V 21 hard and fast rule. We do not want to see all advertising modernistic any more than we want to see it all classic. There is still place in advertising for the most widely divergent genresfrom the fat black pencil of William Oberhard to the fine-pointed pen of Renè Clarkefrom the homely realism of Norman Rockwell to the exquisite virtuosity of Rock well Kent. The trouble with most debates about the kind of art to be used is the as sumption that all advertising must be of the same school. Let each art director select the kind of treatment he believes is best for the product under consideration, and not worry if the whole advertising world does not agree with him. In advertising the thing aimed at is not to be one of the crowd, but to attain distinction by contrast with other advertising of similar products and with all other advertising in the book. A good rule is to be a little ahead of the crowd but not too far ahead lest you also get ahead of the buying public. Be original but not as original as you can. Some enthusiasts take up a new idea like modernism and run away with it. They lose sight of the primary purpose of advertising. They imagine they are engaged in a contest in modernism and try to outstrip all the others in eccentricity. There should be a reason for using a modern treatment at all, and then just enough to suggest the up-to-dateness of the goods, but not to show to what lengths the artist could go if permitted. 2 But modernism isn't all there is to advertis ing art by a long shot. It is merely one of the many techniques available. What we want is a broad Catholicism toward all the methods of pictorial and decorative expression. The important thing is that the art work should be put into the hands of the artist best able to do that particular thing well, and that he (^f Stalk 0X. A DRAWING BY WILLIAM OBERHARD FOR FATIMA CIGARETTES be allowed to satisfy his artistic conscience once it is thoroughly understood what end is aimed at. Such procedure results not only in good art, which is unimportant, but in good advertising, which is essential. As one leafs the pages of the principal mag azines or scans printed matter which comes to his desk he is amazed at the excellence of it. In no other field of graphic art in the world today is such uniformly good work being done. Certainly not in book publish ing or magazine illustration, both of which have made extraordinary strides in the last few years. But in advertising work a thou sand art directors are concentrating every working day on this problem of better stuff. Let an artist establish a new and interesting style and he is drafted at once. All methods of reproduction are pressed into service

Advertising Arts en | 1930 | | page 31