McCloud River Railroad Logo Design

I received this email from the designer of the MCRR Logo and I thought I would pass it along

Over the weekend I was surfing the internet, and decided to check up on the McCloud River Railway. I was rewarded with the venue of your photos and history of the MRR.

I thought it might be of interest to you to that I had the pleasure of designing the logo that flanks your title page. My father, Lester C. Krames was the Assistant General Freight Agent for the Santa Fe Railway, San Francisco in charge of solicitation for the Pacific Coast and Western Canada.

He was a friend of Flake Willis, President and General Manager of the McCloud River Railway back in the early 1950s. At the time Mr. Willis was looking for an artist to design a logo for the railroad. Naturally, my dad put in a plug for me, and I submitted my designs. I had just graduated from the Academy of Advertising Art in San Francisco, after returning from service (1946), and taking advantage of the G.I.Bill. I started a career in a new sort of communication, Television in January 1951, but also keeping a hand in ‘free lance art.’

Mr. Willis liked my design, and it was adopted. Just another little footnote to the historic annals of the McCloud River Railway.

I did stick with television serving KRON-TV, Channel 4, SF (the NBC Affiliate) for 37 years retiring at the end of 1987.

Lester A. Krames

I asked a follow up question on the logo design, specifically about the bear and was told:

To answer your question: I really don’t remember being given any restrictions or specific directions. I pretty much had a wide open field as to illustrate what the McCloud River Railway was all about. Mt. Shasta had to be a prominent part of the design for it portrayed Northern California obviously, and a river seemed necessary. Timber had to be a part of it, and the California Bear was appropriate so that was my background thinking. I just had to execute it, and that’s what I came up with.

Thank you Les, many of us have a soft place in our heart for that fish munching bear!