Friday, 9 November 2012

A History of Creative Advertising

Lecture 4 

William Hesketh Lever has been marked as the founder of Creative Advertising , and advertising as a multi-national company. 
Born in 1851 when technology and industrialisation had made huge advancements. Trading routes between countries had also already been established. 
This meant that for the first time posters could be printed at a large scale and full colour, and that countries where trading and there had become a greater sense of consumerism, which meant products where being sold at much larger more profitable scale.

George Cruikshank, All The World Going to See the Great Exhibition,1851
This image explains the sense of urbanisation and excitement in the city, especially in London where the Great Exhibition was held, it hosted all the worlds finest technology and newest advancements. This is the time Lever was born. 

Lever is also considered one of the first British business tycoons. He stressed the importance of art , and had a passion for art. He opened a gallery in his village Port Sunlight , a village he owned which also had a factory for his workers, where they made Sunlight Soap.

Advertisement was also aided by tax cuts on newspapers in 1855, and then on paper in 1861.

As well as this there was a printing boom and contemporary paintings became easily reproducible , which meant Lever could use paintings as the imagery for his advertisements.

Soap used to be sold in long bars to grocers, it was't packaged and it could be sliced up. 
In the 1860's cereal companies e.g. Kellogg's figured out how to print, fold and fill cardboard boxes mechanically, this formed the basis for Sunlight Soap packaging.

‘I was the first to advertise extensively [and pre-package] a tablet of soap...the result was I lifted Sunlight soap to a class by itself’ - Lever (in Lewis, 2008)

This packaging ensured that the soap was the same size and quality each time, it gave the soap brand value and familiarity. Also the packaging allowed bright, interesting and innovative graphics, which caught the markets attention. 

Lever selected all the paintings for his advertisements, he purchased them from the Royal Academy, he spent £2million in advertising. The paintings provided a way of promoting the message in an interesting way, they became entertaining and spectacles, capturing audiences imaginations and therefore there custom.

George Dunlop Leslie, Alice in Wonderland, 1879

Albert Chevalier Taylor, A Dress Rehearsal, 1888
Both of these are contemporary paintings, Lever took both of these paintings and made them into Sunlight Soap ads, both contain themes Lever continually adopted for his advertisements. These are, delicate white linen, women, families/generations and children.

He chose images with delicate white linen as they would show the soap could handle the most delicate of fabrics and make them sparkling white almost brand new,  and so it was a good reliable product .

At the time of Levers advertising campaigns children where a popular subject of paintings and photography. A high infant mortality rate because of the surroundings and time itself meant that children represented life itself, joy, purity and innocence.  

He also depicted brand loyalty in some of his advertisements as he depicted generations of women. An idea that the mother was passing down her beauty secret, Sunlight Soap, to her daughter. It was an emotional strategy.

John Henry Fredrick Bacon, The Wedding Morning 1892
This image shows a family of women, Lever then changed this painting later on, he added bars of sunlight soap, where the cup of tea is and the clock on the mantle piece. This was a very early example of product placement. Generations are shown in this image as the mother is helping the daughter into her gown and there is a young girl looking on to the bride. As well as this there are themes of white linen and children.

The advertising appealed to women, they are the ones who wash the clothes and would buy the groceries. Later ads tapped into this further by appealing to the children, Sunlight soap offered paper dolls with interchangeable outfits and encyclopaedias. This meant the mothers would feel more inclined to buy the soap for the benefit of their children. 

As well as all of this Lever also began thinking of new ways to advertise, displaying posters in innovative spaces such as train-doors, where a lot of people would see them.

Bill Beinbach 1911-1982 
Was the first to combine copywriters and art directors

Agencies that sold advertising spaces to companies in newspapers also had to come up with a new way of earning money as their commissions became capped. And so they began to offer creative services to companies to create better advertisements for them.

In 1892 Sunlight Soap became royally endorsed by Queen Victoria the first.
This meant consumers knew they where getting the best as the Queen was also using it, yet it was affordable.
Britishness became a hugely popular theme, due to its height as an empire and mark of royalty and imperialism , it was also a recognisable symbol in the international markets and represented quality.
It also represented civilisation. The empire was emerged upon the working class, who had aspirational views of royalty.
Civilisation appeared due to sanitary developments and the desire to be clean and appealing, a strategy adopted by companies and still used today.
The self and the ideal image, habits of the self where always inferior to those depicted in advertisements, just like today.

e.g. Lynx 

Levers company was a combination of him and James Darcy they where known as the Lever Bros. This was the name displayed on all the advertisements and products.

