In 1971 at Saul Bass & Associates in Los Angeles I designed layouts for the AT&T Yellow Pages for its first application of computer typesetting; this was a huge challenge that I surprisingly enjoyed.  AT&T was a big client of SB. I also designed the first film catalog for Pyramid Films—another great project—every one of the 300 pages was filled with images from their films. I sketched full-size layouts for all the double spreads to be able to visualize and balance the flow of large and small images, eventually taking over a whole room.
Redesigning the Yellow Pages was an enormous undertaking. The first task was to adapt a version of the typeface Helvetica—then apply the typeface to every aspect of the Yellow Pages: index, information pages, double-page spreads, small one column ads, special locality list headings, etc.
The position of large ads on the pages was very important to AT&T—all advertisers wanted their ads to appear on the upper right of the double spread and paid more for this.
Above is a hand-drawn type mark-up.
When I was testing and designing a wide variety of yellow page layouts to demonstrate the proposed new designs, each new yellow page required a type mark-up as shown here. This was the first use of computer typesetting for AT&T and at that time all typesetting was sent out to a "type house"—long before desk-top publishing, when anyone could become a typographer.
On the left is the old Yellow Page Index type; on the right is the new design for the Index type.
An old small one-column ad is on the left; on the right the new small one column ad.
Another example of the old one-column ad on the left and the new one-column ad on the right.
A comparison of ad treatments for: single column ads and area listings by localities; the old version is on the left and the new on the right.