Free «Theodor’s Illustrations» Essay Sample

Theodor started his writing career by publishing several children’s books. His attention to colors and specifications made his illustrations stand out. His characters, like Horton and Lorax, remained in the minds of readers and were often used for other projects such as advertisements. One of his successful advertisement campaigns was the Standard oil campaign where he used his cartoon characters to sell the company products. This campaign was so successful that he was signed for 15 years to promote the company’s products. Another successful campaign was the Flint advertisement, which called for use of a bug spray, which was common at that time. This campaign came with the famous phrase ‘Quick, Henry, and the Flint’ that earned him attention in the print media. Theodor used cartoons to run successful campaign for other companies such as NBC and the General Electric (Minear and Geisel, 2001).

Theodor mainly used print media as his medium of transmitting information. He first started as the editor of his college magazine, which was known as Jack O Lantern. He then proceeded to work for other newspapers and magazines such as The Saturday Evening Post where he used cartoons as comics. During the World War, Theodor used cartoons to pass political messages. He criticized isolationists and the US government for giving their support to the Soviet Union. He achieved this through cartoon publications in print medium such as The New York Daily, Washington Times and The Chicago Tribune. Later after joining the US army to give his direct support, Theodor created propaganda films such as Your Job in Germany, a film that portrayed life after the world war. He also created Private Snafu, an animated story that illustrated the US army training sessions. He later went back into children’s books (Seuss, .2005).

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His Early Works and His Approach to Problems

Dr. Theodor always approached problems with a comic lightness. For example, the use of cartoons during the World war was an easy way of condemning serious acts such as isolation and racism but with a light twist. Readers of newspapers such as The New York Daily always looked forward to the daily cartoon column since it was both educative and comic at the same time. Other serious issues at the time, such as the war and the army trainings, were also cooled down by Theodor’s cartoon representation of the same (Balter, 2000). He executed serious advertisement campaigns such as the Standard oil and the Electric General campaigns successfully through the use of comic and humor. He always saw a comic side of every issue. This made it easy to communicate at a time when only written materials were available as compared to drawings and illustrations. His images in children’s books were drawn using pencil and were colored using various shades of colors especially after the war. The images were often hairy, rounded and never straight even when they were of real pictures. He drew imaginary characters such as Lorax, Grinch and Horton the elephant. He also created imaginary machines such as The Most Peculiar machine in The Sneetches (Stevens, 2004).

Style and Evolution of His Illustrations

His style did not evolve much over the years. His characters remained over the years and were used in various books, magazines and newspapers. They were also used for various advertisement and political campaigns. For example, he used Horton the elephant to represent India during the war politics as well as in the children’s books. He also used his drawings of insects to advertise Flint, and later used the same images books such as On Beyond Zebra.  Theodor’s admirable qualities are to be emulated. I particularly like his ability to use humor to represent divergent topics such as politics, discrimination and war. He adds comic sides to a serious issue hence making the readers enjoy the article as well as get the message. It is also admirable that Dr. Theodor was able to maintain his cartoon characters over time. The use of similar characters to illustrate different scenarios and communicate different messages is unique. The use of cartoon characters to sell almost every product successfully is very admirable. He was able to market petroleum products, electric and even bugs spray using illustrations (Geisel, 1995).


There is no doubt that Theodr S. Geisel was a very talented illustrator of his time. His style is outstanding. I admire his passion for his work, his creativity and his sense of humor, which he projected into his illustrations


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