Louis Dorfsman

Art Director / Graphic Designer


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In his three-hour Archive interview, Louis Dorfsman (1918-2008) talks about his earliest experiences in his field, which included being an assistant for Display Guild, which produced numerous exhibits for the 1939 World's Fair. He describes his long association with CBS, where he beganas a staff director in the art department in 1946. He talks about his legendary work in the 1950s for CBS radio, during that medium's waning days. He recalls his eventual move to television, becoming the Director of Design for CBS, Inc. He recounts his influential work at CBS in print and television advertising, and his pioneering use of typography. Dorfsman details the erection of Black Rock, CBS's headquarters on 52nd Street and his work on the interior of the building, including his cafeteria wall collage. He outlines the fall television season campaigns at CBS and his well-known campaigns for shows including The Waltons, which helped boost its ratings. He speaks of his design of two books for CBS, Field of Vision (1962) on football, and a commemorative book on the 1969 moon landing. Ron Simon conducted the interview on May 15, 2000 in New York, NY.

"CBS represented a forward-looking, progressive, and innovative point of view. The reason it did is William S. Paley and Frank Stanton. Paley said, 'We are the Tiffany network,' and he really thought so. And we tried to make it that."

Highlights
Louis Dorfsman on the design of the CBS eye logo
02:55
Louis Dorfsman on his duties as Art Director for CBS and working with Frank Stanton
03:42
Louis Dorfsman on creating on-air promos for CBS
04:38
Louis Dorfsman on the CBS corporate typography 
04:41
Louis Dorfsman on why he enjoyed being in the advertising department at CBS Radio
04:12
Louis Dorfsman on how he'd like to be remembered
01:40
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his early life and influences; on how the Great Depression affected his family
06:30
On joining the Army during World War II; on running a design studio after World War II
21:46

Chapter 2

On CBS art director William Golden; on the design on the CBS eye logo; on meeting CBS President Frank Stanton and being hired at CBS
10:51
On becoming the top art director for CBS Radio advertising; on why he enjoyed being in the advertising department at CBS Radio; on working on CBS Radio's "Busy Market" campaign and designing the CBS Radio "Microphone Ad"
19:03

Chapter 3

On seeing television at the 1939 World's Fair and the development of color television; on leaving CBS Radio to work for CBS Television as art director at the behest of Louis G. Cowan; on his duties as Art Director for CBS and working with Frank Stanton
11:06
On his style as Art Director for CBS; on the use of words and pictures in an ad and on placing trade ads in "The New York Times"; on the Hollywood Blacklist
10:13
On dealing with the higher ups at CBS including Frank Stanton, William S. Paley, and James T. Aubrey and creating a book about football on CBS
09:33

Chapter 4

On promoting news coverage as Art Director for CBS advertising and on working with Fred Friendly; on Walter Cronkite appearing on The Mary Tyler Moore Show
17:12
On being Art Director for CBS' ad campaign to save The Waltons with then CBS President Robert Wood
13:39

Chapter 5

On "Field of Vision," the book he wrote about the NFL and on then-NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle; on CBS moving to Black Rock (their headquarter building) at the behest of Frank Stanton; on working with Frank Stanton on the walkway exhibit he created for CBS Black Rock
16:47
On his ad campaign capitalizing on Black Rock and on that campaign being killed by William S. Paley; on the signage and decor of CBS Black Rock; on the CBS Corporate typography
12:43

Chapter 6

On creating on-air promos for CBS; on doing a CBS promo using "The Guinness Book of World Records" and on his influence on other networks on-air promotions; on what CBS represented and how Frank Stanton and William S. Paley impacted the image of the network
11:26
On how the networks design and art departments have changed over the years; on how he'd like to be remembered; on his peers in the graphic design community, including Saul Bass, and on what set him apart from his peers; on why he stayed with CBS so long
12:11
Shows

Mary Tyler Moore Show, The

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Louis Dorfsman on Walter Cronkite appearing on The Mary Tyler Moore Show
11:24

Waltons, The

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Louis Dorfsman on being Art Director for CBS' ad campaign to save The Waltons with then CBS President Robert Wood
13:39
Topics

1939-40 World's Fair

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Louis Dorfsman on seeing television at the 1939 World's Fair and the development of color television
02:31

Advice

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Louis Dorfsman on his advice to aspiring Art Designers
01:52

First Big Break

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Louis Dorfsman on meeting CBS President Frank Stanton and being hired at CBS
03:06

Historic Events and Social Change

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Louis Dorfsman on joining the Army during World War II
06:55
Louis Dorfsman on seeing television at the 1939 World's Fair and the development of color television
02:31

Hollywood Blacklist

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Louis Dorfsman on the Hollywood Blacklist
01:50

