As McCarthyism swept across the United States and capitalism was king, white America enjoyed a feeling of pride and security that was reflected in advertising. Carelessly flooding society with dangerous misinformation, companies in the 50s promoted everything from vacations in Las Vegas, where guests could watch atomic bombs detonate, to cigarettes as healthy mood-enhancers, promoted by a baby who claims his mother feels better after she smokes a Marlboro.
From "The World’s Finest Automatic Washer" to the Cadillac which "Gives a Man a New Outlook," you’ll find a colorful plethora of ads for just about anything the dollar could buy. Oh, and "Have you noticed how many of your neighbors are using Herman Miller furniture these days?" If only you could really travel back in time and pick up a few chairs for your collection...
Steven Heller is the co-chair of the School of Visual Arts MFA Designer as Author Program. For 33 years he was an art director for The New York Times, and currently writes the “Visuals” column for The New York Times Book Review. He is the author of 120 books on graphic design, illustration, and satiric art.
Cultural anthropologist and graphic design historian Jim Heimann is Executive Editor for TASCHEN America, and author of numerous books on architecture, pop culture, and the history of the West Coast, Los Angeles, and Hollywood. His unrivaled private collection of ephemera has been featured in museum exhibitions around the world and in dozens of books.