This page contains examples of my work in the Advertising industry between 1947 and 1963. View the attached Glasgowman Gallery for my other work.
Advertising in Scotland at the start of this period in my life was quite parochial in outlook and very much influenced by post war trends already being established south of the Border. London in particular. I was very lucky to have been allowed a free reign for my artistic and creative talent. At the age of 15 I was given a job in one of Glasgow's leading advertising agencies, Peter A. Menzies, pronounced 'Mingis', at the princely sum of one pound per week.
Much of the work shown in this area was collated from my first and only specimen book and might well be classed as archive material.
Nevertheless I feel it should be included not only for its curiosity value but also to show how my career in advertising ran parallel to my development as an artist.
Arbroath Harbour. This was painted during a holiday in 1945 when I wasn't 'crewing' on a little pleasure boat called the Modern Girl which took people out on trips round the caves.
The above pencil drawing done in 1946 was copied from a hurried pen and ink sketch done by my father some years before. ( note the old taxis ). The view is looking North to Buchanan Street.
I was mad about drumming and just had to paint this after I had come back from a contest. Scott's Porridge Oats has to take some of the credit for the inspiration.
The Golden Fleece was copied from a photograph of a painting I loved. Like all of my work at that time, it was done at the kitchen table after I had done my homework.
I worked for 3 Ad. agencies during my stay in Glasgow. Apart from Peter A. Menzies, whom I was with until 1959, the others were Sommerville and Milne which lasted four months before I joined Rex Publicity. There I stayed until my departure for Ireland in 1963.
Below are some examples taken from b/w ads. produced while with Menzies, where my drawing ability was allowed to flourish.
Both of these Ads. from a Christmas campaign. The greys were achieved by laying transparent , adhesive backed sheets called zipatone ,over the artwork, then cutting the unwanted areas away with a one sided razor blade.
John Smith Wools
Again this Ad. used the Zipatone technique to advantage.
An Illustration for an Ad in 'The Yachting World.
This was my winning entry for junior members of the Club to design a cover for the Spring Bulletin 1949.
Keeping my hand in over a miserable Christmas while on National Service in 1951.
South Pickenham Church, close to 281 Mu. RAF North Pickenham where I was stationed from 1950-1952.
Another watercolour that year to prove to myself that I could still paint while counting the days to demobilisation.
Back to civvy street and the job that I loved at P.A. Menzies, (for £2 a week more than when I started ) Wow!
The following six pictures were photographed from my specimen folder of full colour letterpress work done between 1953 and 1957. The advertisements appeared in the Scottish Field magazine. The originals no longer exist. But they might well be framed and hanging on someone’s wall somewhere, who knows?
The clients for whom the were created were The SLDC ( Scottish Land Development Corporation ) and The Scottish National Trust.
The Caledonian Canal
Thomas Carlyle's birthplace, Ecclefechan
Balmacara, Wester Ross
Preston Mill, East Lothian
This invitation should be of interest to all rugby memorabilia collectors. Sorry about the poor condition of the sample. Also of interest to artists is the fact that this was done before the introduction of the airbrush as an artists tool. I had to rely on the good old fashioned graduated wash to achieve the fading out right and left.
The table and chair illustration was done for Morris of Glasgow, makers of the '' Toby '' chair from their furniture range in 1958. The illustration is another example of zipatone adhesive tints in use at that particular time.
'' Cumbrae '' was the name created for a range of bookcases, again by Morris of Glasgow. The Ad. was part of a campaign promoting the range in conjunction with William Perring of London.
This was the illustration for a ticket to the lower case club's Christmas dance held in the Overseas Club in Claremont Terrace in 1960 I worked in an Advertising Agency called Rex Publicity and was still an active member of the club.
The lower case club,or junior section, was so named because in the old hot metal typesetting days, the capital letters were held in the top tray or case , of the type cabinet and the lower case held the small letters.
The Reo Stakis Group were clients of Rex Publicity and I had the good fortune to be the dsigner alloted the task of designing the menus for his restaurants of which this b/w representation was one. It was chosen to appear in Modern Publicity, a design annual, that same year.
Another big client at Rex was Golden Wonder Crisps for which I had created a character called Popacrispin. The creative staff were issued a directive to go all out to win awards that year. I am proud to say that this Ad. for which I also wrote the copy, was chosen as one of the best 100 ads. in Great Britain thereby gaining publication in the prestigeous Layton Awards Annual of 1962.