In June of 1967, located in the Belli Building, I was only two years into free-lancing. Most of my assignments, up to then, were based on my training in design and illustration. Usually I was assigned only the artwork. An art director in an advertising agency would design the job, describe the art that was needed, and upon receiving my art—follow the job to its completion as printer-ready.

WALSTON & CO. Ad. Layout and Finished Art. Note: Ticker Tape Machines were still in use. ADS Advertising,

APPLIED TECHNOLOGY Layouts showing surveillance during the US Civil War. ADS Advertising

PALCO Saw Textured Redwood. Illustrations: of Redwood Tree and Application. ADS Advertising

California Casualty CTA &TCTA Auto Insurance Two folders, spot illustrations. Charles Matheny AdvertisingTHIODAN, FMC Corporation Trade Ad illustrations. ADS Advertising

KAISER CEMENT Trade Ad Illustration. ADS Advertising

Looking back to the time of this following story, I appreciate the fact that I was not dismissed for not having a required background—but was given the chance to tackle a subject completely foreign to me. Today, my résumé would be requested. With no listed studies in this subject, the job would be assigned to someone else. I would hope that clients consider an applicant who is willing and ready to open a study—and give that applicant the chance to give an interpretation.

I was called into an advertising agency where I faced a very technical assignment. (In high school and junior college I chose all “art” classes and avoided chemistry, physics—any technical studies.) I never had a class that would have helped me with this challenge.
Arriving at ADS Advertising, I was introduced to their technical copywriter, Harry Bodenlos, who handed me what seemed to be a full ream of papers describing “electron beam coating”. The copy for the planned 12-page brochure included the history of the procedure. There were no diagrams to guide me. I was to show the existing black and white photos of the equipment. The first read-through pretty well left me “blank”—but slowly, wading through it, while making visual thumb-nail notes—was fascinated! I was able to style, count and organize the copy with places to hold small design examples—forming a full 10-page description and placing the photos inside the cover.

I had no one, during this time, overseeing my progress.

The agency presented my work to Temescal Metallurgical Corporation and soon I was told to “go to finish”.  In those days, that meant illustration boards of each double spread. My black line art and the copy, in columns that had been set by a “type house”, were attached with rubber cement. Acetate overlays were attached to the boards for each of the red and blue color areas. Crop marks at the corners and “register marks” had to be position accurately. (I spell all of this out for those who now produce “printer-ready” files by computer.) The printed copies were well received by Temescal. Below, the most technical assignment that I ever had:

I saw Harry again at a reception, easily ten years later. He said that he had been very wary of giving the assignment to a 25 year old with just an art background. He said that Temescal had used the brochure—through the years—as a “training tool” for their new recruits.

From this experience, I believe résumés may be very restrictive. Many persons facing many kinds of jobs may be very qualified—by being interested in and capable of offering their talents in new venues.

Ann Thompson
(Editor’s Note: Art Director, Designer, Illustrator and Mechanical Artist—all the artwork in this post is Ann’s)