or those of his skilled colleagues — are a permanent part of our culture. But Landor’s greatest creation may be the least tangible one: he turned product brand and corporate identity design from a young, ill‐defined field into a world‐recognized profession. In the process, he turned San Francisco — his adopted home — into a creative hub of those fields.”
These pages: Communication Arts May / June 1980
Marget Larsen As art director for Joseph Magnin, a store catering to young, smart tastes, Marget was involved in retail newspaper advertising. Her design and use of color, with illustrations by Betty Brader Ashley, built an image for the store. All of the JM design was handled internally and Marget also did the brochures and packaging.
She designed many of the ads for the San Francisco agency Weiner & Gossage or Freeman Mander & Gossage or whatever name they were operating under that week, and also worked as a partner in Intrinsics, Inc. with Robert Freeman. Intrinsics created and marketed design products and offered creative consulting to clients. “Marget was responsible for so many innovations, and was the very embodiment of ‘What if?’” said Freeman. “She, probably as much as any other, changed the look of advertising and graphics in the last generation.” Ca
This copy, above, is from the Communication Arts web site. They offer (digital) back copies at: https://store.commarts.com/single-copy?Page=35. The story of Marget Larsen is in the March / April 1988 issue.
One of the most outstanding of Marget’s talents was the complete visual identity that she created for the 1907 Del Monte Cannery (at one time the largest peach cannery in the world). The property was being converted into shops and restaurants just steps from Fisherman’s Wharf. The basic identity design was one that she adapted from the tie‐rod washers that held up the massive brick structures. She convinced the developers to alter a whole outside wall to accommodate her Cannery Star. You can see in the signs, the tie‐rod washer in the center of the star.
In addition to the massive amount of recognized accomplishments, Marget’s personal collection of her art has been made available at: margetlarsen(dot)com.
A collection from 1958 and years: 1963 to 1967. I found that graphic designers were, and are, often creating other design assignments when a new mark is required. One didn’t have to specialize as an “image maker”. The logos, here, were accepted entries in the ADASF (Art Directors and Artists of San Francisco) Annual Exhibition, years: 1958 and 1963, ’64 ’65 ’66 and ‘67.
Most logos are used as business stationery. In 1964 no individual marks were shown. “Direct Mail” was the classification title that year. The two examples were “Identity Images”: G. Dean Smith created the wild‐flower cover to represent the Curry Company at Yosemite Park. The little flag held by the figure on the string was sent by mail to tell that: “Nicolas Sidjakov — is moving to — 633 Montgomery St. — San Francisco — EX 27754.” 1966 had an extensive category: Trade Marks, Letterheads, Logotypes, Lettering. The Walter Landor Associates’ entry was the full alphabet designed for the California Wine Association. They named the type style “Klamath” which was the name of their ferryboat, as described above.
To those designers, whose creations I have missed, I apologize.
Some of the logos in the annual publications were too small to show.