Cole Software

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Back in the early 1990s a very smart and all-around awesome friend of mine named Bob Shimizu worked with me on my first real commercial ad campaign. I designed the XDC logo and together we created and developed these two main characters based traditional Japanese woodcuts.

We would meet every month (usually over sushi) and plan the next month's story. We ran a new ad each month depicting these characters in various situations from 1990 to 1992. The Master and Michael-san would show up on the pages of computer programming trade publications advertising a mainframe debugging software that Bob represented and sold.

I would produce some sketches and we would fax (yes fax, this was all before I even owned a computer!) ideas back and forth until we settled on the image and story line. I would then produce the mechanical artwork (which I built manually with registration marks, typesetting and overlays on illustration board with ink & wash) and Fed-ex it to a pre-press stripping company who would then combine all the layers via the darkroom and stat camera into one negative film that we would send to the magazines.

After a year or so of continuously running these ads, Daybreak Studios was presented with the 1991 ICP Million Dollar Promotional Achievement Award "in recognition of my outstanding promotional support on behalf of Cole Software, Inc. and XDC." I guess that meant that somebody made a million dollars, although I don't know who. I decided to include most all of the tear sheets from the entire campaign here. It sure was fun...