Among the myriad changes ('Change is the Constant') since the 1950's when these Chevron billboards were done, none has been as sudden and as environmentally altering as the disappearance of countless billboards and prominent signs in our towns and on the highways.
It happened in the 60's, if memory serves. Streets were cluttered with billboards on the sides of buildings, on top of buildings, behind service stations. Tall signs and logos of all kinds topped restaurants, service stations, and dozens of businesses. All of that changed in a very short space of time.
The nation seemed suddenly aware of visual and esthetic pollution. The rapid ascent of television and finally the computer....and the demise of most magazines (now even newspapers) including much of the print media....has been more culturally transforming, but over a longer period of time.
All, of course, in the times of my working life and career.
This week the CAWS will show Chevron posters from old files and not already posted here on taxi boards. Patterson and Hall photographed all of the outgoing billboards....I suppose knowing that ad proofs would not be available to keep on file and to show clients. These were black and white photos....color prints were not only expensive but not reliable.
Color copiers had not been invented. I have photo copies of most of the posters I illustrated....not all. There are a few more posters for other clients that we'll post later on CAWS.
As said before, here in the west billboards were a desirable job to receive....both the pay and the display value were better than on most ads.
Another advantage, Chevron billboards were replaced at regular intervals...I believe at about one month. At the time, and resisting change, I hoped they would go on 'forever'. Even then, though, we had a sense that billboards were a threatened species!
These posters don't need too much explanation....pretty typical billboard advertising of the day. On most, a rather tight gouache technique in keeping with 1950's illustration styles. The loose techniques of the 60's hadn't arrived.
Modeling for these were a fellow P&H illustrator, a neighbor and young son, a friend in San Francisco, and professional models.
* Charlie Allen's Flickr set.