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1960–61 Coldene ad (and recreation)

Contributed by Stephen Coles on Feb 21st, 2014. Artwork published in .
1960–61 Coldene ad (and recreation) 1
Source: License: All Rights Reserved.

“No product. No ingredients. No diagrams. No logo. An ad that shook the ad world in 1960.” — George Lois

The ad was developed at Papert Koenig Lois in 1960 or ’61. George Lois has claimed to be the writer and designer of the ad (at least as far back as 1973 when it was included with his description in U&lc Vol. 1, No. 1). Others argue that the idea came from Lois’ partner Julian Koenig, the copywriter known best for working with Helmut Krone on the groundbreaking Volkswagen ads of the 1960s — ads for which Lois is sometimes credited, though in this interview he says Koenig came up with the “Think Small” line and implies that he (Lois) was more of an advisor on that project.

You can hear Koenig’s side of the story in this 2009 episode for This American Life and in the interviews in the video below.



The image below (along with George Lois’ description) from Lois’ website is a recreation of the ad, because ITC Cheltenham, the type used in the image, wasn’t available until 1975. (Amusingly, Taschen’s book Mid-Century Ads: Advertising from the Mad Men Era includes this image as if it was the original.) The original ad used Cheltenham Condensed, the much older typeface with a lower x-height.

1960–61 Coldene ad (and recreation) 2
Source: License: All Rights Reserved.
1960–61 Coldene ad (and recreation) 3
Source: AIGA Design Archives. License: All Rights Reserved.

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