For nine years Ron Campbell was art director of FORTUNE. For the last two he's been issue designer of our Football Spectacular, and he says this job is a lot more colorful. "You rarely find businessmen wearing red shirts with big numbers on them," says Campbell. "It makes the graphics easier for a designer, especially if the designer is a football fan."
Campbell, who grew up in Mountain Lakes, N.J., played football on sandlots and still remembers the first helmet he bought—it was black with a white arrow down the front—for $3.99 from Sears, Roebuck & Co. He also had a formidable collection of college pennants, 120 in all. Because Campbell weighed only 135 pounds in high school, he wisely decided to watch the game rather than play it. The first one he saw was between Rutgers and Springfield in the late '30s. He was also present in 1938 when Rutgers beat Princeton for the first time since the two schools initiated intercollegiate football in 1869.
Although football was his sport, art was Campbell's passion. His grandfather, Clinton Peters, was a portrait painter, and Campbell's mother and her sister were also portraitists. Art filled their home, especially after Ron got started: "I drew on the walls and radiators, any surface I could find."
After military service in the Pacific (1944-46) as a pharmacist's mate aboard the carrier Bon Homme Richard, Campbell enrolled at the Rhode Island School of Design. Campbell became a layout artist for FORTUNE in 1952, and three years later met his future wife, Jule, who is now an SI senior editor. They were spending weekends on Fire Island, N.Y., at houses near one another. Jule, then an editor at Glamour magazine, moved to SI in 1959 and has supervised our swimsuit packages since 1965. Ron and Jule married in 1956, and have a 27-year-old son, Bruce. The Campbells spend weekends on their farm, Jule's childhood home, near Flemington, N.J.
While Jule has no challengers in the outraged-letters-to-the-editor department, Ron can at least sympathize. In a story he wrote for us (ART TALK, Dec. 14, 1981), he upset countless Cincinnatians by likening a Bengals helmet to a "varicose pumpkin."
Ron should receive no irate mail about our fourth annual Football Spectacular. He has given it visual distinction without departing radically from the look of the weekly magazine. "You want a different rhythm to it," he says. "My feeling is that the designer should pull the words and the pictures and the reader together and then get the hell out of the way." Spoken like a fan.