The Rest Of The Story

Three short reports — two resulting in tight friend­ships.
A Client — and much later — A Friend.
I recently received emails from Jill Perkins who told me about one of our industry’s un-sung heroes. John Perkins was there at Rapid Typog­ra­phers. (Estab­lished in 1963. Rapid Typog­ra­phers Co, Inc. provided type & graphic services to the local SF Ad Agen­cies, and Graphic Designers.)

John helped save many of us meet out morning presen­ta­tions by staying late hours preparing type galleys and/or final copy type and head­lines, ready for paste-up. (The follow-up is the friend­ship with a client – – long after the working years.)

This is Jill’s report:
John Perkins John was a part owner of Rapid Typog­raphy before it became Rapid, working with adver­tising agen­cies sending them proofs and disks and working with them for the benefit of their compa­nies.

John was the plant manager and hands on worker, often working late at night to meet agency’s dead­lines. John retired in 2006 and enjoyed working at home making Chardonnay wine in our 50 vines vine­yard he planted from scratch when we moved into our house in the late ‘90’s which had a large down­hill grass­land seem­ingly non-useable area. John designed the vine­yard and a large vegetable garden in this area, and we enjoyed our wine and vegeta­bles for many years.

One of his clients, Henry Wachs, designed the logo for UCSF. Henry created the first “MZ” block logo for Mount Zion Hospital and early iter­a­tions of BankAmeri­card.

After Henry retired John lost touch with him. Henry moved to live at The Redwoods in Mill Valley, and John, who had applied as a volun­teer companion with a local commu­nity agency — by pure happen chance though the volun­teer agency — was linked up with Henry because of their back­grounds. They became fast friends and compan­ions, going out to lunch and for walks weekly until Henry died at 91. John also became friends with Henry’s family.

John worked with many agen­cies, and many of them would come into Rapid, often at night to oversee the dead­lines.

I believe he met and worked with Lowell Herero, and as cat lovers, we always bought his wall calendar for our kitchen and loved the musing cat char­ac­ters.

Jill Perkins

1‑John Perkins
2‑Oct.3, 2012, Geezer Gath­ering with Henry Wachs
3‑On our way to Croatia, our last trip in May/June of 2019. We had a wonderful trip,
Don’t put off anything you want to do, as John Lennon so eloquently put it:
“Life happens when you’re making plans.”


A Second Phone Company !
Klemtner Casey Inc. was located at The Wharf­side Building on Beach Street In 1971. They gave me the following assign­ments. These two ad layouts were to intro­duce a new phone company – – to compete with the GIANT Bell Tele­phone Company! That client and the agency wanted me to show Bell Tele­phone restricted, and less of a monopoly. I couldn’t show “Ma Bell” tied up – – so we chose to show a giant, instead.

(The following, with thanks and my small $ contri­bu­tions to Wikipedia).
The Bell System was the system of compa­nies, led by the Bell Tele­phone C0. and later by AT&T which domi­nated the tele­phone services industry in North America for 100 years from its creation in 1877 until its demise in the early 1980s. The system of compa­nies was often collo­qui­ally called Ma Bell (as in “Mother Bell”), as it held a near-complete monopoly over tele­phone service in most areas of the United States and Canada. At the time of its breakup in the early 1980s, the Bell System had assets of $150 billion (equiv­a­lent to $370 billion in 2019) and employed over one million people.

(The Bell System logo and trade­mark was designed by Saul Bass in 1969.)

After this job, I never found out if Arcata Commu­ni­ca­tions became a viable compe­ti­tion to “the only phone company” avail­able. So now I looked up the name and the time and found that there were at least 3 years of legal action (19711973). The Indus­trial Reor­ga­ni­za­tion Act: The commu­ni­ca­tions industry by United States Congress. Senate Committee on the Judi­ciary. Subcom­mittee on Antitrust and Monopoly.

I could not find the result of that inves­ti­ga­tion.

Ann Thompson


A Silent Hero

It was the mid sixties, I had only worked at Honig, Cooper, & Harrington for a couple of months.

I did the art direc­tion on 3 in store posters for United Vint­ners ( Italian Swiss Colony ) I got Nic Sidjakov to do 3 beau­tiful full size tight comps. The meeting to present the work was at 4:00 pm, the Ad Manager showed up about a hour late. It was obvious that he just stum­bled out of a 4 hour 4 Martini lunch and he was totally wasted.

I was wearing Levi’s, Boots, Long hair, etc. I started to present the work and he started to give me a really hard time about the way I was dressed and the way I looked. I ignored him and just continued with the presen­ta­tion, and he got worse and worse and would not pay atten­tion to the fabu­lous work that Nic Sidjakov had done.He became totally abusive so I picked up the work and told him he was an asshole and I and I left.

When I left one of the two Account Exec­u­tives in the meeting was actu­ally crying as
this was her account and this thing had gone completely out of control. I went back to my office and started packing up my stuff thinking that there was no way I was not going to be fired. The two account exec’s imme­di­ately went to Bill Honig’s office and told him what happened. As I was packing my stuff Honig walked into my office and said “put that stuff away-nobody that works for me will ever be treated like that-don’t worry I’ll take care of it”

Two weeks later the obnox­ious ad manager was fired and the posters were approved and produced.
Honig and I became really good friends and he helped me in so many ways I can’t even count them. Few people know…but Bill Honig was a Angel of Ramparts and Rolling Stone, he person­ally paid for a anti smoking campaign, and he was a major art collector but I think he was most proud of being on Nixon’s White House Enemy List !

Chris Blum ( who wouldn’t be here today without Bill Honig )


So what happened to HC&H?
I found this:
UCR / The Cali­fornia Digital News­paper Collec­tion–Desert Sun, 1-10-1975
LOS ANGELES — Foote, Cone & Belding, eighth largest adver­tising agency in the U.S., and Honig-Cooper & Harrington, largest inde­pen­dent adver­tising agency on the West Coast have reported the comple­tion of the previ­ously announced merger that results in one agency with western billings in excess of $100 million. The announce­ment was made by Louis Honig, HCH board chairman, and Louis E. Scott, chairman of FCB’s exec­u­tive committee. A newly formed subsidiary, Foote, Cone & Belding/Honig, will manage the agen­cies’ merged western U.S. oper­a­tions. FCB/Honig will be the largest adver­tising agency oper­a­tion in the Western market. Honig becomes chairman and chief exec­u­tive officer of FCB/Honig. Scott continues as chairman of the exec­u­tive committee and a director of the parent company, Foote, Cone & Belding Commu­ni­ca­tions, Inc. Honig is head­quar­tered in San Fran­cisco and Scott in Los Angeles. The San Fran­cisco offices of HCH and FCB will be combined into one office, while the Los Angeles offices of HCH and FCB will continue as sepa­rate units.

Another follow-up,
I am plan­ning a future post about Nic Sidjakov who was, I think, the most prolific and versa­tile illus­trator in San Fran­cisco at the time of Chris Blum’s story.

Ann Thompson