Otis College of Art and Design logo
Events

O-Tube

Container Corporation of America's Great Ideas of Modern Man

Container Corporation of America's Great Ideas of Modern Man

Location: Special Collections

Particularly influential were the Container Corporation of America's efforts, begun in the 1930s, which culminated in the famous Great Ideas series of print ads introduced by the company's founder, Walter Paepcke, in 1950.

Herbert Bayer was also a consultant to the Container Corporation of America where he conceived of great ideas of western man and world geo-graphic atlas.

In 1949 Walter and Elizabeth Paepcke, both members of the "Fat Man's Great Books Course," organized a bicentennial celebration of Goethe's birth. Walter Paepcke, University of Chicago Trustee, was president of Container Corporation of America, and Elizabeth was a designer and decorator who helped to showcase the talents of Chicago designers by using their works in Container Corporation of America advertisements.

26 plates. From 1950 to 1975, Container Corp. of America ran an ad campaign entitled "Great Ideas of Western Man," in publications such as “Time” and “Fortune” magazines. Bauhaus master, Herbert Bayer and Art Director for CCA at the time, commissioned prominent artists, illustrators and designers to illustrate selected quotes. These were drawn from a broad spectrum of western thought that included philosophers, writers, scientists, and politicians, cultural and religious figures - from Aesop to Einstein. This ad campaign ran well beyond Bayer's tenure as the AD for CCA. Early in the campaign, a portfolio of the years' ads was issued, 13 loose 14.25" x 11.5" plates; additionally CCA issued portfolios of 26 selected plates - each spanning three years of the campaign.
 

Great Ideas No. 54 Alexander Hamilton

Great Ideas No. 54: Alexander Hamilton, 1954, by Herbert Bayer

Great Ideas No. 60 Epictetus

Great Ideas No. 60: Epictetus, 1954, by Leo Lionni