The Hippie Culture and the Haslett Warehouse.
While I was still located at the Belli Buildings, to get there, I rode a bus that went along Haight Street. Looking from the bus window, I would see the gradual changes on that street: a flower painted here and there, costume changes on the young people gathering.1967’s “Summer of Love” had arrived. Then, because of the crowds, the bus had to change its route to Page Street, north of “The Haight”. Here is the 1967 poster by Jerry Berman that represented the time, that ranged from the late ‘60s to the early ‘70s. The graphic artists of this time were also adapting their work to the style of the Beatles’ “Yellow Submarine” and the new look.of Peter Max’s art. Seymore Chwast and Push Pin Studios, Inc, in NYC were also big influences. This ad, illustrated by Burt Groedel (1937−2000) was in my scrap file as a favor of exaggerated human form.
My next location, in mid 1969, was at San Francisco Landmark #59 at 680 Beach Street The building was a full city block (down Hyde Street to Jefferson Street). In 1909, it was the Haslett Warehouse. Across from it was a cannery for Del Monte Foods. (Still called,”The Cannery” this location is a tourist shopping complex.) The Haslett building had many transitions and also had its outer and inner major walls cleared from the supporting surfaces so it, like the Belli Buildings, would at times drop small loose bits of brick. (Lucky to not be there during an earthquake!)
(BTW: My work locations each lasted for a number of years as I was renting space and also working from my home.)
My move there was to free-lance for graphics which planned to be the art service for Klemptner Medical Advertising. Bob Buechert had moved Klemptner’s office from Downtown SF to Fisherman’s Wharf.
In 1969, 680 Beach Street was called the Wharfside Building. The photo shows it later, as a hotel. We were on the top floor. Our east windows viewed The Cannery and the one to the north viewed the San Francisco Bay and Alcatraz. This new location, with distance from graphic services, presented problems. If a photostat was needed, we depended on a messengers on bicycles.
This was BC (before computers.) The only art equipment in the studio was the pencil sharpener and an Art-O-Graph Model 1000 that was in a back room beyond the wall. (Years later, when graphics merged with with Roger Sheridan and Rudy Gomez, I bought the extra Art-O-Graph
and brought it home.
Besides the great amount of assignments from Klemptner, next door, graphics specialized in designing annual reports The Hibernia Bank at 1 Jones Street was well known to native San Franciscans, I was able to develop this simplified image for the bank’s folders. We also were hired to design and illustrate The Haslett Company’s folder. Their warehouse and shipping company was at the time in Oakland, CA. Again the “style of the day” was requested for four illustrations in the folder.
Founded in 1895, the deYoung Museum is now a part of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco so it isn’t listed as a landmark. Before the M. H. deYoung Museum was re-modeled, we were able to promote the adult art classes that the deYoung was offering:: W.O.W. (WORKSHOP ON WHATEVER IS ART).
These were the days of the “Hippies” and red, orange and magenta were often being used.
This popular color combo, for art and lettering, challenged readability. (What were we, and the client, smokin’?)
The classes that were offered, were great! I enrolled in a ceramics class and drove to the deYoung after work and “threw a few pots” on the wheel. I’d drive home from there through Golden Gate Park in the cold and foggy nights, I was exhausted but felt good from the work-out.
I would often take a bus to Beach Street. Waiting at a corner near the Federal Building, I was talking with an Indigenous American who suggested that I join him as he was going to Alcatraz. This was in 1969 when Alcatraz was occupied by native tribes following the 1868 treaty allowing native Americans to claim federal land. They were lobbying to have the island redeveloped as an Indian cultural center and school. (The island was held for nineteen months.)
I said that I was sorry, but I had to get to work.
In 1972 I moved my home, north to Marin County. I had been driving in the city at night with city streetlights, but the only lights on the Golden Gate Bridge were from the car’s headlights. When the bridge was built, there were plans for lights, but it wasn’t until June 22, 1987 that the roadway was lit. What a difference!
One unique occasion, it had to be in early 1974, when we were busy at our drawing boards, we caught sight of a man waving from the top walkway of The Cannery. We opened the two doors that open to a protected railing, to hear what the man was saying. He said that he could see that we were designers and asked to visit. As it turns out, he was carrying the prototype of the newly created AD Markers! He sold us the double set (regular and fine tip) with a small case of insert tips for other various widths.
We also bought two sets of sets grays, warm and cool. The top of the cap of each marker showed each value gray, from 1 to 9.
So after forty-eight years do I still have one? Yes! And it’s not dry
Ann Thompson (who keeps everything).