For most of the 1950s, television news broadcasts, in black and white, were visually austere. Anchors sat at small desks with a simple clock or map hanging on the wall behind them; often the name of a sponsor was displayed in front. Mr. Blank, a cartoonist for four years in the Air Force who was hired by CBS as a graphic designer in 1953, believed that to pique and retain the viewer’s interest, it was necessary to provide a visual mnemonic that would serve as a logo for the story. This was especially useful when a photograph or film was difficult to obtain on deadline. The image, known in TV news-speak as the “over-the-shoulder” graphic, could be repeated as needed to show narrative continuity from day to day. Mr. Blank also called it the “think-quick visual.”We take these graphics for granted, but somebody had to think of the idea of filling in the screen around the head with something related to the story, something more interesting than a damn clock. Here's something that is such an integral part of our visual world, and I love hearing the details of the particular man who first got the idea. Surely, if he hadn't thought of this, someone else would have, but perhaps the images would have evolved quite differently if they hadn't originated with one particular man.
Do you think that the fact that his name was Blank had something to do with his being first to perceive the problem/potential of the blank space around the news anchor's head?