Friday, November 21, 2014


A recent birthday, an Amazon gift card, and a few clicks of the computer brought me this book...

...Dorothy and Otis: Designing the American Dream.

The book is a biography of graphic designer Otis Shepard and his wife Dorothy, who was also a very talented designer.  You may remember Otis' name from posts I've done on the Cubs scorecards from the past... Otis was the artist who created these.

His main job was head of the art department of the Wrigley Company.  But his work spilled over into other Wrigley interests like Catalina Island and the Cubs.

The most amazing thing that I came away with from reading the book:  Otis left school at age 12 with a fourth grade education.  He had no formal art training, but instead learned by doing.

It's not really a baseball book, but then again, he did so much Cubs work that you can't tell the story of Otis Shepard without including baseball.

Not only was he involved in the designs on the scorecards, but pretty much anything of the Cubs involving graphics involved Otis.

My all-time favorite Shepard-designed Cub item is this...

...the Cubbie bear shoulder patch worn in the '60s and '70s.  Until  I got the book I never realized that Otis designed it.  But looking at it now, I can definitely see his style.

He also had some fun with the team.  Both of these show Shepard and Manager Charlie Grimm.

But as I said earlier, the books goes into so much more than just the Cubs.  And the story of his artistic wife Dorothy is a great read, too.  If you enjoy art, biographies, the Cubs, or just looking at pretty pictures, you'll want to read Dorothy and Otis.


  1. That looks great. And I do love the cubbie patch. As I've said, the players need to be tough, not the logo.

  2. I think that book is going to find its way into my house one way or the other...

    I almost didn't notice it at first, but the mock-up of the 1948 Junior Booster Club cards is "signed" by Henry Aldrich, which is the name of a character from a popular 1940's radio series. I believe Henry would've been the appropriate age for the Junior Booster Club.