Marget Larsen - Home Page, Get copies of stunning original artwork of Marget Larsen, famous San Francisco artist and graphics designer

Only once in awhile, a great talent appears on the scene, someone who creates original, beautiful, classic, joyful and wonderful things. Marget Larsen was one of those people.” Dick Coyne, The Book of Gossaage, p. 212.  
This site represents a new treasure-trove of the original works of Marget Larsen, never before seen by the public. Marget was a life-long denizen of San Francisco, and became, in her day, the most well-known, respected, copied, and sought-after advertising artist and graphics designer anywhere. Her contributions to graphic design wrought a mighty impact on the advertising industry wordwide, and her influence is still felt today. Some of her famous original designs, many still in use, can be seen here. She brought original styling, deft artistry, and creative use of typography to an unprecedented new level, and was part of the creative team, together with Howard Gosssage and Robert Freeman, that helped to revolutionize advertising in the 1960's. According to Freeman (her long-time partner and husband), what Marget really cared about were her drawings and fine-art paintings, which she never made public during her lifetime. You see them here for the first time.

We have presented here 103 of Marget's orginal paintings and pastels. You can easily browse through them and see magnified images, and get copies of them in a variety of different formats, including, canvas prints, acrylic prints, metal prints, beautifully framed poster prints, greeting cards, phone cases, and throw pillows. All images are startlingly lifelike, and are shipped directly to your chosen address, usually within 4 business days..

For those curious about how truly creative people get their start, it is interesting to note that, according to Robert Freeman, "Marget's formal art education was brief, which might account for her not being held back by a lot of rules about what you can and cannot do." She became an artistic trail-blazer. More details about her life are high-lighted in the informative article appearing several years ago on Community of Creatives, quoted below:

Marget appar­ently had the touch: she was known for assessing at a glance what factors made an image a success or a dud. From Irish whisky ads to bread bags, Larsen’s intrepid designs created waves throughout the adver­tising industry. From there, her impact was felt across the expanse of popular culture. Born in San Fran­cisco, Larsen studied with sculptor Bob Howard and jewelry designer Margaret de Patta. According to partner and colleague Robert Brewster Freeman, she had always wanted to be an artist; she idolized Paul Klee, whose work she pored over and prac­ti­cally memo­rized. Larsen’s first job was with I. Magnin; she worked at the department store by day while taking night classes at the Cali­fornia School of Fine Arts. From these humble begin­nings, she was promoted to art director at Joseph Magnin, working in concert with adver­tising manager Toni Harley and artist Betty Brader. Larsen’s first promo­tional device for the store was a series of Christmas boxes that could be used as clocks, building blocks, or musical instru­ments. While expensive to produce, these versatile inven­tions were a hit with the clientele. Larsen’s collab­o­ration with Freeman began when she went to work for Howard Gossage at what was then Weiner & Gossage.

Larsen’s knack for type­faces added finesse to Gossage’s uncon­ven­tional copy and put the San Fran­cisco ad agency on the national map. The ads it placed in publi­ca­tions like The New Yorker were so effective and its output so prolific that the company was often thought to be a much larger than it really was — in fact, its head­quarters were located in a quaint, retired fire­house. Working in a creative envi­ronment with a liberal attitude toward budgets, Larsen and Freeman had free reign to invent what they would. Among the design fads of this period was the instantly popular “Beethoven” sweat­shirt, a Larsen original. Designed to help raise money for a local classical-​music radio station, the athletic gray shirts were printed with a period engraving of the stern composer. The idea was as novel then as it is ordinary today, and soon knock-​offs were for sale on street corners around the country. Larsen didn’t limit herself to any one genre or field. She is credited with creating an inno­v­ative arrangement for a university library card catalog, coming up with the Parisian Bakery wrapper and lines of après ski wear and draperies. She also helped to develop the first ecology ads in the ‘60s. Marget Larsen died prema­turely of cancer in 1984.

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Canvas prints, as the name suggests, are illustrations made from images that are then printed onto canvas. Thus, canvas prints rival original artwork that was painted directly on canvas, such as the works of the great masters hanging in the Louvre.

The quality of a canvas print depends in part on the resolution of the printer, the dye used to make the print, and the resolution of the photographic image of original artwork. All of our images were made using a very high-resolution camera, adjusted for optimal color balance.

There are several methods in common use to transfer the image to canvas. We use the best method, called "Giclee" printing. With this method, prints are created typically using professional 8-Color to 12-Color ink-jet printers. Among the manufacturers of these printers are vanguards such as Epson, MacDermid Colorspan, & Hewlett-Packard. These modern technology printers are capable of producing incredibly detailed prints for both the fine art and photographic markets.

Quality : The quality of the giclee print rivals traditional silver-halide and gelatin printing processes and is commonly found in museums, art galleries, and photographic galleries.

Examples : Numerous examples of giclee prints can be found in New York City at the Metropolitan Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Chelsea Galleries. Recent auctions of giclee prints have fetched $10,800 for Annie Leibovitz, $9,600 for Chuck Close, and $22,800 for Wolfgang Tillmans (April 23/24 2004, Photographs, New York, Phillips de Pury & Company.)

Photos on canvas were introduced into the marketplace a decade or so ago and have been growing in popularity ever since. In contrast, photos on Acrylic represent a new medium and cost more to produce than canvas prints, but are startlingly realistic, and are rapidly gaining market share.

The main difference between the two media is the “wow” factor. When ink is printed onto canvas, it is absorbed into the canvas, thus altering its natural color and dulling it somewhat. When printing on acrylic, the ink goes directly onto acrylic but is not absorbed into it; it spreads lushly and evenly over the surface and makes the colors really stand out. Colors are vivid and the clarity of the image is spectacular. The difference in quality between acrylic prints and other types of prints is akin to the difference between high-definition TV and regular TV.

Printing on Acrylic requires considerable expertise (check out this YouTube video ). Printing on acrylic requires a flat bed printer, which can cost up to $125,000 (compared to a canvas printer, at about $2,000), and a state-of-the-art cutting machine, which cuts the acrylic panels to the desired size. With the huge capital cost associated with printing on acrylic there are only a dozen or so companies willing to undertake the demands and efficiencies needed in this process. Acrylic can be produced In various thicknesses, and the quality is quite consistent.

Our acrylic prints are hand-crafted in Germany, using the finest German technology and craftsmanship.

As more and more designers and decorators educate themselves on printing on acrylic, the medium will gain momentum and eventually capture market share from canvas. The shiny, rich color effect of acrylic will surely make this medium a real winner in years to come.