The 1960s design scene in Portland had elements that may seem familiar to designers today: passionate creatives, a small community, and a collaborative work ethic. Out of this creative pool emerged Byron Ferris, Bennet Norrbo, and Charles Politz, three men whose careers overlapped, who influenced each other and yet left their mark in distinctly different ways.
Charles, Bennet and Byron worked to develop some of Portland’s biggest brands, like Jantzen and Pendleton, defining the city’s stake in outdoor and athletic wear. As mythologized in Mad Men, the “Golden Age of Advertising” claims New York City as its epicenter. But even in Portland, advertising was changing and practitioners were defining their craft. While Portland’s ad men may have had a few things in common with their fictionalized NYC counterparts, their differences are more stark.