1960 to 1985 was a time of great social change. In the 60s, there was the Vietnam War, the first contraceptive pill was invented, the concept of “hippies” arises,  Woodstock, The Feminine Mystique is published, Martin Luther King Jr. gave his I have a dream speech, and the Black Panther Party was founded. The early 60s also marks the emergence of Youth culture, which influenced the type of advertisements and media coming out in that era. In the 70s there was punk music, The Godfather film premiered, the Watergate scandal, Saturday Night Live debuted, Charlie’s Angels, Star Wars, and Disco. The early 80s provided the birth of cable news, Pac-Man, and personal computers. Those are just a few examples of the rapid social changes in this era. These social changes gave way for artistic movements such as Conceptual Art, Fluxus, Minimalism, Neo-Expressionism, Op Art, Photo-Realism, and Pop Art.


In North America, the expansion of mass production and technology were advancing simultaneously. These advancements pushed forth great change in society and it shifted the way we interact with typography and design. The introduction of practices like offset lithography and chromolithography were making it easier to visually cater to this changing world. With these technologies, we begin to see design becoming a part of people’s everyday lives in the form of advertisements.


The Oak Pod will be focusing on how typography evolved for its stylistic use in advertisements between 1960 and 1985. For this discussion, the Oak Pod will feature ads from each of the respective decades and compare and contrast them in order to analyze their unique forms. We will be focusing on how these advertisements influence and affect the choices of consumers. For this analysis, the group will be researching three different industries and the unique application and resulting effects of typography in each. The three types of industries we will be directing our research towards are the tech industry, the food industry, and the fashion industry. To narrow and clarify our search the Oak Pod subgroups specified the advertisements by focusing on one brand and/or one product. The subpage for the technology industry focused on camera advertisements from Kodak, Olympus, and Mamiya. The subpage for the food industry focused on fast food advertisements from McDonalds. The subpage for the fashion industry focused on Converse shoe ads. Layout, typefaces, and typographic contrasts are taken into consideration in the discussion of these advertisements.


Header Image Source:

McDonald’s Big Meal Ad. 1971. From: https://flashbak.com/you-deserve-a-break-today-1960s-1980s-mcdonalds-history-in-advertising-29820/