|A few words and images...
About Running Dog,
AKA Bruce Brown
EN ROUTE to careers as a journalist and an author and a scriptwriter and an artist and an entrepeneur and an athlete, I somehow found time for another career -- that of a designer.
My design work has always been something of a compulsion. There have always been many other, "more important" things to do, but somehow I found time to design books, magazines, Web sites, mass retailer department concepts, advertising campaigns and, yes, even life-sized, Mr. Pizza costumes made of foam rubber.
During the 1970s, I did creative work for most of the big advertising agencies in Seattle on accounts such as Nordstrom, Continental Telephone (which became Verizon), the successful reelection campaigns of U.S. Senator Warren Magnuson and Seattle Mayor Wes Uhlman, and Pizza Haven.
The latter was a large Seattle pizza restaurant chain for which my advertising partner, artist Les Wood, and I created Mr. Pizza, a funky, long-running Seattle commercial persona that sadly outlived Les.
So there you have it, my darkest secret: I was co-creator of Mr. Pizza! Unfortunately, all of my early advertising stuff (including TV spots and a full Mr. Pizza costume that was always a hit at Halloween) was lost in the fire that gutted our office on Seattle's south Queen Anne Hill in 1978.
From a design standpoint, I'm probably associated most with the "acid New York Review of Books" look -- that is to say graphic design built around 18th and 19th century steel engravings, used not as directly illustrative graphic elements, but as often ironic commentaries on the story they accompany. The Sumas Astonisher, BugNet, astonisher.com and eAuctionTimes.com all share this quality to one degree or another.
In truth, though, I've only tended to go in this direction because it's a cheap and effective way to look good on a budget. One of the things I love about designing for the Web, books and CDs is the ability to use luscious color and high production values, what Les Wood used to call "eye candy."
Here are some more recent examples of my design, illustration and advertising work, most of which has been done under the name Running Dog.
Be Prepared! The puss in boots (above) is from a series of illustrations using old engravings that I did for BugNet in 1995-96. The Digital Rip Van Winkle (below) is from 2010.