Pitchfork   The Dissolve   Festivals: Chicago | Paris

There’s a reason the ad heavyweights at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce get glassy eyed at the thought of landing an airline account. Few industries represented the glamour, optimism, and excess of the mid-century America better than the one that ferried us across the country in stylish, stainless steel jets. As sleek as some of the stewardess outfits showcased for the airborne set, the forthcoming book Airline: Style at 30,000 Feet by British designer and author Keith Lovegrove chronicles the design history of airlines. The excerpts below offer a glance backward to a time when luxury, not baggage fees, were the norm.






Airline: Style at 30,000 Feet comes out September 10 via Chronicle Books. All photos courtesy of Laurence King Publishing. 

Seventy-eight might be an inauspicious anniversary to celebrate, but ad agency Leo Burnett is evidently staffed in part by fervent music geeks who just can't help themselves. To commemorate the 78th of the agency founded in Chicago in 1935, the agency commissioned the pressing of an actual 78 rpm record—music curated by the Numero Group with graphics designed in-house as seen below. It also asked Numero to put together a playlist of Chicago tracks—you can download that mix online. It also invited Chicago creatives to design spaces within the office for the anniversary—and sent them one-of-a-kind hand-painted invitations on 78 rpm records to do so.

You can find out more about 78lb at 78lb.leoburnett.com.


Vessel #2 by Tomáš Libertíny, 2011

A few weeks ago we came across a Dewar's ad that involved 80,000 bees building a honeycomb in the shape of a whiskey bottle, with the punny title "3B" printing.

We didn't write about the ad, but a comment on the Designboom's post notes the project's similarity to the work of Slovakian artist Tomáš Libertíny, who's known for similar honeycomb sculptures. Last week Libertíny reached out directly to Dezeen to comment on the Dewar's spot claiming the ad "unabashedly exploits the poetry" of his own work. While creative theft and artistic license has a long and essential history in the art world, do a different set of rules apply for advertising work?

Head to Dezeen to read more from Libertíny and a thoughtful response from the firm responsible for the ad, The Ebeling Group.

Rather than starting with a blank page to create their "combo" show posters, the designers at Quinta Feira begin with something resembling a form letter. The bottom right corner of each poster has a standard three blank lines to handwrite the artists appearing and the date of the show, with the address of the venue and sometimes promoters printed below. Using that framework, the designers opt for bold colors like neon greens and blues, and simple line drawings with details that suggest watercolor.

The Japan Philharmonic's music is therapeutic. To drive that point home, they've adopted a new pharmaceutical branding to distribute promotional mini-SD cards containing playable digital files of their recordings. The branding, designed by I/S BBDO Tokyo, has the punny title of "Japan Pill-Harmonic" and prescribes specific recordings for ailments from trouble sleeping to tasks like making a decision.

Check out a trailer for the Pill-Harmonic below, featuring some musical pharmacists performing in lab coats. 

To soundtrack his new Calvin Klein fragrance spot, director David Fincher bypassed the latest LP from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and chose "Runaway" from 2009's It's Blitz!. Fincher also cast his sometime co-worker Rooney Mara to play a bummed out up-and-coming actress who rides the PATH train, gets a breakthrough role, and holds a somewhat gratifying press conference. [via Stereogum]

Almost a century ago, Wrigley relied on poetry and slightly creepy cartoons called Spearmen to sell gum. The Spearmen, which were an anthropomorphized version of their green arrow logo, were billed as helpful assistants in order to alleviate the social stigma around "rude" gum chewing at the time and promote chewing gum's calming effects.

Check out more magazine ads in the archive Print unearthed.

Advertising can be clever and get its message across when done well—even when advertising major label metal. In the case of the posters for Black Sabbath's 13Janus Hansen and Andreas Rasmussen from McCann Copenhagen did well by Universal Music Denmark. The creatives dug their way deep through the many layers of new release and live show posters that cover the city's urban spaces, and placed the new and classic-but-tough design for 13 underneath. It appears as if the Black Sabbath poster has been there for years—or at least months. It's a brilliant way to remind passersby of the band's influence and legacy, considering it is its first new album in three decades. Rather than trade on new trends, it builds off a legendary past.


Kantor Records, a German record label, couldn't get music supervisors to pay attention to its music. They quickly realized the problem might lie in the format they were sending. The label replaced the thousands of ignored promo CDs with a package they called "The Office Turntable," which included a bright orange vinyl LP and a special QR code that lets the user hear the music directly from a smartphone. While the device is meant as a foot in the door for the label, the QR codes offered some positive analytics: 71% of the turntables Kantor sent out were activated. 

Photo by: Boing Boing

There's no shortage of amazing facts about Brian Eno. And, no, we're not talking about the album he did with Television. It is only natural that the musical pioneer might enjoy a good feline cuddle once in a while like the rest of us. The Internet blogs would have us believe he once did a Purina ad, with his own cat, no less. But the original posting at Dangerous Minds seems to have gone offline, and while Boing Boing has a link to a large version, the image shows no trace of a moire pattern which would indicate it had been scanned from an old magazine. That's not a dealbreaker, of course, as moire patterns are easily removed by Photoshop experts, but it is slightly suspicious. We remain skeptical but intrigued.