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The Portland Art Director's Club was developed in the 1950s out of the yearning of design professionals to give some legitimacy to graphic design. According to designer Tom Lincoln who became president in 1965, “We didn’t want to be called commercial artists,” he said. “There was a stigma against commercial art, it wasn’t cool. We wanted to be taken seriously. We were looking to these guys in New York like Herb Lubalin and Paul Rand, or Saul Bass in Los Angeles; they were the trendsetters. We got together to talk shop. We wanted to know what everyone else was billing, to establish norms. Portland in the 60s, was an overgrown hometown, very accessible, not as polished. We were very cocky, I felt like I had the run of the city.”
According to Doug Lynch, the Portland Art Director's Club started off as the Portland Advertising Artist Guild. He says, “Fifty years ago, just after some of us stowed our uniforms, Don McGregor thought we should have a group meet to discuss new ideas about design. We put the word out for a lunch to explore the possibility expecting about 10-12 takers. We met at the Old Portland Hotel dining room, and 75 people showed up. So we organized the Portland Advertising Artist Guild, which ran along modestly and effectively into the mid-50's. After that, the group went through name changes and assorted political uproars as more celebrity-oriented members tried to gain award-winning status.”
1961, Clockwise, starting at 12:00: Bob Reynolds, Doug Lynch, Byron Ferris, Don MacGregor, Don Kopp, Don Condit. Charles Politz in center.
1959 Mad Art Ball, Ruth and Earl Pinegar's costume titled, "Just Two Phonies".