Thursday, February 27, 2014

40 days of lettering... day 31


Day 31 sprang from an interesting quote from Jean Batthany, of Doyle Dane Bernbach, Chicago for Creative Interviews. You can read the interview in it's entirety here. I'm not up on who the the heavy hitters are in the ad agency world, but I sure know DDB from my graphic design roots. Bill Bernbach effectively revolutionized advertising beginning back in the early 50's with completely non-traditional solutions that became landmark campaigns. If you are a Mad Men fan, (and how could you not be???) DDB is portrayed as one of Sterling Cooper's chief rivals. Watch a clip from the episode where they are all, with the exception of Pete Campbell, disturbed by the DDB approach and discuss the new "Lemon" and "Think small" Volkswagen ads.  


No agency had ever taken a self deprecating, in your face approach to selling a product, let alone an actual car, before. Car ads were slick... this was not. The lemon reference was to the fact that the featured car was not considered sellable due to a scratch on the glove compartment. The ad was disarmingly simple and extremely effective and is widely considered one of the most famous and ground breaking campaigns of all time.

Anyway, I jumped on the chance to tie this back into her quote. What I was most worried about was 1. drawing a realistic car and 2. integrating interesting type into said realistic car. In the end, I was pretty happy with how the car turned out, but the lettering was definitely a struggle basically because I felt like I had to make it kind of curvy to fit in the various car shapes which seemed to go against the spirit of the simplistic clean use of Futura in the actual ad. I must have reworked the lettering 20 times. In the end, I hope it worked well enough. I know I enjoyed reading more about Bernbach's work (he also did the Mikey Life cereal campaign!) and if you are still reading at this point, I hope you enjoyed my little take on the history of advertising! 

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