Excerpts from the book "How Design Changed America" by Henry Keck
In the middle 1960s, Keck-Craig was given an unusual assignment by a fast growing Pasadena company now called Avery Dennison. It was an exciting opportunity since we were to work directly with R. Stanton Avery, (1907-1997) inventor, founder of the company. It would be hard to find a better example of creative capitalism than Stan Avery and his company. He had started out in 1935 with parts from a washing machine, a sewing machine and hand tools to create the first machine to make self-adhesive labels for all kinds of mass produced products. He had built the company through World War II into a thriving business.
Our assignment was to put the company into the plastic tape label embosser business. A tape embosser impresses letters into a self adhesive plastic tape so that labels of all kinds can be easily and neatly made. Avery’s interest was to sell their self adhesive plastic tape. This was a logical extension of their main self adhesive business. They were experts at making plastic tape.
There was already competition in this market from a company called Dymo which made an expensive, ugly, hard to use tape embosser.
After much back and forth design effort, ably helped by Mr. Avery, we designed a means of putting the tape through the center of the dial. We were thus able to create an easily held and easily used tool with a handsome, highly salable, contemporary look.