Industry Crossroads

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Louis Dorfsman on the Hollywood Blacklist
01:50

Pivotal Career Moments

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Louis Dorfsman on meeting CBS President Frank Stanton and being hired at CBS
03:06

Pop Culture

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Louis Dorfsman on the design of the CBS eye logo
02:54

Technological Innovation

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Louis Dorfsman on seeing television at the 1939 World's Fair and the development of color television
02:31

Television Industry

View Topic
Louis Dorfsman on the Hollywood Blacklist
01:50
Louis Dorfsman on how the networks design and art departments have changed over the years
02:28
Louis Dorfsman on his advice to aspiring Art Designers
01:52

War

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Louis Dorfsman on joining the Army during World War II
06:55

World War II

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Louis Dorfsman on joining the Army during World War II
06:55
Professions

Art Director/Set Decorator

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Louis Dorfsman on his duties as Art Director for CBS and working with Frank Stanton
03:42
Louis Dorfsman on his style as Art Director for CBS
02:14
Louis Dorfsman on the use of words and pictures in an ad and on placing trade ads in "The New York Times"
06:06
Louis Dorfsman on promoting news coverage as Art Director for CBS advertising and on working with Fred Friendly
05:48
Louis Dorfsman on his peers in the graphic design community, including Saul Bass, and on what set him apart from his peers
03:04
Louis Dorfsman on his advice to aspiring Art Designers
01:52

Designers

View Profession
Louis Dorfsman on his duties as Art Director for CBS and working with Frank Stanton
03:42
Louis Dorfsman on his style as Art Director for CBS
02:14
Louis Dorfsman on the use of words and pictures in an ad and on placing trade ads in "The New York Times"
06:06
Louis Dorfsman on promoting news coverage as Art Director for CBS advertising and on working with Fred Friendly
05:48
Louis Dorfsman on his peers in the graphic design community, including Saul Bass, and on what set him apart from his peers
03:04
Louis Dorfsman on his advice to aspiring Art Designers
01:52
Genres

Comedy Series

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Louis Dorfsman on Walter Cronkite appearing on The Mary Tyler Moore Show
11:25

Commercials

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Louis Dorfsman on creating on-air promos for CBS
04:38

Drama Series

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Louis Dorfsman on being Art Director for CBS' ad campaign to save The Waltons with then CBS President Robert Wood
13:39

Sports

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Louis Dorfsman on dealing with the higher ups at CBS including Frank Stanton, William S. Paley, and James T. Aubrey and creating a book about football on CBS
09:33
People

James T. Aubrey

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Louis Dorfsman on dealing with the higher ups at CBS including Frank Stanton, William S. Paley, and James T. Aubrey and creating a book about football on CBS
09:33

Saul Bass

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Louis Dorfsman on his peers in the graphic design community, including Saul Bass, and on what set him apart from his peers
03:04

Louis G. Cowan

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Louis Dorfsman on leaving CBS Radio to work for CBS Television as Art Director at the behest of Louis G. Cowan
04:53

Walter Cronkite

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Louis Dorfsman on Walter Cronkite appearing on The Mary Tyler Moore Show
11:25

Fred Friendly

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Louis Dorfsman on promoting news coverage as Art Director for CBS advertising and on working with Fred Friendly
05:48

William S. Paley

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Louis Dorfsman on dealing with the higher ups at CBS including Frank Stanton, William S. Paley, and James T. Aubrey and creating a book about football on CBS
09:33
Louis Dorfsman on his ad campaign capitalizing on Black Rock (CBS' headquarter building) and on that campaign being killed by William S. Paley
05:50
Louis Dorfsman on what CBS represented and how Frank Stanton and William S. Paley impacted the image of the network
05:15

Pete Rozelle

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Louis Dorfsman on "Field of Vision" the book he wrote about the NFL and on then-NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle 
06:16

Frank Stanton

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Louis Dorfsman on meeting CBS President Frank Stanton and being hired at CBS
03:06
Louis Dorfsman on his duties as Art Director for CBS and working with Frank Stanton
03:42
Louis Dorfsman on dealing with the higher ups at CBS including Frank Stanton, William S. Paley, and James T. Aubrey and creating a book about football on CBS
09:33
Louis Dorfsman on CBS moving to Black Rock (their headquarter building) at the behest of Frank Stanton
02:45
Louis Dorfsman on working with Frank Stanton on the walkway exhibit he created for CBS Black Rock (their headquarter building)
07:46
Louis Dorfsman on what CBS represented and how Frank Stanton and William S. Paley impacted the image of the network
05:15

Robert D. Wood

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Louis Dorfsman on being Art Director for CBS' ad campaign to save The Waltons with then CBS President Robert Wood
13:39

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