PLANNING AN ADVERTISEMENT OF T YP O GR A PHIC EXCELLENCE BY STUART CAMPBELL "Good advertisements are not born; they are made." I do not know where I saw this axiom, but it is certainly true of the advertisement which won the 1929 Harvard award for effective use of typography. To the casual glance, the typography in this advertisement on the following pages would seem to consist of good old Caslon, put together with simplicity and directness. However, that is not quite sufficient to ex plain the effect. In fact, to explain any thoughtful advertising arrangement in terms of its typography is no more helpful than ex plaining a spring ensemble in terms of its hat. This advertisement began as a piece of copy. The copy, lead, and headline were in spired by and deliberately built around a fas cinating old print. The layout, as such, did not enter until the copy was a fairly finished product. Since all the elements of attention and interest lay with in the story itself, the function of layout was reduced to one objective, namely, presentation of the story. That immediately dictated a typographical rather than an illustrative treat ment. In the same breath, of course, one thought of old Caslon. Of all type faces, it most hap pily combines the flavor of Paul Revere's age with the spirit of today. But how use this old Caslon? In other words, how construct the advertisement. The problems soon resolved themselves into these 1. To give the narrative a real story flavor. 2. To make it attractively readable. 3. To make it simple, straightforward, al most naive, and thus let its "pure gold" shine in contrast to the usually empty copy of "tricky" advertisements. At the outset, therefore, the two pages were planned as reading or story pagesof magazine-like makeup. In order to bring in a prominent logotype without destroying this flavor, the cut-off rule was adopted. Next, it had to be remembered that the ad vertisement was only one double spread in 77fe Saturday Evening Post's well-filled pages. It was necessary to give this bookish treatment a considerable "punch" of its own. Therefore, the words "The Smoke" in 72- point Caslon and the large amount of space given up to the headline. The subhead was dropped to 14-point, in order to make an easy transition to the text. The text then followed in 14-point Old Caslon opened up with 6-point leading. In order to break the rather long story into easily grasped chunks, it was broken up into small chapters, each with its bold-face caption. After this specification was arrived at, after the copy and subheads were carefully adjusted to "break right," the entire advertisement was set in type, with holes for illustrations care fully plotted to spot the pages. The artist put his sketches right on the type proof. Thus both the size and the tone of the illustrations were blended into the text. This Harvard Award advertisement was in no way an inspiration, but wholly the pains takingly worked out answer to a clearly con ceived problem. 53

Advertising Arts en | 1930 | | page 77