Skip to main content

Design Legends of St. Louis: Dick Juenger

We’ve posted the first of our full-length videos of “Design Legends of St. Louis”, a video portrait of Dick Juenger.

Dick is one of the nicest, most decent guys around, and here talks about his history at Gardner Advertising in the 40’s and 50’s, his co-founding of Obata Studios in the 60’s, and his freelance business in the 70’s and 80’s. His beautiful hand-lettering for Budweiser’s calligraphic labels is still gorgeous after all these years.

I met Dick when I had just graduated from college, and was shopping my oh-so Swiss-inspired portfolio around. I showed up at Dick’s downtown studio, surrounded by his delicate calligraphy and hand-lettering. Dick was encouraging and enthusiastic, while gently guiding me to excise some of my more egregious typographic experiments and all of my then-precious Man Ray inspired photograms (clones, more accurately). I left his office feeling better about myself and better about my portfolio than when I had gone in.

Four years later (1984 or so) I designed a logo for HealthLink Corporation — a logo which, astoundingly, is still in use today — and I used Dick’s typeface “Jana” as basis for the logotype font. Then, around ten years ago I was gratified to see that Doyald Young had included Jana in his masterful “Logotypes & Letterforms” book.

Jana is a font that still has strong associations of a certain time and culture. One of my favorite uses is in “The Divorcee” movie poster. The copy alone is tasteless — and priceless. Never has such a great typeface by such a gentleman been used to shill so base a product.

We’ll be posting the next “Design Legends” profile, this one on Bob Falk, on June 3. Frank Roth’s profile will follow in mid-June.  Please let us know how you like these, and share with your friends and associates.

Posted on

Written by Eric Thoelke