Innovative Duo Made Big Impact on Chicago’s Advertising Landscape


From the 1920s until well into the 1960s, husband-and-wife designers Dorothy and Otis Shepard brought their fresh, playful, smart and graphically modern sensibilities to billboards, subway cards and advertising. 

Chewing gum magnate P.K. Wrigley, their biggest client, was so impressed with their powerful campaigns for products like Doublemint gum – and introducing the Doublemint Twins, who continued to grace the product’s advertising well into the age of TV commercials – that he handed them the assignment of redesigning everything from the logo to the uniforms for his baseball team, the Chicago Cubs. The Cubs scorecards from that time are masterpieces of mass produced images, quickly giving fans a feeling for the pleasure and drama of watching a ballgame in Wrigley Field on a summer afternoon.

  • Dorothy and Otis Shepherd

    Dorothy and Otis Shepherd

  • (Credit: Dorothy and Otis Shepherd)

    (Credit: Dorothy and Otis Shepherd)

  • (Credit: Dorothy and Otis Shepherd)

    (Credit: Dorothy and Otis Shepherd)

The story of this dynamic couple, told by biographers Dan Nadel and Norman Hathaway, was part of a four-part series that premiered on WTTW in the fall of 2018. “Art & Design in Chicago” was part of a citywide initiative, Art Design Chicago, that looked at the history of the city’s artists and designers with fresh eyes through new scholarship. Funded by the Terra Foundation for American Art with presenting partner The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, it included shows at museums and galleries around the city, as well as a new book on the history of the city’s artists.

The complete series and stories can be found at wttw.com/artdesignchicago.


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