Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Art and design for the Premier Corporation

Early in 1972 I got a call from Jim Donahue, he wanted me to design and do the art for a brochure. I first met Jim when I was a fifteen year old kid working in the art department at Brophy engraving Company in Detroit, Michigan. Later, sometime in 1947, I joined Jim's new art studio, Allied Artists. Now Jim was working for the Premier Corporation as their Advertising Manager. Premier owned several companies and were also involved with breeding Black Angus cattle at Meadowbrook Farms. Below is an illustration I did for one of their newspaper ads.

Donahue 1
This illustration was painted on a canvas-surfaced board using washes of acrylic paint. Jim wanted a loose fine art feel to the image, rather than a hard-boiled illustration.

Donohue 2

These are my first rough sketches for the Premier brochure cover which I did to show Jim.

Donohue 3

This is the marker comp layout of the cover which was approved and below is the final printed piece. The brochure had a lot of photos as well as art on the interior pages. This was a very interesting assignment as Premier was shipping Angus cattle to Japan and wanted me to fly along to do the photography for the brochure. Yes, I actually flew on the cargo plane with the cattle to Japan ! They wouldn't let my wife Jeanne fly on the cargo plane so they flew her on a regular flight. The only photography involved was of the actual unloading of the cattle, so after that Jeanne and I had a great vacation in Japan. On the way home we decided to stay in Hawaii for a few days. I wish every assignment were this good, although I have been very fortunate to have many interesting perks throughout my career.

Donohue 4

Here is a sketch of us approaching Japan, that's Mount Fuji straight ahead. Originally I had a seat inside the cargo area where the cattle were. It was so cold in the cargo hold that the crew let me stay with them in the cockpit. The fellow with the pipe is a doctor that was along in case the cattle got wild and he would have to sedate them.

Meadowbrook Japan 1
A sketch of the actual unloading of the cattle. I took quite a few photographs as well. After the unloading I stayed at the airport and waited for Jeanne's flight to arrive.

We had a great vacation and even went to Kyoto, this is a sketch of our ryokan (Japanese Inn). In Tokyo I had the hotel arrange for us to visit a Japanese art studio which was very interesting. One of their accounts was Honda who were only building motorcycles at that time.
I did quite a few other interesting assignments for Premier which I will show on the next few posts.


rodge said...

Lovely stuff Harry
You've obviously got a treasure trove of travel sketches which by the look of what we've seen so far are pretty amazing. The previous ones of Libya and Egypt were really nice.
How about posting some more?
Would love to see them bigger, but tying to navigate through the flickr link is just coming to a dead end for me. Do you have a flickr address where I can see them?

Harry Borgman said...

Hi Rodge,
Thanks for your comments. I will gather up a few more sketches and post them soon. At present I'm not allowing access to my fickr account as the images there are not much larger than the ones posted. Perhaps I should consider scanning larger and allow access so that people can view them in more detail.