Category Archives: Inspiration

Portland Design in the 1960s: Tom Lincoln

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“I had a crush on the Jantzen smile girl, Dolores Hawkins,” relates Tom Lincoln with a grin.

“One of my first assignments was for Pendleton, to help direct the photography for an ad in front of Robinson’s Department Store in Los Angeles,” Tom recalled. “In the ad, we were using a lamb as a part of the wool story. The photographer brought models from New York City. One of the models was Cheryl Tiegs, who went on to become the most photographed in the world.”

Tom Lincoln, now 76, is a man with kind eyes, a quick smile, and big ideas. I met Tom over breakfast (and multiple cups of coffee) in Eugene this summer to discuss his Portland beginnings, his influences, and his varied career successes.

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Portland Design in the 1960s: Byron Ferris

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If a council were formed to determine a list of the “Founding Fathers” of the Portland design community, Byron Ferris’s name would have to be near the top of that list. Sure, there were others who grew to be big-wigs in advertising, but you’d be hard pressed to find someone as talented, influential and well-loved as Byron.

2014-10-04-15.50.44Born in Portland in 1921, Byron’s creativity and organizational skills developed early; he drew his first cartoons for his classmates and for money at age nine. While attending Jefferson High School, class of 1939, he formed the Korny Kartoon Klub with fellow schoolmates which kicked off a lifetime of writing, entertaining, drawing and telling “korny” jokes. In the second entry in our series, Portland Design in the 1960s, we honor Byron Ferris, Portland’s “Dean of Design.”

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Artifact of Left-wing Parisian Bohemia

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Browsing a tiny vintage shop in the 7th arrondissement  in Paris, France I found this magazine dated December 17, 1904, and titled, L’Assiette au beurre. It was bursting with loose, expressive, caricatures that are clearly politically-minded. Some quick research provides an interesting back-story. The following is the ROUGH Google translation of the Wikipedia article about L’Assiette au beurre.


“L’Assiette au beurre is a French satirical illustrated weekly newspaper open to designers and sensitive to the socialist and anarchist ideas. The first series ran from April 4, 1901 to October 15, 1912 and the title was taken, on a monthly basis between 1921 and 1925. L’ Assiette au beurre differs from most other humorous magazine in its composition. Each issue includes mainly cartoons and caricatures in two or three color and full (or double) page spreads with a minimum of 16 illustrated pages. Sometimes an artist is entrusted with the implementation of a number on a specific topic, making each delivery a real album.”

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1920s German Numerical Typography Porn

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I geek out over antique papers, so it was really exciting to find a slew of 1920s German calendar papers tucked inside an old book in a used bookstore in Munich, Germany. The book (8 euro, quickly purchased) was a German school textbook from 1918 and is itself a work of art — filled with gorgeous illustrations. This collection of inserts was just a bonus. For your drooling pleasure:

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Suits. Cocktails. Talent.

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The 1960s design scene in Portland had some things that may seem familiar to designers today: passionate creatives, a small community, and a collaborative work ethic. Out of this creative pool emerged Byron Ferris, Bennet Norrbo, and Charles Politz, three men whose careers overlapped, who influenced each other and yet left their mark in distinctly different ways. They worked to develop some of Portland’s biggest brands like Jantzen and Pendleton  defining the city’s stake in outdoor and athletic wear.

Charles Politz (standing left) planning the Oregon Centennial exhibition

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