In the Introduction, the editors discuss what they found especially noteworthy among the hundreds of examples that have been reproduced in the books. The entire Volkswagen campaign is one, and their points provide excellent food for thought. To quote: “Witness the Sixties campaign for Volkswagen created by Doyle Dane Bernbach that took a little Nazi ‘people’s’ car designed in the late 1930s under Adolf Hitler’s auspices and instantly made it the best-selling economy car in big-car-loving America by claiming its perceived deficits were truly advantages.”
Brilliant. And what is even better is that we given the opportunity to see how this process worked over the years through the full-sized ads themselves. Each book’s Introduction is reproduced in three languages, English, German, and French. Since all of the ads are from American magazines though, they are all in English.
The two volumes of Mid-Century Ads: Advertising from the Mad Men Era are housed in a sturdy cardboard slipcase, with the book covers represented on the front and back. Most importantly though, great care has been made to authentically reproduce the original ads. Since many were full-pagers in Life magazine, the books are an oversized 13.9 x 10 inches (the size of the original Life).
This is a beautiful package, worthwhile on a number of levels. It works as a wonderful “stroll through the past,” as a very informed history of this incredible era, or simply as a collection of some very stunning artwork. No matter what your particular interests are, the books are highly recommended. Taschen Publishing have done a magnificent job with this package.