Tuesday, February 12, 2008

'63 Chevrolet Trade and Travel Time Promotion

IF YOU TRADE IN THIS CAR RIGHT NOW ON A '63 CHEVROLET....HERE'S WHAT YOU'LL GET. Once or twice a year, or more, depending upon how sales were going Chevrolet wanted a promotion. Newspapers carried the main thrust and started out as a full page or nearly so and were resized to fit the market. At this time there were about six or maybe even seven thousand Chevy Dealers and they all expected support. Trade "N" Travel Time was the thrust of this promotion and it had the following three ads plus two more. We designed the travel bag logo to give a warm Chevy feel to the thing and then used our regular art treatment for the visuals. The "N" in the Trade"N" Travel Time allowed us to have TNT deals on all the cars at your Chevy Dealers. Window trim and other promotional materials usually went to each dealer so they could tie in with it.

4 comments:

Dave Pool said...

Jim, I'm going to use this ad to ask you this question...though there are many others can could have provided the "launch pad."

There was a time -- and it could have been clear back to the '30s, but I am most keenly aware of it through the post-WWII years, well into the '50s -- when auto ad illustration would intentionally distort the car, making it look longer, not as tall, and more impressive -- even to the point of reducing the size of the people inside the car. To my eye, the art in your ads looks realistically proportioned. So I'm wondering when, on the way to dropping illustration in favor of photography, did illustration get away from that kind of distortion and start properly representing the cars?

Jim said...

To answer your question about illustrators getting away from distorting the cars---they never did. They just learned to do it better so it wasn't so obvious. I can't speak to how it was done before the '50s but when I was buying car illustration everybody did it pretty much the same way. At Campbell-Ewald one of the first things to happen to a new prototype was round the clock photography at several levels. It was pure reference photography used to determine the best views of the car and for future illustration reference. When cars were available illustrators shot their own reference photos. The photos were then pasted on a board and cut apart a little here and a little there to make the car wider longer or lower. Then the penciler made a line drawing on illustration board for the artist to paint. The pencil drawing was reviewed with the art director before the painting began to make sure it was what was wanted. The pencil guys were very talented in their own right but never got credit for the finished art. Artists' like Dave Lindsey, never did the pencils but painted beautifully. The look of the cars was very realistic but not really photographic even though they looked it.

Photography was hardly ever without some kind of help to make the cars look as great as possible. The simplest and maybe most common was bags of heavy shot put into the engine compartment and trunk to take the car to the level it would be if it was full of people. Maybe nobody would be in the car or perhaps only the driver but the body would be lowered to make the car look longer and lower as though it had a full load. Chevrolet always had a guy with us if we had prototypes and he would measure the distance to the ground to make sure we had it right.
Then there was the stretch lens. Every photographer had one. I don't know who invented it but it was really something. When you were shooting a side view or something close to it you could add a foot or two to the length of the car. Large cameras were most often used for this and you could actually look into the back of the camera and control the amount of stretch being given. The rear of the car was most often given the stretch but not always. You can tell when this has been done by looking at the wheels of the car. Normally when no stretch has been added the wheels will appear as vertical ovals. The oval may be only slightly so but it should be there. On a side view if the front tire is round or nearly so and the rear wheel and tire look like a slight horizontal oval then you know some stretch has been added. A telephoto lens does something different. It kind of bunches the car up and if you are looking at a near front or rear view the car takes on a tougher look. A wide angle lens can give you a real zoom like look when you shoot close up to the car. Photographers like Jimmy Northmore and Mickey Mc Guire did some amazing things with cars at Boulevard Photographic. If you want a more complete explanation of this they published a book a few years ago called "Boulevard Photographic" and it may still be available. Any lens used to make car illustrations can make the car look something better than it really does. There are so many things that come into play like lighting, angle,motion, studio or outdoors.

Jim said...

To answer your question about illustrators getting away from distorting the cars---they never did. They just learned to do it better so it wasn't so obvious. I can't speak to how it was done before the '50s but when I was buying car illustration everybody did it pretty much the same way. At Campbell-Ewald one of the first things to happen to a new prototype was round the clock photography at several levels. It was pure reference photography used to determine the best views of the car and for future illustration reference. When cars were available illustrators shot their own reference photos. The photos were then pasted on a board and cut apart a little here and a little there to make the car wider longer or lower. Then the penciler made a line drawing on illustration board for the artist to paint. The pencil drawing was reviewed with the art director before the painting began to make sure it was what was wanted. The pencil guys were very talented in their own right but never got credit for the finished art. Artists' like Dave Lindsey, never did the pencils but painted beautifully. The look of the cars was very realistic but not really photographic even though they looked it.

