Jack Warren Davis earned a BFA in Graphic Design from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1969. Soon after, Davis established himself as a graphic designer in Champaign, creating graphics and logos for local businesses, bands, and University units, notably creating the Chief Illiniwek logo for the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics in 1980.
During and after his undergraduate studies, Davis played bass guitar with local rock bands including Lothar and the Handpeople, the W.C. Fields, the Ice Blue Secret, and Uncle Otto's General Store. One of his most recognizable bands, Lothar and the Hand People, formed in 1965 while Davis was temporarilly living in Orchard Downs after his appartment at the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity house was destroyed in a fire. Davis and his roomate, Bill Geist, named the band after a character in the comic Mandrake the Magician. The group initially formed as a cover band that played at various fraternity and sorority parties and consisted of Bill Fiorio (lead guitar), Rick Bach (rhythm guitar), Steve Kniss (rhythm guitar), Lee Neher (vocals), Frank Eitler (percussion), and Davis (left-handed bass). During a rush event in 1965, Davis spoke with a highscool friend and prospective initiate, Tom Flye, who eventually formed his own band in Denver, Colorado, which was also called Lothar and the Hand People. Davis's Band would stay active through 1967.
In addition to his musical interests, Davis also created graphics for his own bands and for bands like REO Speedwagon and Jethro Tull. His skill as a graphic designer led him to design for several local talent agencies, including: Blytham Limited, Irving Azoff and Associates, and Harry Washburn Management.Sources:
Meeting of the Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois, June 18, 1969, page 538.
Interview, Jack W. Davis, October 22, 2014. Email Correspondence, <span style="color: rgb(50, 49, 48); font-family: Calibri, sans-serif; font-size: 14.6667px;">October 3, 2020.</span>