When the Mad Men Were Mad Boys

November, 11, 2015 | 0 comments

A British designer recently uncovered a relic from advertising’s budding youth. While sifting through his recently passed grandmother’s belongings, he found a copy of “The Ad-Man’s Desk Book”, a book published in the 1940s that belonged to his art director grandfather.


The book reaches back to a time when direct mail was novel and “increasingly popular”. It champions the “growing importance” of color in advertising.


Vintage advertising is always fascinating, so it makes sense that the methods of achieving the results would follow suit. The book includes examples of Ben Day dots (a staple of mid-20th century comic books and of pop artists, such as office favorite Roy Lichtenstein) as well as several sample layouts.


And that is just a small sampling. Several more of the scans from the book can be found here.