Photography was hardly ever without some kind of help to make the cars look as great as possible. The simplest and maybe most common was bags of heavy shot put into the engine compartment and trunk to take the car to the level it would be if it was full of people. Maybe nobody would be in the car or perhaps only the driver but the body would be lowered to make the car look longer and lower as though it had a full load. Chevrolet always had a guy with us if we had prototypes and he would measure the distance to the ground to make sure we had it right.
Then there was the stretch lens. Every photographer had one. I don't know who invented it but it was really something. When you were shooting a side view or something close to it you could add a foot or two to the length of the car. Large cameras were most often used for this and you could actually look into the back of the camera and control the amount of stretch being given. The rear of the car was most often given the stretch but not always. You can tell when this has been done by looking at the wheels of the car. Normally when no stretch has been added the wheels will appear as vertical ovals. The oval may be only slightly so but it should be there. On a side view if the front tire is round or nearly so and the rear wheel and tire look like a slight horizontal oval then you know some stretch has been added. A telephoto lens does something different. It kind of bunches the car up and if you are looking at a near front or rear view the car takes on a tougher look. A wide angle lens can give you a real zoom like look when you shoot close up to the car. Photographers like Jimmy Northmore and Mickey Mc Guire did some amazing things with cars at Boulevard Photographic. If you want a more complete explanation of this they published a book a few years ago called "Boulevard Photographic" and it may still be available. Any lens used to make car illustrations can make the car look something better than it really does. There are so many things that come into play like lighting, angle,motion, studio or outdoors.

Jim said...

To answer your question about illustrators getting away from distorting the cars---they never did. They just learned to do it better so it wasn't so obvious. I can't speak to how it was done before the '50s but when I was buying car illustration everybody did it pretty much the same way. At Campbell-Ewald one of the first things to happen to a new prototype was round the clock photography at several levels. It was pure reference photography used to determine the best views of the car and for future illustration reference. When cars were available illustrators shot their own reference photos. The photos were then pasted on a board and cut apart a little here and a little there to make the car wider longer or lower. Then the penciler made a line drawing on illustration board for the artist to paint. The pencil drawing was reviewed with the art director before the painting began to make sure it was what was wanted. The pencil guys were very talented in their own right but never got credit for the finished art. Artists' like Dave Lindsey, never did the pencils but painted beautifully. The look of the cars was very realistic but not really photographic even though they looked it.

Photography was hardly ever without some kind of help to make the cars look as great as possible. The simplest and maybe most common was bags of heavy shot put into the engine compartment and trunk to take the car to the level it would be if it was full of people. Maybe nobody would be in the car or perhaps only the driver but the body would be lowered to make the car look longer and lower as though it had a full load. Chevrolet always had a guy with us if we had prototypes and he would measure the distance to the ground to make sure we had it right.
Then there was the stretch lens. Every photographer had one. I don't know who invented it but it was really something. When you were shooting a side view or something close to it you could add a foot or two to the length of the car. Large cameras were most often used for this and you could actually look into the back of the camera and control the amount of stretch being given. The rear of the car was most often given the stretch but not always. You can tell when this has been done by looking at the wheels of the car. Normally when no stretch has been added the wheels will appear as vertical ovals. The oval may be only slightly so but it should be there. On a side view if the front tire is round or nearly so and the rear wheel and tire look like a slight horizontal oval then you know some stretch has been added. A telephoto lens does something different. It kind of bunches the car up and if you are looking at a near front or rear view the car takes on a tougher look. A wide angle lens can give you a real zoom like look when you shoot close up to the car. Photographers like Jimmy Northmore and Mickey Mc Guire did some amazing things with cars at Boulevard Photographic. If you want a more complete explanation of this they published a book a few years ago called "Boulevard Photographic" and it may still be available. Any lens used to make car illustrations can make the car look something better than it really does. There are so many things that come into play like lighting, angle,motion, studio or outdoors.