Welcome to yet another installment of "In the Classroom". This week I will be talking about 1950s/1960s era magazine ad men--truly the good ol' boys seen on "Mad Men"--like Helmut Krone and George Lois.
Helmut Krone is like the Godfather of advertising. Everyone knows his name, his handiwork and his "family"--the agency Doyle Dane Burnbach. Among his many accomplishments, Krone is known for democratizing type by using all lowercase, basic fonts, and colloquial text. Often he would completely remove the company's logo, leaving the actual product to speak for itself (like the Polaroid camera at top right). He is best known, however, for spearheading the iconic Volkswagen "Think Small" campaign. Voted the best ad campaign in history by AdAge.com, the Volkswagen ads were near heresy to other designers (in fact there is a scene in Man Men that addresses this); you could barely see the product; the text was too jocular; the ad mocked the product. But people loved it. And pointing out that the bug is a "Lemon" or that it "Makes your house look bigger" appealed to a consumer base that was looking for an alternative to big companies and big cars and big environmental damage. Learn more about him here and here.
George Lois was also an icon, but his work is most often seen on magazine covers instead of within magazine covers. His covers for Esquire were always dead on--commentary on modern art and commentary on current events. He used photomontage to get to the heart of the matter: Mohammed Ali's martyr status after refusing entrance into the army, Andy Warhol's exponential fame through his use of Cambell's Soup cans. He has published several books about his career and was the subject of a MoMA retrospective in 2008. Learn more about him at his awesome website here.