Tag Archives: advertising

Typeface Tuesdays: Mad Men Era Type

Okay, I know I know I’m a little late on this one…

I’m feeling the Mad Men vibe these days. Among the intriguing storyline I can’t get enough of that hottie pottie, Don Draper. Break me off a piece of that.

So in honor of the series, I am going to take you back to the advertising age of the 1960s and walk through, at a super high level mind you, how type was used back than compared to today. Taking a look at print ads only, there are some interesting distinctions. My overall take is that there were a lot less design rules back then when it came to type. (Also note: there are obviously a lot of other differences with these ads, particularly the tone of the message itself)

  • There was a tendency to incorporate much more copy I guess because the notion was the product required more of description to sell it
  • There weren’t as many rules around how many and what kind of typefaces could be combined (take a peak at the Maybelline ad below)
  • The justification and leading does not appear to have as much consistency or flow, and in general the spacing feels tighter around graphics and there is less of an appreciation for white space

VOLKSWAGEN

MAYBELLINE

CIGARETTES

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Oh la la…offensive Weight Watchers France ads?

Trying to decide my stance on the new Weight Watchers France print ad campaign — Treat Yourself Better. They are clearly visually compelling–and not to mention well-conceptualized and beautifully photographed–but also kind of offensive and kind of narrow-minded (geared toward only very feminine, lipstick-wearing women).

Basically, in an effort to compel the French to use their program and services Weight Watchers did a campaign to modernize the brand. I get the concept behind it and I really like how the ads are simplified to just focusing on the mouth, but the way they are being used is very sexually-charged and here in the states, certainly considered offensive. Also, for women with eating disorders and other eating issues this could be taken the wrong way…almost like they are glorifying the problem. Something all seems in consistent with the message since the two mouths have bad foods (candy, fries) and the other has kale…is this about portion control or the times of foods women eat?

I shared these ads with a friend, and he said it reminded him of the PETA “Go Vegetarian” ad which is just downright obnoxious. This takes playing with your food to a whole other level. Oh please, I am a vegetarian and that is certainly not how I interact with my veggies.

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