The Platinum Egg 1997: Ib Thaning.

Ib Thaning was born in the Østerbro neighbourhood of Copenhagen in 1916, during the First World War. He went to the Arts and Crafts School there, but then the Second World War broke out. Understandably, Denmark had less to offer him after the Nazi occupation began, and he decamped to Sweden in 1943. There he was immediately hired by Allers, a Helsingborg publisher, as an illustrator for their weekly magazines.... He was also doing drawings for other magazines, including Hemmets Journal, Året Runt, Vecko-Journalen and Damernas Värld. In 1948, at Svenska Telegrambyrån in Malmö, he met and befriended John Melin. Ib became one of many suppliers of illustrations and photos for the advertisements and brochures the agency was producing for its clients. Others included Åke Arenhill and Georg Oddner. His breakout moment as an advertising artist came when Coca-Cola was introduced in Sweden in 1953–54. The beverage had long been banned because it contained caffeine and phosphoric acid, but now the market was opening up. Coca-Cola asked Ib to draw something that would overcome the Swedes’ potential doubts about the project. He wasn’t sure he was up to the job, so just to be sure, he rented a house in Stockholm where the professional models were based. Thanks to his illustrations, the launch of Coca-Cola was a success. (Yes, it’s possible the caffeine and phosphoric acid helped, too.) Now work was pouring in from Telegrambyrån’s Stockholm office. But within a few years, he began to miss the weekly magazines. One reason for this was his contact people at the agency, i.e. the project managers. As far as he was concerned, they were a constant threat to his work. They were either defacing his illustrations or putting the most pathetic headlines over them. The conflict ended in a predictable way, when one day in 1964 Telegrambyrån informed him that they would no longer be needing any more of his illustrations, thanks. The very next day, he was offered a job illustrating the weekly magazine Femina, where one of his colleagues would be Jane Bark. With the ensuing three decades of work for Femina, Ib Thaning helped revive both the Swedish weekly press and Swedish illustration. He died in 2007.