William D. Tailford               Inducted 2010 - Class of 1953

Growing up in Toledo's north end on Erie Street between Ash and Buckeye left many fine childhood memories for William. Recollections of his time at Stickney Elementary and, later at Woodward High School, always involved friends Gene Sutton, Dick Swartz, Bob Perry, Loyal Woodward, Ray Bitz, and Paul Andryzak.

"I remember when I was a little boy that I loved to do all kinds of art. My Dad was a good artist, but he had to drive a bus to support his family and couldn't pursue that field except as a hobby. I always thought that if a person could just do art for a living that would be pretty neat. Well, little did I know how that dream as a little boy, would become a goal as a young man and eventually led me to a very satisfying professional career," William reflects.

As William started his freshman year at Woodward, he tried out for the freshman football team. The freshman coach, Doc Welever noting his size, offered William the position of Team Manager a

role which he held for two years.

While at Woodward, William discovered that he had inherited his father’s art talent. To further this ability, he took art classes for four straight years, with encouragement from Mrs. Kastenholtz. Woodward teachers Mr. Phipps and Miss Joseph rounded out his Latin and mathematical aptitude.

After graduating from Woodward in 1953, art correspondence classes had to satisfy the void left when The University of Toledo didn’t offer graphic design courses. Along with marriage in 1955 to Jackie Dawson [WHS Class of '54], came responsibilities and all the freelance assignments that William could gather to pay the bills. With his freelance material gaining strength in the market, William was able to land an entry-level position in the art department of the Libbey Glass Division of Owens Illinois. With just a few years of experience with Libbey Glass and a $1000 dollar loan from his father, William started his own graphic arts firm.

Over the next few years, William realized that he enjoyed customer contact and servicing their marketing and communication needs even more satisfying than doing the actual artwork. His focus shifted to getting new clients and building the business. In just ten years, William expanded his growing agency into a full-service advertising agency with a national reputation fordoing outstanding creative design work.

Ice cream packaging became William's specialty soon after he opened his agency. The former Vroman Foods of Toledo was an early client, then Cool Brands International Inc. later became a key client. Weight Watchers frozen treats, Tropicana Real Fruit Bars, Yoplait frozen yogurt, and Eskimo Pie Chipwiches are some of the products that bear the creative design work of William's firm.

The agency's designs recently won the prestigious Disney Best New Product Award for their client for the second consecutive year. In February 2009, William was awarded the Toledo Advertising Club's Lifetime Achievement Silver Medal Award.

"I believe my greatest accomplishment in the business was to be able to stay headquartered in Toledo, Ohio, and bring millions of dollars into the Toledo economy that might have gone elsewhere," William comments.

William semi-retired about four years ago from Tailford and Associates. He and Jackie now spend three to four months each winter in Florida. They have three children, Kimberly Ann, Tamara Lee, William Matthew, and seven grandchildren.

©2020 Woodward Alumni Hall of Fame

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