Rebecca West: Words & Music

The Martin Company

by Bob West

From 1960 to 1969 I was a senior graphic designer at the Orlando Division of The Martin Company, an aerospace manufacturing corporation. As the result of a merger in 1961, the corporate name was changed to Martin Marietta. It is currently known as Lockheed Martin due to another merger in 1995.

Below is an aerial view of the Main Plant complex and surrounding area. Its proximity to the Interstate 4 exchange can be seen in the upper left. Our home in west Orlando was only a few miles north of that. The road to and from work was two lanes with mostly cow pastures on each side back then. Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, Sea World and other theme parks and attractions have moved in since and changed both the scenery and driving time.

Aerial view of Martin Orlando, c. 1962

We had a very large art department with some of the best artists in the world that specialized in graphic design, visual aids, photo retouching, technical and report art, and creative illustration. Below is an example of a successful promotional project for the government which combined the specialized skills of the artists involved.

Artists, posters, and Postmaster
Left to right: Illustrator Thomas Albin, Bob West, and letterer Don Miller hold the Army recruiting poster Bob designed for U.S. Mail trucks. Designer Herb Beard stands next to his poster with the Orlando Postmaster. Illustrator Howard Shafer and technical artist Harry Calkins did the finished art on Herb's poster.

LAUNCH, a full color magazine (shown here in b&w) designed by Bob West for Martin Marietta and the U.S.Navy, received an Award of Excellence.

Launch Magazine cover

Creativity on Paper Award
"RECENT WINNER of a Certificate of Merit in the First Annual Creativity on Paper Exhibition (in New York), sponsored by Art Direction Magazine, was Bob West (right), Orlando Division graphic designer. West's entry, a brochure on the BIRDiE project, was cited for "the outstanding use of paper as a creative element in the graphic design concept." J.G. Houser, Program Manager, Missile Master/BIRDiE, congratulates West on his award. Copy for the brochure was prepared by Presentations editor Charles Hennessey (second from left); illustration was by photographer Andy Lance (left). Milt Barbour, Presentations, handled preparation."
--copied from Martin News

While art directing photography for a brochure I designed, I have on occasion been asked to be a model. On the spur of the moment while shooting the photo below, it was decided that we needed someone to pose as an engineer to demonstrate the product. I was selected.

Bob poses as engineer in brochure photo

And here is a page from a Bullpup (missile) brochure...

Bullpup missile brochure page
Concept and design by Bob West. Final illustration by Thomas Albin.

Below is the cover of a Martin Company recruiting brochure. I designed the entire publication in a magazine format similar to the popular magazines LOOK and the Saturday Evening Post back then. The information in this publication was the result of interviews with recent arrivals to Orlando. Most of the questions were directed to the wives. This information gave prospective engineers and their families a preview of Orlando and what it was like to live there.

Martin Orlando Magazine brochure
Design by Bob West. Cover photograph by Dirone-Denner. Gown by Hannah Troy.

To be continued...

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