The Great Garloo Will Be Your Faithful Robot Servant

Posted by Michael Pinto on Aug 23, 2011 in Hobbies and Collections, Tech

The Great Garloo circa 1961 was a robot toy

The Great Garloo was first manufactured by the Marx toy company in 1961 — this very creepy looking two foot tall battery powered humanoid lizard robot could go forward or backward and turn his arms. And for extra kitsch we wears a “Garloo” medallion and cute leopard print loin cloth. How to Be a Retronaut discovered this great commercial from 1963 for the little green guy: Read more…

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In Soviet Union Stop Motion Cartoon Stops You!

Posted by Michael Pinto on Sep 5, 2009 in Animation

Shown above is the beautiful Soviet propaganda film Mister Twister from the height of the Cold War in 1963. I really love how they’ve done so much here with such a little budget and no technology by modern standards. And of course my favorite shot is the opening scenes showing a decadent New York City which is cluttered with vintage ads. What’s also interesting to me about this cartoon is you can really see how Jim Crow really hurt the image of America abroad during that era: Read more…

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Sugar Bear Didn’t Always Work in Commercials…

Posted by Michael Pinto on Jan 11, 2009 in Animation

I had always falsely assumed that the animated Sugar Bear character was created just for commercials, but this isn’t the case as it turns out that he got his start on Saturday morning TV in 1963. He was featured in the cartoon Linus the Lionhearted which crossed the now unimaginable line of having advertising characters (pushing junk food no less) appear on regular cartoons aimed at kids. Also it turns out that Sugar Bear was based on Dean Martin which explains his demeanor — I guess I could see Sugar Bear drinking a martini and starring in a Matt Helm movie. Read more…

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Lou Dorfsman: Designer of the Golden Age of CBS

Posted by Michael Pinto on Nov 2, 2008 in Design

Photograph of Lou Dorfsman from Interiors Magazine in 1955.

About a week ago I was very saddened to hear about the passing away of Lou Dorfsman. While Lou didn’t design the famous CBS eye (that was William Golden) from the 60s until the 80s he put the tiffany in the tiffany network. The CBS of today is but a shadow of what it was during that era, but back then it was one of three corporations that dominated American media and Lou gave them their signature look.

In my last year of art school my father purchased a copy of the book Dorfsman & CBS for me which showcased the entire career of Lou Dorfsman and it inspires me to this day. The first thing that you’ll notice is that most of what Lou does is in fact print design, and while he did do his share of animated titles and set designs it’s the medium at which he excelled. What I love about his work is that it’s not just about pretty pictures, but about using words and typography in clever ways to communicate his message. The other thing to keep in mind that as a creative director Lou was a manager, so what you’re seeing here is the word of many other talented people including typographers, photographers, illustrators and even printers.

Newspaper ad designed by Lou Dorfsman from 1962 showcasing the CBS News coverage of the John Glenn space flight.

The first time I viewed this ad was in a course on the history of graphic design, and I was blown away! It’s a newspaper ad from 1962 showcasing the CBS News coverage of the John Glenn space flight. What makes it brilliant is that Dorfsman has taken the graphic convention of the american flag and by turning it 90 degrees and adding a rocket made it represent the hopes and aspirations of the space program. Simply put this is conceptual graphic design at its best.

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