chuukyuu You wrote: "In 1964, I became red up with advertising. Opened design organization, Herb Lubalin Inc. ", but why did you become red up with advertising? Did you begin feeling that way while you were still with Sudler, Hennessey ＆ Lubalin Inc.?
LUBALIN I love to create advertising. But in the right amounts and with the right people. I think about a third of my business is still involved with preparing print and television advertising, I found there were too many people between the designers and the consumer. You know you have account executives, research people, marketing people, agency presidents, copywriters, media people and production people. I found that the only one way I can really function to my best ability is to deal directly with a client. Since I know what I'm doing better than anybody else, I can communicate what I'm doing to a client, where as I found numerous times account executives don't have the same ability to communicate what I'm doing to somebody else. I began feeling that way while I was with Sudler, Hennessey & Lubalin Inc., although I'm still working for Sudler & Hennessey as a design consultant.
Another reason why I gave it up was because I'm interested in so many different areas of design that just to concern myself with advertising wasn't rewarding enough.
chuukyuu What aspect of advertising do you not like?
LUBALIN I like creating idea for advertising. I think designing ads has almost become second nature, I don't think too much about how I design an ad but I think very much about creating an idea for an ad and writing headlines. Most intriguing thing about advertising to me is writing a good headline. I would say that the most of the advertising that I produce, I write the headlines and create themes for advertising.
Although there are numerous aspects that I don't like. One of them is a number of people getting in between the creative person and client, and another one is that often I find advertising is unrewarding from a moral stand-point. I don't particularly like to advertise product and help clients sell products that I have no particular use for. And very often I turn down a product because I just think it detrimental for people to buy certain products. If you do a beautiful advertising campaign and then a customer walks into the supermarket and picks up the finished product and is completely disappointed.
You've wasted a lot of effort to get a dissatisfied customer. The client at point of sale has defeated the whole purpose of your advertising.
chuukyuu Even with the existence of an advertising agency such as DDB, are you still pessimistic about the future of advertising?
LUBALIN No. I've changed my whole thinking of advertising since 1965. I think advertising in the U.S. has gotten, in less than 10 years, immeasurably better than It was. And it's getting better all the time and I think it's the most exciting form of graphic communication that there is. I have no pessimism at all about the future of advertising and in spite of everything that I have said against it, it still is the area that I'm most interested in as long as I don't have to do it all the time.
interviewed in 1969