From 1978 through 1983, a company called DAMAC Inc. published a line of licensed NFL Football theme art posters that, to this date, are revered as some of the nicest team posters ever produced. Primarily featuring the artwork of the NFL’s official artist of the era, Chuck Ren (1941-1995), hundreds of thousands of kids had their favorite team’s 23″x25″ poster on his (or her) wall during the era, while some tried to collect the entire series. Over the six years of the company’s existence, every team had at least one poster produced, while some had multiple designs – mostly featuring artwork by Chuck Ren; others, particularly in the last two years, by uncredited artists. Some teams, we’re guessing, only had one design; but for the teams that we have identified multiple designs for, we’ll do our best to do blog postings like this one. To start, we’ll highlight the one team that, we know, had as many as three different designs.
First, here’s a look at the original 1978 Dallas Cowboys design, published during DAMAC’s first year:
This design – one of the finest ever produced, that includes a posse of true 19th-century Wild West cowboys as an additional design element – is likely the most hard-to-find of the three, as it was printed during the earliest days of the nascent DAMAC company, and was replaced within a year by this design, the 1979 Dallas Cowboys DAMAC poster, which we call “Passion”:
Better than the 1978 version when it comes to action – the running back, reminiscent of a young Tony Dorsett, is simply perfect – this one may not have quite the same artistic impact as the first design. But it is a beauty; was probably the one most commonly seen on kids’ walls in Dallas in the early 1980s; and is the only one currently available for sale (we have a few left in stock; grab one now while you can!)
Finally, there’s the 1982 version, also designed by Chuck Ren (who, by 1982, seems to have largely retired from the DAMAC line):
This one definitely has more of a 1980s-style look to it, and once again adds in an authentic Western artistic element, this time a rodeo bull rider. You’ll notice an additional copyright logo added near the bottom-left corner; in 1982, DAMAC added this “NFL Officially Licensed Product” emblem to every poster.
(FYI: the images for the 1978 and 1982 editions shown above are from posters held in our permanent collection, and are not available for sale anywhere, as far as we know. You may be lucky enough to find one for sale on eBay some day…)
On the topic of the DAMAC poster series, we’re looking to fill in the gaps on the history of this line. We’d love to hear from you (either in the comments below, or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org) if you know any of the following information:
1) Was Chuck Ren involved in the ownership of this company? If not, how was he paid? Or, did DAMAC simply license his artwork directly from the NFL?
2) What happened to DAMAC that caused it to disappear in 1983?
3) Where were these posters sold? Mail order ads in magazines? In sporting good stores? At NFL games?