Friday, October 3, 2014

Ted Rand: Local Illustrator Who Made Good

Eons ago, when I was majoring in commercial art at the University of Washington, the Big Man in the Seattle illustration scene was Ted Rand (1915-2005).

There were other competent illustrators working in Seattle back in the days when the Seattle area was far from the world-class place it is now. The same can probably be accurately said for many mid-size metropolitan areas back when the nationally-known illustrators worked out of the New York City area (mostly), Chicago (to a lesser extent) and San Francisco (somewhat). Today's example features Seattle, because that's the place I knew about at the time.

Rand was the top illustrator locally in part because his work was featured in Pendleton ads that appeared in national publications. The other local guy with national cred was cartoonist Irwin Kaplan, who I wrote about here. As I mentioned in that post, Kaplan taught a fashion illustration class, and Rand appeared there once as a guest lecturer. Later on, Rand taught at Washington; too bad I missed out on that.

A biographical note on Rand is here, and a two-page obituary is here. As best I can tell, he had little or no art training beyond high school, so he must have been a "natural." Also noteworthy is that, at around age 65, he shifted professional gears to become a prolific writer and illustrator of children's books.


The images above look like they might be two segments from a horizontal spread (note the Frederick & Nelson logotype split). Frederick's was the leading Seattle department store into the 1960s.

Rand's work appeared nationwide during the 1950s when he illustrated ads for Portland, Oregon's Pendleton.

Here are two of his book covers.

1 comment:

Hels said...

It looks as though he became nostalgic in older age, dewy eyed and romantic about childhood. His earlier commercial presentation were sharper, more modern.