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Mid-century Ads: Advertising from the Mad Men Era (25) [Hardcover]

Steven Heller , Jim Heimann
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
RRP: £34.99
Price: £14.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

Jan 2012 25
The Big Idea. American print advertising in the 50s and 60s. Gleaned from thousands of images, this companion set of books offers the best of American print advertising in the age of the "Big Idea." At the height of American consumerism magazines were flooded with clever campaigns selling everything from girdles to guns. These optimistic indicators paint a fascinating picture of the colorful capitalism that dominated the spirit of the 1950s and '60s, as concerns about the Cold War gave way to the carefree booze-and-cigarettes Mad Men era. Also included is a wide range of significant advertising campaigns from both eras, giving insight to the zeitgeist of the time. Bursting with fresh, crisp colors, these ads have been digitally mastered to look as bright and new as the day they first hit newsstands.

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Mid-century Ads: Advertising from the Mad Men Era (25) + The A - Z of Visual Ideas: How to Solve any Creative Brief
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 800 pages
  • Publisher: Taschen GmbH; Slp Mul edition (Jan 2012)
  • Language: French
  • ISBN-10: 3836528347
  • ISBN-13: 978-3836528344
  • Product Dimensions: 35.3 x 25.9 x 8.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 104,450 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Cultural anthropologist and graphic design historian Jim Heimann is Executive Editor for TASCHEN America, and author of numerous books on architecture, pop culture, and the history of the West Coast, Los Angeles, and Hollywood. His unrivaled private collection of ephemera has been featured in museum exhibitions around the world and dozens of books. Steven Heller, co-chair of the School of Visual Arts MFA Designer as Author Program, writes the "Visuals" column for the New York Times Book Review, and is the author of 120 books on design, illustration, and satiric art.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Each of the two large books (that come in a sturdy slipcase) begins with an endpapers timeline, then a short introductory essay, in English, then German, then French. The obvious purpose of the books though, and therefore the focus, are the adverts themselves. There are over 700 pages here, between the two volumes, of adverts for everything from refrigerators, to Martini, to movies. Some are for now-vanished companies, such as Pan Am, or Braniff airlines. The variety is delightful: From a very refreshing ad for Kool Aid (1962), which actually made me want to go and mix a jug of the flavour shown in the full page picture, to a rather cumbersome-looking car called a Nash (1950). These adverts are history, as well as entertaining in their unpretentious honesty. There is a marvellous positivity and sunny feel to most of these pages. Bright colours and bold text, often in fonts not seen in many years. A Delta advert from 1958 is saturated in colour, showing an aircraft parked right nearby a glistening swimming pool, surrounded by good-looking men and beautiful women. This was an era of pink typewriters, green kitchen cupboards, and pea green lounge furniture. Now we call it retro, then, it was called life.

It was not all glamour, however: such as in a Mobil ad from 1967 predicted that by 1970, road accidents would claim over 14 000 young Americans a year. ".... just to put those 14, 450 lives in perspective, that is far more than the number of young [American] lives we have lost so far in VietNam." , says the ad.

Some of the adverts of course, did not intend to be, but are, seen 50 years later, humourous: Lucky Tiger hair tonic (1957): " Gals just naturally go for guys who use Lucky Tiger ! It keeps your hair he-man handsome...
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Adverts Galore. 10 Jun 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
A book which is 2 in one slip case. The 50's and the 60's. All U.S.A. ad's. Right up there with the best from Taschen. Great reproduction considering the age of the source material.
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Amazon.com: 3.9 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great book , 1 star reviewer before this doesnt know much 15 May 2012
By Anthony C. Navarro - Published on Amazon.com
First of all , reviewer before me stated "How can you show a 1968 Plymouth in an ad dated 1967" -- for his/her information, cars not only were advertised the year before, but were sold the year before and still are today

sure some of the reproductions are not photo quality , but they are all good to excellent and what do you want for 800 pages in two volumes that i can hardly lift. Another super Taschen Issue and a very affordable price
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Taschen does it again (and again) 7 Dec 2012
By Gord Wilson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Within the slipcase lurk two stunning, oversize hardback collections of Mad Men era adverts. By my count, the teal '50s volume which features a perfectly-suited male on the cover, runs to 320 pages. The orange '60s volume, featuring an impeccably dressed female, clocks in at 400 pages, including the index for both volumes. The contents for both volumes is in the first book, with a brief (3 page) preface by editor Jim Heimann, "Mad for Ads" in English, German, and French. There's also a four page intro. by Steven Heller in three languages called "Advertising in the 'Fifties: The Age of Affluence". The orange volume includes a four page piece by Heller, "So, What's the Big Idea?" The endpapers on the first volume give a brief advertising timeline from 1945-1959, with the second volume picking up at 1960-1970. In between the 13.5 X 10" covers are nothing but color drenched, full page ads from these two decades.

So what's the problem? There isn't one, unless you already bought the numerous other Taschen volumes of ads from these decades. Even if you did (as I did), you may want this deluxe edition, if only for the presentation. The All American Ads volumes were even thicker than these hardbacks-- the '50s volume running over 900 pages All-American Ads of the 50s. There were also smaller, hardback editions in a series called The Golden Age of Advertising which were reprinted by Barnes and Noble, which I think are called Turtlebacks for some reason, but which tend to come up as "unknown binding" on Amazon. The '60s volume is about 350 pages The 60s: The Golden Age of Advertising. Some of these ads also showed up in the series of pocket-sized books in the Taschen Icons line.

Mid-Century Ads collects representative samples from Heimann's enormous ad stock from the '50s and '60s, but Taschen also put out books on other decades of advertising. Arguably, this is yet another attempt to cash in on the success of Mad Men, but as media critic Marshall McLuhan noted in the 'sixties, the artists of the day were all working on Madison Avenue. These two volumes, and the variations referred to above provide an endlessly fascinating introduction to two very different decades, and the allure of their inimitable style.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Were the 1950s and 1960s the apex for print advertising? 3 May 2013
By Them - Published on Amazon.com
Do not be misled. This stunningly beautiful collection of work should be in the collection of anyone interested in advertising - or in American culture - of any time, and its appeal is not limited to those who are fond of the 1950s and 1960s, or the television show that features the exploits of Don Draper and his merry pranksters.

Jim Heimann has created something in two elegant volumes that is more than a repository, more than an encyclopedia, more than an archive. Over the course of more than 700 pages across two oversized volumes, Mr. Heimann, pulling apparently from his personal collection, has assembled a stunning array of work. Some are beautiful (for example the Container Corporation ad featuring a George Washington quotation) and some are just bizarre (see the ad for Old Gold cigarettes on p. 121, or the one facing it featuring a secretary wearing a diving helmet). Some I still can't believe they sold - like the one for Tangee lipstick on p. 124 and some that just make me want to buy the poor copywriter a drink ("Fun in the sun with steel"? Really?)

Each volume also includes an (to see the rest of this review, please visit theagencyreview.wordpress.com/mad-men-ads)
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars QUALITY BOOKS WITH GREAT ADS 14 Jan 2014
By David Parsons - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This came in a two volume boxed set for the fifties and sixties. The books are high quality and the content is interesting and varied. The books arrived well before I expected them.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good collection 13 Aug 2013
By James Henderson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Quite a wonderful stroll down memory lane! I would recommend this to any fan of the atomic age! I don't think anything of our current era quite compares.
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