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)