1982 Advertising Class Assignment: Flapjack Mix Label, by Charles Carreon
This great work of art was inspired by Don Kay, artist and teacher of artists extraordinaire, a tenured professor at the Southern Oregon University College of Art, whose most memorable comment to our advertising design class was, "we are moving to a vertical society, which means there will be a lot of people at lower income levels and a lot of people at higher income levels." Don's take-home lesson for the ad designer had nothing to do with politics -- the question was, were you going to sell your product to rich people or poor people? If you are selling to rich people, different rules apply, such as using more white space, creating an aura of elegance and entitlement, as if they are lucky you are willing to sell to them. Poor people are more susceptible to cheap-looking design, such as ad pages crowded with multitudinous offers, epitomized in the photography and electronics full-page ad genre, clamoring with small images and slashed prices. It would obviously be more fun and "artistic" to design for the wealthy, but then you'd hate yourself. I took these lessons and went off to law school, telling Don apologetically that I had decided to be a lawyer, and would not be going into the advertising field. Showing the lawyer inside the salesman, Don simply responded, "You could always change your mind."