Thus ushering in a technology that would change the face of retailing and make life forever more difficult for package designers. Today, according to a piece in the New York Times, bar codes are scanned 10 billion times a day around the world.
That was also a summer I remember well. I moved to New York and began my first job with George Lois and Clive Chajet, at the Lois Chajet Design Group. Clive would later go on to purchase Lippincott & Margulies, but that’s another story.
Art directors ruled. George’s office was half the 28th floor of 745 Fifth Avenue at 58th Street. An infamous space with a Frank Lloyd Wright stained glass window for the pocket door separating his office from the bar, and a marble pedestal desk overlooking 5th Avenue, Grand Army Plaza, and Central Park.
The other half of the floor he shared with just 4 other people, his assistant and his 3 art directors. Kurt Weihs, a quiet gracious holocaust survivor from Poland who had done some ground breaking work at CBS in the 1950s, including the design of the original CBS eye logo, when he worked there for William Golden. Dennis Mazella the surfer dude in love with franklin gothic, (who among other classics did the Maypo package shown at left from the 1969 AIGA archives) and Tom Courtos, a crazy Greek from Brooklyn, who went nuts with our first color copier.
Everybody else in the agency was on other floors. Amazing
And little did I know that the drafting table at my first job, on the 36th penthouse floor of the same building, again overlooking Central Park, would have the best view of my career. I can remember doing traditional mechanicals, at that desk, and trying to find space on the package for this strange new computer technology called UPC.
It was a great summer.