The Bear Story
I am often asked about the origin of the so-called "dancing bears" which were commonly seen around GD shows.
The little bears found in the form of stickers and stuffed dolls are taken from Bob Thomas' album cover art.
The photo to the right shows the source of the design of the bear motif on Bear's Choice. It is a 36 point lead type-slug of a generic bear, a standardised figure from a printer's font of type, which particular font, I don't know. Bob Thomas gave this one to me and said it was the inspiration for the circle of little multi-coloured marching bears on the back cover of Bear's Choice.
I guess you may have realised by now that the bears on the album cover are not really "dancing". I don't know why people think they are, their positions are quite obviously those of a high-stepping march. You can also see what some people think are "bibs", are actually a sylization of the chest fur of the bear.
This generic design has been used in several commercial logos over the years. One of the best known is the ubiquitous American company, Bear Wheel Alignment, whose logo is almost an exact duplicate of this little type-character. Bob made significant changes in the basic design when he derived it for the album.