The Gerber Products Company recently announced the winner of its 5th Annual Gerber Spokesbaby Photo Contest. After receiving over 180,000 submissions, the judges selected this endearing picture of seven-month-old Grace. In 1928, the original search for the Gerber Baby took place which resulted in the winning baby portrait becoming its iconic trademark.
The popular image was the outcome of Frank Daniel Gerber and Daniel Frank Gerber, owners of the Fremont Canning Company, looking for the best baby face to launch its advertising campaign for their new baby food product line. Their search began with a contest asking for artwork that would best represent the new brand which resulted in hundreds of drawings and paintings of babies. Dorothy Hope Smith’s charcoal sketch of happy, healthy baby with tousled hair was the winning entry which became the company’s official trademark in 1931.
Dorothy Hope Smith was born on October 1, 1895, and studied at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She specialized in children’s drawings, and as a commercial illustrator, did advertising images for Procter & Gamble and illustrated children’s books for Putnam. Her illustrations were featured on several magazine covers like Woman’s Home Companion. She married fellow illustrator Peter Barlow, best known for his New Yorker covers, and resided in Westport, Connecticut until her death in 1955.