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