New Orleans Design A Half Century Ago

A little bit of design history in Print Magazine by Callie Budrick:

September 1962, New Orleans, Louisiana… ‘It’s a balmy afternoon in the city known for its soulful jazz and enticing Creole flavors. Don Smith and Byron Levy are chatting over lunch.

At the time, The Ad Club was one of the oldest professional clubs in the city. It attracted the businessmen—the sales guys, the moneymen, the account executives. But what about the city’s creative minds? Where could they go to meet and network? This was Smith’s question.

“Wouldn’t it be great…if all the artsy guys could join forces and make themselves known?”

The Art Directors and Designers Association (ADDA) was born. By 1999 ADDA had officially been chartered as the local New Orleans AIGA chapter.’

History of Graphic Design in South Louisiana (GDSL) is a project meant to “honor the fathers and daughters of local [New Orleans] pop culture.” The material content of this project was donated to Loyola University Special Collection and Archives. The original slide show (in the form of two 35mm slide carousels and reel-to-real audio tape) used by ADDA to showcase itself and its members were handed to Nancy Sharon Collins by its creator, Don Smith, shortly after Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Since that time, Collins and AIGA New Orleans volunteers have collected ephemera, photographs, and oral histories documenting New Orleans graphic past.

The large background image is from the 1962 ADDA slideshow and shows local illustrator and designer Steve McMurray showing off his wares on the Mississippi River docks. The small thumbnail, right, from Sunday, January 28, 1962 Times-Picayune magazine cover shows off the talents of one of the very few female design practitioners in New Orleans at that time, Edwina Damonte Fredricks.

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