Vintage Advertising: the best black & white and color ads from the 1800s to the 1950s

Reviewed, compiled by Fred Showker

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great projects I've accumulated an archive of classic and vintage advertising and among my favorites are these gems from Dover. You can learn a lot about graphic deaign, typography, graphics and advertising just by studying successful ads from the past. That's why these are such valuable resources for all illustrators and graphic designers -- not to mention anyone in advertising or marketing! Below, you can share a bunch of samples from the books, but you'll want to get the books for your library! They make excellent conversation and idea starters too! Enjoy!

Those Were the Days: Weird and Wacky Ads of Yesteryearvintage advertisements

Stroll back in time for a lighthearted view of early advertising at its best — and worst — from 1890 to 1910. This historical scrapbook showcases more than 600 advertisements by well-known companies such as Cadillac, Pillsbury, Remington, and The Ladies Home Journal. It also includes ads for such now-defunct items as the Talk-o-phone, velvet-grip garters, Dr. Scott's Electric Hair Brush, and other curiosities. A treat for nostalgia fans, this illustrated compilation includes an index for quick reference. 240 pages
historic advertising reference Ads of Yesteryear by Floyd Clymer and Paul Dickson
vintage ads See the Table of Contents to be amazed!

vintage advertisementsFull-Color Vintage Advertising Illustrations

Add dramatic, eye-catching appeal to your print and craft projects with these vivid antique ads. This collection comprises 210 of the finest examples of commercial art from the 1910s and 1920s. Ranging from elegant ladies in picture hats to dramatic images of modern industry, it includes a rich selection of catalog covers, calendars, announcements, and posters.
historic advertising reference Full-Color Vintage Advertising Illustrations Clip Art CD-ROM by Dover

Vintage Automobile Ads and Posters vintage advertisements

Over 120 full-color images highlight a splendid variety of cars produced by European and American manufacturers, including Marmon, Pierce-Arrow, Studebaker, Reo, Packard, Nash, LaSalle, and Hupmobile. They're perfect for adding a touch of nostalgic appeal to print and web projects.
historic advertising reference Vintage Automobile Ads and Posters Clip Art by Carol Belanger Grafton

vintage advertisementsThe 100 Greatest Advertisements 1852-1958: Who Wrote Them and What They Did

Styles in advertising will change, but there is no copywriter, artist, or campaign planner who will not profit by studying proved successes, whether of 50 years ago or today. In this single volume are 100 of what are probably among the most successful advertisements ever to appear in print, plus an additiional 13 added especially for this edition.
      These 113 ads are proven salesmen almost every one had phenomenal results. (Click to read a lot more about this essential reference on advertising)
historic advertising reference The 100 Greatest Advertisements 1852-1958 by Julian Watkins


Enjoy these samples, just click to advance the slide show, and be sure not to miss the video below the samples!

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greatest_5 greatest_6 yesteryear_0 yesteryear_1
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If you really want to see the broad scope of advertising covered in just one of these books, I've captured the Table Of Contents for you!

Hope you can enjoy any of these templates or samples, and at the very low cost of these books from Dover, you can add these to your collection very easily!

Thanks for reading... Don't forget to let us hear about your favorites!


        +FredShowker, Editor / Publisher @Showker
      Published online since 1988

The original copy of this post is located at http://www.graphic-design.com/vintage_advertising/gallery/index.html