I believe a quote by the 'Walrus' in Frank Baum's great classic, 'The Wizard of Oz'. Meaning here....maybe 'trivial' in most of our lives.... the subjects and product promotions of the huge advertising world. A very necessary part of commerce, of course....and though generally banal....advertising was, and still is, an important venue for writers, performers, and artists who might otherwise wither away!
Had a brief discussion with Leif this week....in which I labeled (not libeled!) one of the old time ad and editorial illustrators as 'square as a bear'. I think I'm qualified (I believe called 'street creds' in today's parlance) to make the square critique, being a prototype model myself. My work didn't loosen up until the 60's and 70's. After that, I retreated back into 'squaredom', as we shall soon see. This week's CAWS will post some 50's ads that will surely verify these musings on 'squareness'.
First, from1953, four B&W newspaper ads for Lucky Lager Beer.
These were done in the Higgins ink wash technique that I preferred for halftones in those days.
Very square....but that was the era for it.
Then a B&W line illustration for 'Morris Plan', a good client in 1950 when the ad was done. Vintage clue....the black cradle phone. The illustration, square as it was, was another 'break through' B&W for a young illustrator....new and other clients were added from this.
Following that, one of the early 50's line PG&E consumer ads trumpeting low electrical rates in California. No more! Pen and brush and ink, this one of the college town of Chico was scanned from an old newspaper clip.
Next, one of the Potlatch Forests ads....a couple of those were posted earlier. This one on 'Presto Logs'....a very popular product in those days. The young model and her German short-haired pointer, and her parents, were good friends.
She's now a boomer mom of young adults.
Last....a change of pace....and not sure this fits the 'square' category! Again from a yellowed news clip, a B&W line plus green cartoon illustration for Acme Beer....a seasonal 'bock beer'. My Webster describes 'Bock' as a traditional Bavarian dark beer, drunk in the early spring. Can we assume that after a cold, snowy, Bavarian winter, the dark brew had them feeling a bit like big-horn rams?
* Charlie Allen's Flickr set