Ray was a larger-than-life personality with a quick smile and jovial attitude that filled our halls and meeting rooms with fun and laughter. He truly understood how to make work fun and he believed that it was vitally important. Every day was an adventure, and he kept everyone laughing while we rushed to meet deadlines.
However, Ray was first and foremost a talented and successful designer. He started his career at Studio Arts Associates, where he worked on the original Easy Bake Oven (by Kenner) packaging. After a successful career in the US and Europe with Cato Johnson, a division of Y&R, he joined a few of his fellow colleagues and organized a buyout in 1983 to launch LPK.
Yes, he is the “P” in LPK.
When I joined the company as a co-op student, all the key assignments went to our creative director Ray. It was exciting to witness the great work he would create every day, giving me real insight into our profession. Ray created some of the core business relationships, such as Hasbro, that helped our company get started. Over the following decades he added many more, including Kroger, Coors, Bordens and Archway Cookies.
One of my favorite memories is the day Ray came back from Hasbro in the 70s and announced new major project. He said it was sort of a cowboy movie, except it takes place in space, and George Lucas had just signed a major contract with Hasbro to make all the toys. About a year later, the first Star Wars film was released, and all the toys were in store for the holiday rush. An iconic global cultural phenomenon was born.
Ray retired from LPK in 2003, but he still stopped by from time to time to say hi, reminisce and inspire us all over again. His passion for our company, his love of design, and the affection that so many of his clients held for him are things we still hold dear.
Thank you, Ray, for all that you did for us and for showing us what really matters in a career well lived.