My Love of Old Images

My Grandmother was very social and kept scrapbooks of herself and her friends. This was taken near Berkeley, California in summer 1925. My grandmother was 15. She never remembered her age in photos as she often lied about her age to college boys she dated. One of my favorite hand-colored photos of her she confessed that she was only 16, and had snuck out of the house to attend a dance with a Cal Berkeley college boy, whom she told she was 19. Sassy.

I have been a professional designer my entire adult life, and a creative mad scientist since birth. Since I had a working mother, my brother and I spent summers and many after-school days with our paternal grandparents. My grandmother had an amazing collection of old books, photos, toys and costume jewelry that fascinated me. A large cabinet in the living room held a treasure trove of my father and uncle’s old books and toys that my brother and I happily played with for hours.

One of my favorites, that I inherited was a black-paged scrapbook of my very social grandmother with her friends. Most are photos of my grandmother and her fellow teen-aged and early 20-something friends. They dressed well, had cool cars, and took trips together. One trip in 1932, to Santa Catalina Island, in Southern California was where she met my Grandmother.

I credit my love of my grandmother’s photos and vintage treasures with my affinity for old images. I have always used many old illustrations and engravings in my design work. I have often incorporated antique photos and illustrations in my designs. Finding great,old images was part of my challenge. There is so much charm in old engravings and drawings.

Logo for Santa Monica summer concert series: digital collage of several antique engravings.

Many of my images I have used over the years, were found in my own family photo collections, most are from years of collecting. I have accumulated a large personal library of antique books, postcards, photos, catalogs, magazines and more. My oldest images are from late 1700.  The Oso and Bean business cards and hang tags include a photo of the 1920 kindergarten class of my maternal grandmother (see top of this page). There s no mistaking the conversations that have started with these cards. “Which one is your grandma?” Seventh from the right. And, “Why are they wearing those hats?” I don’t know.

Many have seen the Oso+Bean antique photo on our packaging and business cards. It is Maureen’s maternal Grandmother’s 1920 kindergarten class photo. Glendale, CA 1920.

My hope is that  my products and designs remind everyone of our own histories, and that by incorporating them into your homes, you can create new memories of your own.