Vintage and Contemporary Style Advertising Poster
I was struck by the blatant sexism of text in older adverts. So I decided on an advert for what would be considered then a typically “female” product – household gloves – and the supposed delight such a gift this would bring the recipient.
DISCLAIMER – Marigold is an actual brand of household gloves. The text and images here are in no way connected or endorsed by the Marigold company. It is simply the name I used for this project.
The poster is based on an image I took for a media make up shoot with a theme of “Decades” and the smiling 50’s housewife matches exactly what is required. I then devised a suitably sexist text based on the concept that, presumably, her husband, would be buying the gloves for “the little lady” and she would be suitably pleased to receive them and a life of domestic bliss would continue.
I found a 50’s style script font “Remachine Script” that is free for private use on fontspace.com. To create the pink text with black outline the following steps were taken.
- Create a new file, same size and resolution as the photo
- Filled it with a suitable pink colour
- When the type was masked, inverted the selection and painted background white.
- Invert the selection to revert to original and added a 10 pixel black stroke to emphasise the text.
- I then cut and pasted the words individually into the photo, Individually so that I had complete control over placement in the image.
- Multiply blending mode was used to seamlessly blend the white backgrounds of the text and photo.
The word “Marigold” was created in the same fashion except it was masked from an image of marigold flowers.
Overall I think the photograph is a strong image and the text reflects the sexist attitudes prevalent in the 50’s. However photographs were relatively expensive to use then and illustrations with a limited colour palette (due to limitations in printing technology) were more common. Accordingly I did think of converting the photograph to a pop art style however the fine detail for eyes and mouth proved beyond my photoshop skills. I will try and get assistance from an illustrator with more experience of this aspect of photoshop to complete the image, in the meantime I have included the part completed image to illustrate the effect. Of the 2 my personal preference is for the original photograph.
Version 2 (Final Image).
Following discussion and feedback and a further evaluation of the final image I decided the text was too dominant in the final image and decided to go for a simpler, less florid font. After doing some research decided to retain the “logo” style for “Marigold” for continuity with the contemporary poster but reposition it as a header and added the strap line in a basic Times Roman font and deliberately made it much smaller than before to fill the space between the image and the edge of the poster.
I did try positioning the strap line text in various places, along the bottom edge, under the Marigold logo and in capitalised letters but the higher / lower positioning left too much white space in the image and capitalised letters just didn’t seem correct although that is common in many 50’s adverts.
The modern poster is based on the idea that things have evolved and moved on both in society and in advertising. Accordingly it is no longer considered acceptable to pitch the product exclusively at women pictured in a domestic environment.
So the pitch is that the product is now for “everyone”, this is illustrated by a collage of images illustrating a variety of situations. Workmen, working situations and social situations. These images are meant to reflect the changing and varied lifestyles of women as referred to earlier. To have an element of continuation there are some vintage images of men and women in work situations including both the stereotypical typists but also the women at war working on an aero engine. For an element of fun some images are lego style characters.
I deliberately chose the same “logo” as the vintage poster again for continuation but this might also be a consideration in brand recognition although over the period of time depicted it is likely the logo would have been modernised. The logo is coupled with a very short strap line in a deliberately clean, simple font. The full stop is important in the message as it’s meant to indicate “this is not for discussion” i.e. they are for use by everyone, full stop.
Technically the poster is a straightforward collage of images collected from the internet to depict various workers. For an actual poster you would probably shoot specific images or use stock photos. The files were batch processed to be the same height, a black border added and then they were laid out. After roughly laying out the images I calculated the width of the smallest set and then adjusted certain images so that each of the 3 lines of images were the same width.
Added the logo by cutting and pasting from the vintage poster, selected the font and added the text. Cropped the final image to size and added a border.