is a blog about design, technology and culture written by Khoi Vinh, and has been more or less continuously published since December 2000 in New York City. Khoi is currently Principal Designer at Adobe, Design Chair at Wildcard and co-founder of Kidpost. Previously, Khoi was co-founder and CEO of Mixel (acquired by Etsy, Inc.), Design Director of The New York Times Online, and co-founder of the design studio Behavior, LLC. He is the author of “Ordering Disorder: Grid Principles for Web Design,” and was named one of Fast Company’s “fifty most influential designers in America.” Khoi lives in Crown Heights, Brooklyn with his wife and three children. Refer to the advertising and sponsorship page for inquiries.+
Print Magazine’s Imprint blog recently ran a short series of posts collecting advertisements aimed at the graphic design industry from the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. Together, they make for a revealing tour through a neglected facet of design history.
The post gathered together almost ninety examples of magazine ads for photostats, dye transfers, photo lettering, color separators, engraving and similar products and services. Some of them are still in use today, but as with all technologies they have become commoditized over time, so the excitement and gusto with which they were marketed forty or fifty years ago seems foreign and a little absurd to us today. It’s also fascinating to see them organized by decade; each grouping bears the marks of its contemporaneous limitations in printing, and they get progressively more lush and colorful as four color printing technology becomes more widespread, affordable and capable.
I’ve reproduced a few of my favorites after the jump.