Working as an in-house designer for a big corporation doesn’t sound glamorous, and staying in the same place for more than 40 years doesn’t sound like a path to career success. But Lou Dorfsman, who joined the Columbia Broadcasting System in 1946 and rose to become its vice president and creative director for advertising and design until his retirement in 1991, may have had the best job in the American design industry.

Over the course of his career, Dorfsman was responsible for everything at CBS from its advertising to the paper cups in its cafeteria. Every bit of it was executed with intelligence, verve, glamour and taste. Trying to get good design work done from inside a giant institution is supposed to be hard. How did Lou Dorfsman make it look so easy?

Check out this great article on a self-made man and his skillful navigation of corporate waters to get the practice of design a seat at the adults’ table.