Daily Heller Newsletter — Imprint-The Online Community for Graphic Designers

10.15.18 / Rough, Rough, Rough


In the age of comp drawing Don May was the rough trader. He was an art and layout consultant with Hoskinson, Rohloff and Associates, and worked for dozens of national clients, including Abbot Laboratories, Hart Schaffner and Marks, Sears Roebook, and the Chicago Daily News. He was a layout machine and layout man’s layout man. These roughs come from his 1942 book 101 Roughs: A Handbook of Advertising Layout, featuring (you guessed it) 101 of the best rough layouts ever laid out. Oswald Cooper wrote that this book “is a honey…to one like myself who is unable to make a ‘rough.’ but must work everything out in detail.” The Inland Printer, the most renown trade journal for decades praised “It is a practical book.”

The roughs come in every shape and form, from “Full Illustration” to “Vertical Axis” to “Lettering illustrative” to “Overprint”, “Illustration Left,” “Illustration Right,” and all the permutations in between. This was an art that will never see its like again. Damn online banner ads!


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October 13

Weekend Heller: Not One But Two Lustig-Cohen Exhibits

October 12

A Fanboy Talks to Oliver Jeffers

October 11

Hey Bud, Your Type Is A Violation

Previously on heller goes here


• Rebels With Cause: Two Hellraising Magazines of the 1960s & ’70s

• Learning the Wrong Lessons: Design Education in the Age of Disruption

• The Fine Art of Milton Glaser



is the co-founder and the co-chair of the MFA Designer as Author program at the School of Visual Arts. He writes the Visuals column for the New York Times Book Review and the Graphic Content blog for T-Style. He is the author, coauthor, and/or editor of more than 120 books on design and popular culture, including the recent book Born Modern: The Life and Design of Alvin Lustig (Chronicle).