An independent archive of typography.
to participate.

Topics

Formats

Typefaces

Westinghouse product ads

Contributed by Herb Lubalin Study Center on Jan 17th, 2020. Artwork published in .
    Westinghouse product ads 1
    Source: https://twitter.com Graphis Press. License: All Rights Reserved.

    Letterform Archive tweeted these four amazing magazine advertisements by Paul Rand. They are all from a campaign he made for Westinghouse music-related electronic products in 1972. The ads were shown in Graphis Annual 72/73, (the cover of that annual was designed by Massimo Vignelli).

    The ads make good use of four distinct typefaces, giving each ad a playful feel. Each letter is treated as an object and this creates a sense of visual rhythm and suggests sound. The names of the four composers dominate each composition and complement the photos of the products that are grounded in the lower half of the ads. The small ad copy blocks, set in Helvetica, create a visual base for the silhouetted product photos to sit on.

    In each case, the choice of type, as well as its treatment echo the specific product advertised. The ad set in Thorowgood Italic (Mozart) mimics the bands of the radio. The French Clarendon ad (Chopin) suggests the flip clock feature and the tuning of the radio dial. The use of Bifur in the third ad (Tchaikovsky) nods to the rotation of the hands of the analog clock. The placement of the letters of Superba in the fourth ad (Brahms) could suggest the spinning of the vinyl record.

    You can read more about Rand’s work (including for Westinghouse) at Letterform Archive’s news announcement.

    Westinghouse product ads 2
    Source: https://twitter.com Graphis Press. License: All Rights Reserved.
    Westinghouse product ads 3
    Source: https://twitter.com Graphis Press. License: All Rights Reserved.
    Westinghouse product ads 4
    Source: https://twitter.com Graphis Press. License: All Rights Reserved.

    2 Comments on “Westinghouse product ads”

    1. Thank you so much for posting this, Sasha! In trying to track down where this ad series first appeared, I found the answer in U&lc’s first issue: the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra’s concert program, which explains why they haven’t been seen nearly as often as other iconic Rand work. The fact that Rand submitted this for U&lc’s “My Best With Letters” feature indicates he was pretty proud of it. “…it is perhaps one of my best demonstrations of descriptive typography,” he said.

      U&lc No. 1, Vol 1, page 8. Scan by Monotype.

      U&lc No. 1, Vol 1, page 8. Scan by Monotype  (edited and cropped).
      U&lc No. 1, Vol 1 (1973), page 8. Scan by Monotype (edited and cropped).

    2. Yes! Thanks, Stephen. I knew it looked familiar! I coudn’t remember where I saw that—of course, in U&lc.

    Post a comment