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The "Ben & Jerry's" StoryThe "Ben & Jerry's" Story
"In the spring of 1983, I had just left New York City when someone named Ben Cohen left a message on the answering machine at the Brooklyn loft of my just-ex-girlfriend. Thankfully, she passed it along.

I had been to the Ben & Jerry's gas station in Burlington a couple of times, but I didn't really know anything about the ice cream duo. Ben had seen my prints at Frame of Mind in the Champlain Mill in Winooski and wanted me to do a billboard design for the Portland or Boston area and a tee shirt.

Ben was like a hyper kinetic Santa Claus who bore right into the matter at hand, although with a disarming laugh. The company had painted a rather cartoonish cow on their trucks, but they thought my cows were what was needed. They also thought it was a good fit between two Vermont enterprises, and they like to support Vermont artists. Ben was working with Chico Lager at the time and they were quite generous with the royalty on the tee shirts, and paid, I think, $500 for the billboard design.

One year later, they began to use my images on other parts of their shops and business and we made a licensing agreement so that my cows could be made part of Ben & Jerry's all over the country. The cows gave B&J's an instantly powerful trademark which has helped the ice cream guys to become world-renowned. It hasn't hurt me, either. I still love to see the big semis rolling down Interstate 89 covered with Woody cows. It is a real thrill.

Thanks, guys...". - W.J.