Rebecca West: Words & Music

Art Direction

by Bob West




In 1969 I became an art director with Shattuck Roether Frailey & Wilson, an Orlando advertising and public relations agency. I was later promoted to Executive Art Director and given a nice office when we moved to a new and remodeled building. During my seven years with them I developed visual communication materials for a variety of businesses, including those involved in goods, services, design, manufacturing, retail, wholesale, and non-profits. Some of the clients I served were Tupperware, Kennedy Space Center, First at Orlando Corporation (now Sun Banks), and Green Thumb Company, a division of Ralston Purina Company.


One of the projects I worked on for Tupperware was the design and production of a full-color 48 page 9 by 12 inch photo-packed commemorative of their 1970 Wonderland Jubilee. My cover design, shown below, was inspired by the dedication of the new Tupperware International Headquarters in Orlando, and the design of the magnificent sculptured Friendship Fountain around which it took place.


Tupperware Jubilee photo book

The opening spread (shown below with a full-page crowd photo which appears later in the book) welcomes the reader with the following message: "Jubilee is a combination homecoming, convention, and sales training session. The theme of this 17th annual celebration is based on the stories of Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. Think happy and come with us now on three exciting, fun-packed days. Open your mind to new knowledge. Take a big bow for the wonderful successes you've achieved. And get ready for the biggest year in your Tupperware history."


Tupperware Jubilee photos

And yes, I designed a Tupperware catalog or two. Here's the cover of one of mine.


Tupperware Catalog


During my seven years with the agency I designed and art directed a wide range of assignments for a wide range of clients. Here is a portion of my brochure design in the early seventies for a beautiful new inn with 400 spacious rooms where guests could rest peacefully after a busy day enjoying Walt Disney World. The impressive accommodations included over 500 parking spaces, two large swimming pools, and playground equipment.

Ramada Inn brochure

Brochure design by Bob West. Interior and exterior illustrations by R. Tom Gilleon


When Green Thumb Products (a division of Ralston Purina Company) became our client, I designed the packaging for their entire product line. It was exciting to have the opportunity to make bags of dirt look bright, colorful and eye-catching at the point of display in stores across the nation.


Green Thumb Soil packaging

Green Thumb Club ad Green Thumb Soil packaging

I also designed their print advertising and promotional materials.



DRIVE-IN DOLLS
A Case Study by Bob West


The bank had just expanded their drive-thru teller service to include ten more pneumatic tube cabinets operated by two tellers in a booth at the left-most drive-thru lane. This was the early seventies, and machines seemed to be taking over.


Customers could hear a voice coming from the speaker inside the cabinets, but didn't know who (or where) their teller was. The tellers could see the customers, but the customers didn't know where to look for the tellers. Efficiency had increased at the expense of personal contact.


As the ad agency art director serving the account, I was called in by the bank's marketing director to talk about solving the problem. Their idea was to prepare easel cards with a map showing where the teller was in relation to the customer. These would be placed on top of the pneumatic tube cabinets.


I felt this would be confusing and difficult for customers to understand, and do little to change their perceived loss of the bank's "personal touch." Since the objective was to restore an atmosphere of friendly, personal service, I suggested that we give each cabinet its own personality -- make it an imaginary teller. The cabinets already had "voices." We only needed to give them faces.


The concept was approved and we proceeded with art and production. Stylized faces were printed in color on decals, sized to cover the entire side of the cabinets facing incoming traffic.


As customers entered the drive-thru area, they saw a row of bright, smiling faces -- blonds, redheads, brunettes -- who seemed to be saying, "You're important to us. We're glad you're here! How may we serve you today?" It made you feel good, and you couldn't help but smile right back at those cabinets.


Drive-In Doll decal Drive-In Doll decal
Drive-In Doll decal Drive-In Doll decal
Concept and Design: Bob West
Illustrations: Jack Fox
Production: Cullen Newman

The project was successful in restoring customer good will and satisfaction. In addition, valuable free publicity and photo opportunities were provided by this unique approach.



THE MAKER'S MARK


In early America, craftsmen stamped their work with a distinguishing mark. Today's trademarks and logotypes are an outgrowth of this idea and serve to identify almost everything symbolically -- products, services, corporations, institutions, and ideas.


The character and design of a logotype tells a lot about a company and its attitudes. Below are some of the logos Bob West designed for new companies and for those who wanted to revitalize their image.


Colonies Logo design

This red, white, and blue design for The Colonies reflects the patriotism of early America and the exterior architecture of one of Orlando's condominium complexes. Using stars to form the "C", Bob captured the spirit of the name and the project.



Cascades Logo design

The name of this mall, the "rolling" letter style, and the cascading, blue and green "C" trademark were all inspired by the waterfall and stream around which the shopping center was built.


Knotts Logo design

Knott's logo for stationery, signs and other advertising identifies the place where people love to eat. (Notice the subtle heart shape where the first bite was taken.) Also shown is a variation for animated use, such as a drinking cup wrap-around. The originals were printed in appetizing colors, of course.


Knotts Logo design


Next episode: Bob the Elder...




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