Cover illustrations have a rich history of craftsmanship and artisan-ship. We have previously written about cover illustrations done by long time Army-Navy program illustrator Gib Crockett. Today, we feature another illustrator/artist who designed program covers for an extended period of time, Lon Keller.
Keller designed his forst program for a 1932 Cornell-Penn Thanksgiving Day game, one of the oldest rivalries in college football.
,Keller program from 1935
Keller was also one of the first artists to be involved in producing cover illustrations that were ‘syndicated’, or widely used by many teams across the country. Originally produced with the help of tobacco company sponsors in the 1930s several companies started to offer mass production of programs at a lower cost.
Keller designed program for many college, the Army, Navy and Air Force academies, Princeton, Cornell and other colleges as well as for high school programs. His most popular program were for his depiction of women on program covers.
For an in depth look at Lon’s career and illustrations please see www.lonkeller.com. We have a nice selection of programs on our website, including many by Keller: