Wednesday, May 14, 2008

1930’s Cigarette Advertising (7)

A major contribution to the graphic design movement in the 1930’s was the artwork that was created for cigarette advertising. Cigarette brands were unable to promote at a point of sale location in shops such as shelf edging, display stands, posters, or banners etc. so they had to look for other avenues to advertise legally.

Advertising used peer pressure to make smoking look trendy by using sports stars, war heroes and Hollywood movie stars in their advertising campaigns. Once the sales went up, cigarette companies began placing more and more adds in magazines and newspapers. Packets of baseball cards or trading cards were an added bonus when buying a pack of cigarettes and the use of pictures of alluring women on the packs with catchy slogans also attracted the consumer to buy.
The typography used with most of the advertising was usually an unobtrusive sans-serif typeface with generous kerning to try to fit the type onto the confined minimal spaces of a cigarette pack. The most dominant common typefaces were ‘Neuland’, and other Art Deco styled typefaces.

Animation started to occur in 1930’s and these cigarette advertising shorts were all hand drawn frame by frame unlike today’s digital animation. They often used popular cartoon characters to represent the cigarette brands.

A cigarette’s actual package was also specially designed. It had to be dimensioned to hold an array of cigarettes in multiple rows and have distinct concept look and aesthetic appeal. The artwork side of the pack was created with the use of subtle earthy colours due to the limited printing colours available. The simplicity of the design helped it to fit together in harmony, and not only make the selling point but also makes message clearer and hence more profitable and marketable. The use of set logos and colour schemes for different types and brands of cigarettes were founded in this era which is still followed today.


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