Wm. Fridrich was born and raised in Southern California, and as a youth he enjoyed comic-book design, photography, surfing, and cycling.
Fridrich attended UCLA. as an art major. He served in the U.S. Army as a combat illustrator, designing army training manuals and presentation materials (click on the group photo to see what William was doing in 1969). After his military service, he took a position with Standard Brands paint company in Southern California, where he designed product labels, newspaper ads, and direct mail promotions.
After this, Fridrich became a freelance graphic designer and executed a number of assignments for Clinton E. Frank Advertising, Los Angeles (Toyota account), while also providing design services to several smaller ad agencies.
In 1974 Fridrich established Wm. Fridrich Design in Hermosa Beach, California, which he later moved to nearby Redondo Beach. He carried out projects for Paramount Films and Paramount/Oxford Educational Films, designing movie posters, packaging, point of purchase displays, and instruction booklets. For many years he also designed event t-shirts, posters, magazine and newspaper ads, billboards, and direct mail promotions for the City of Redondo Beach, King Harbor Association and the Redondo Beach Pier Association.
In 1978, Fridrich was art director for the launch of South Bay Magazine, a regional publication serving the southern beach cities of Los Angeles County. As co-publisher and art director of these publications, he designed magazine covers and editorial spreads, space ads, newspaper ads, posters and direct mail campaigns. He art directed (and sometimes shot) editorial and advertising photo assignments and worked closely with printers and other graphic arts services in the production and printing of this magazine.
In 1987 Wm. began concentrating in direct mail. He co-invented the magalog mail promotion, for clients Dick and Doug Fabian of Telephone Switch Newsletter. This breakthrough promotion was a hybrid of the traditional mail package with the magazine format. The magalog proved very successful: it increased the newsletters paid circulation from 25,000 to 45,000 at a time when many other newsletters were losing subscribers. The magalog was widely copied, and this led to a great body of work for national publishers and mailers. In subsequent years, Fridrich created numerous variations on the magalog, including the tabloid and the bookalog. As early as 1999, he created a Webalog magazine-style sales promotion adapted to the Internet.
Today, Fridrich is headquartered in Wilmington, North Carolina, where he works with his wife, designer Marsha McKee.Their work includes direct mail promotions, brochures, package design, point of purchase design, posters and billboards, space advertising, corporate identity, and web design. In his free time, Fridrich enjoys cycling, photography, and Dada sculpture.
A partial list of past and present clients includes the City of Redondo Beach, King Harbor Assoc., Ernst & Young, California Edison, Paramount Films, Hughes/Summa Corporation, Mattel Foundation, Response Development Corporation, Fabian Financial, Phillips Publishing, KCI Communications, Agora Financial, Boardroom Publications, Cabot Heritage, The City of Wilmington, North Carolina, Friends of Joyner Library at East Carolina University, Nightingale Conant, Forbes magazine, The Gilder Group, USA Network, Sci-Fi Channel, and the law firm of Thorsnes Bartolotta McGuire.