Friday, August 17, 2007

Chet Patterson Joins P&H

TI list member Bruce Hettema is the owner of P&H Creative Group and the author of an article in the current issue of Illustration magazine on the history of his Petaluma, California art studio, which began life in the 1920's in San Francisco as Patterson & Sullivan.

As the decades rolled on, there were many more changes to come in the agency - some of which were J.E.'s retirement and his nephew Chet Patterson's joining and eventual ownership of the firm.

Chet was born on January 24, 1920, in Berkeley, California, and attended the University of California Berkeley, but in his third year (eight months prior to the bombing of Pearl Harbor when war seemed imminent), he decided to leave the university to join the Air Force and become a pilot. Chet was the first fighter pilot to down four enemy planes in his P38 airplane. He flew the Berlin mission and was awarded the Bronze Star and Croix de Guerre for his part in the Lucky Strike Program, a project that airlifted more than 42,000 allied prisoners of war from France and Germany.

After returning home from WWII, Chet accepted a one-year apprenticeship at Patterson & Hall, his uncle's advertising studio in San Francisco. One year turned into 40 years, and by 1950 Chet owned the agency. Under Chet's guidance, Patterson & Hall became the largest art service on the West Coast.

As with many members of theP&H staff, Chet was often called upon to serve as a model for the artists. With his expressive face and "everyday man" looks he soon became a favorite with the artists and appeared in many ads and illustrations.

You can find the full length version of this article in Illustration magazine #19.


  1. My best wishes in your vacations Leif, time to relax and reload energy :)
    Interesting history, about this amazing man.

  2. What a wonderful post and what an incredible man. There truly was a Golden Era of Illustration. And what do we have nowadays? Photoshopped photographs thanks to the computerwizards... Have we made progress...?