Tag Archives: advertising

Design Inspirations: Reynold Ruffins

This is a gentleman who is steeped in rich design history. I had always read design books that touted the famous design studio, Push Pin, as being founded by Milton Glaser, Seymour Chwast and Ed Sorel. I nearly crapped in my pants finding out that Push Pin had a fourth founder and he was this distinguished black man named Reynold Ruffins. With all the praise that Push Pin and its founders were given, why can’t I find out more on Reynold Ruffins? I haven’t come across much information about Mr. Ruffins but below is what his biography states.

The stylistic invention and fresh quality of Reynold Ruffins’ illustrations and designs have occupied a very special niche in the graphic art world since his graduation in 1951. He was one of the founding members of the famed Push Pin Studio, worked for advertising agencies and then started his own design studio with Sims Taback A’53. Some of his clients have been Young and Rubicam, BBDO, McCann-Erickson, IBM, AT&T, Coca Cola, The New York Times, CBS, Scribner’s, Random House, Time-Life, Fortune, Gourmet and the US Postal Service. Ruffin’s work has won awards from the Art Directors Club of New York, New Jersey, Dayton Ohio and Des Moines Iowa; AIGA; Type Directors Club, Society of Illustrators ­(Silver Medal, Advertising Category); Society of Publication Designers; Mead Library; Printing Industries of NY and The One Show (Advertising Club of NY). His designs and illustrations have been internationally recognized in group show exhibitions at the Louvre, Paris, Milan, Tokyo and at the Society of Illustrators Annual Shows, AIGA shows, Art Directors Club of New York and many corporate shows. He has also designed and illustrated fifteen childrens’ books; work from these books has been shown at the Bologna Childrens’ Book Fair in Italy and was awarded “Best Illustrated” by the New York Times Book Review.

Since 1967, Ruffins has spread his enthusiasm and knowledge of illustration as a teacher at the School of Visual Arts, Parsons School of Design, as a Visiting Adjunct Professor at Syracuse University emeritus. Currently he is a professor at Queens College, CUNY and was Visiting Distinguished Professor (1989-90). Ruffins received The Youth Friends Award from the School Art League, NYC in 1991 for outstanding achievements, integrity, and commitment to excellence in education. The Cooper Union Presidential Citation was presented to Ruffins in 1972 for his work and prominence in his profession and he has participated on a volunteer basis in many activities of the school, attending career nights for junior and senior art students and served on the Alumni Council. In 1997, Ruffins received the Coretta Scott King award for “Running the Road to ABC”.

— PDF release of Reynold Ruffins, 1993 Augustus St. Gaudens Award.

Hail To The V

It was about two weeks ago that I saw a commercial for Summer’s Eve. Yeah, the feminine hygiene wash. Why would I, a guy, talk about Summer’s Eve? Because the commercial I saw took a product that had been ridiculed for years on TV and turned into a statement of power. The commercial I’m talking about it the Hail To The V campaign by Summer’s Eve. It was brilliant, powerful, thought-provoking, fun and most of all, dead on point.

The point of the campaign is to celebrate the power of the pussy. A clean, fresh V will and has made many a man do anything to get to it. Now some folks have found it offensive, that it reflects badly on both men and women but really you can’t deny how it takes a once overlooked, let’s hide it type product and turns into this into a tool to help the mighty power of a woman’s V. I think it’s fantastic (and major kudos for a more intelligent and respectful showcase of women of color) and quite smart.

Bottom line, most men will flip at the mere prospect of coming into contact with any V. For me, I’ve always held the belief that woman are truly the ones in power because the V will make most of us willing and able to do just about anything. So, loving the power message of the campaign as well as the sly humor injected into it and just glad the awful puppet campaign was officially retired.

Ad agency, wouldn’t it have been easier to really think about your creative before releasing the mess you did before this? I mean, really!

Where Are All The Black People?

Several weeks ago I got this event notice on Facebook that really grabbed my attention. “Where Are All The Black People” was the title. How funny was that…as that’s been a mantra of mine since my early days at Pratt. This was to be a frank, no-holds-barred discussion about the lack of black people and others within the ad industry moderated by Jeff Goodby, co-founder of Goodby, Silverstein & Partners along with Jimmy Smith, Group Creative Director of TBWA\Chiat\Day/Los Angeles. The were three other panelists there: one was a black woman whose name was Cheeraz (like the wine) Gorman. She was a copywriter/planner. One was a British white woman whose first name was Danni, I believe. She’s a recruiter for agencies. Lastly was a young black man whose name I couldn’t hear. He is a soon to br graduate of Morehouse. Now I’m not an advertising man, matter of fact I hate it, but I thought it gave a diverse range of perspectives from the industry. The lack of color within the ad industry has been a raging topic since the ’60s. So we are talking over FORTY YEARS! It’s 2011 and still no real, tangible progression. I attended just to see just how frank it was going to be.

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