And despite the fact that I've known him since I started at Doyle Dane Bernbach in 1969, these last two years were the ones where I grew to know him best.
Of course, working with him was both a delight and a chore. As the whole world knows, he wasn't just creative and innovative; he was painstaking, laborious, methodical and thorough. Whereas I was fast and, occasionally, sloppy.
Looking back, I think of all our happy times-and the occasional unhappy ones-from 1969 on. Now I'm an old man-I'm nearing 75-and some of the fondest memories I have are of Helmut. As someone said, "To be able to enjoy one's past life is to live again."
I'll always be grateful.
Editor's note: Following are excerpts from other tributes to Helmut Krone, the Hall of Fame art director who died April 12.
Helmut Krone liked everything to be simple and direct. So here goes:
Helmut Krone was the greatest creative advertising person who ever lived. He was an art director at Doyle Dane Bernbach, and if you were a creative person in the 1960s and '70s it was the only place in the world to do ads. Besides Volkswagen there was Avis, and Levy's bread, and Orbachs, and so many others. Beautiful advertising .*.*.
We all had lived during advertising's creative revolution. And if DDB was the Yankees, then Helmut Krone was the Joe DiMaggio of our youth. He was a serious man, as only a man whose eye told him everything in life was 1/64th of an inch off, could be.
He looked at everything and he knew just what it would take to make it perfect. And when it wasn't, or when he couldn't reach it, it made him cranky. He pushed himself and everyone and everything around him toward a perfection that only he could understand.
Jerry Della Femina
From his column in the
East Hampton Independent
On a page or in a sentence, Helmut Krone had a wonderful way of putting things. Referring to a client, he said:
"I like to do exactly what he wants, but certainly not what he expects. If you do what he expects, you're dead."
Helmut said he wasn't crazy about things that move. He preferred things that stand still, like a page. And he favored intuition first, explanation second:
"First you put a mark on paper that interests you, and then you try to figure out why it might make some sense."
From his "Any Wednesday"