After many collaborations the Lever Bros are now known as Unilever a ubiquitous brand that owns over 900 brands it is a multi national company and is probably the biggest advertising company in the world.

Unilever still sponsors art today ...

October 2011- March 2012
'Advertising from the moment it was born was to entertain us' - Hegarty 2011

Lynx has created an online game and real time novel to advertise their product. A very modern and innovative way of entertaining and advertising, you could say its adopted the strategies of the Lever Bros.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Studio Task 1: Critical Analysis

5 Reasons why critical analysis is useful

  1. It helps you to understand why you have done something wrong or right, therefore you can learn from it.
  2. Analysing other peoples work lets you see what they have done, and to see what is good or bad about their work and also you can gain inspiration from them but learn from their achievements or mistakes
  3. You can also learn what is effectively communicating its message and what isnt in other peoples work, this is a key part of being a designer and you can use this knowledge to evaluate whether your own work communicates and if it doesn't then why not.
  4. When you analyse your work you start to learn terminology which is more appropriate to graphic design, and this will help you in industry and amongst other professional graphic designers.
  5. Through looking at your own and others work you are building up reasons as to why something works or why it doesn't, it also helps you to discover what your interests are, and your intentions within graphic design.

5 Reasons why a critique is useful

  1. It can point out things in your work that you may not be able to see, and so you might need to correct this
  2. If you don't think your work works well, other people might and this may give you a lot more confidence in your work and yourself
  3. Its a chance to see other peoples work and see how they have interpreted the same or similar brief, its also good because you can give them feedback and you could also learn something from their work which you can apply to your own, or not.
  4. You become more at ease with speaking to a group and talking about your own work in a professional manner which will prepare you for similar situations in industry.
  5. Also from talking about your own and others work you will again learn your likes and dislikes, personal interests and intentions.

Choose five criteria, explain what you like and dislike within that choice


I really like simplistic colour schemes , e.g. two or three colours. I like black and white, and neutral colours. I really don't like bright colours, colours that clash or lots of colours used all on one page.


I quite like central layouts especially in typographic terms. I also like the use of negative space, I like clean simple layouts , nothing busy or chaotic. 


I really like designs that have meaning and clever concepts. I think its good when the message influences the design and it isn't obvious at first. I also like designs that have a purpose or a strong/ important message. I don't really like design that has no purpose or no message. I also don't like it when you cant understand it or know what it is trying to communicate.

Visual Content

I would say I like typography, and I do like digital illustration and collage. I don't really like character design or animation. 

Media/ Method of production
I prefer media which provides a cleaner look e.g. I like more digital work rather than hand drawn. I also like it when the designer has considered where there work is going to be, they have considered there stock. 

For the session we had to choose 4 pieces of design, 2 we did like and 2 we didn't, using the criteria above I am going to explain my choices.


  • Colour - I actually don't mind this colour scheme as it is minimalistic and simple, however it could be considered as boring and drawn as there is a high content of black.
  • Layout- There isn't really many elements on the page and I feel it is perhaps too minimal. Although it is top right which immediately grabs your attention.
  • Concept- I don't understand this piece at all, I feel that it has no context and not enough content to explain what its about. To me it isn't communicating well at all.
  • Visual content- I think that the font is very plain and doesn't really give off a feeling or characteristic and so there isn't a clue to the tone of the piece. As well as this there is a lot of negative space and no other content it is perhaps to minimal.
  • Media/ Method of Production- This work seems to be purely digital, however the print doesn't look too considered or of a high quality, it is quite hard to tell.

  • Colour - I also think that these colours are okay, they work better than the colours above and I think they give of a sense of threatening and strong.
  • Layout- The type is more towards the bottom of the page, which I don't know if it is intentional or not. Also it is more towards the right hand side of the page which again I don't know if it is intentional but the whole layout makes it seem very down.
  • Concept- Again I can not connect to this piece as I don't understand what it is about, the letters also seem quite random and do not read as a word, and so this makes it unreadable and so you can't gain anything from it.
  • Visual content- Again this piece is purely type, which I do like,  but it is very chaotic and I feel that it doesn't look professional or finished, also there seems to be different fonts used and they seem to stick out to me and they don't work with he piece e.g. the B at the top of the page.
  • Media/ Method of Production- This piece has been digitally printed, and the paper doesn't seem to be a good quality but this may be intentional to the piece. However I'm not sure what the purpose of this piece is and maybe on paper isn't the best format.


  • Colour - I like these colours as they work well together. They are monochrome but they are soft looking and simplistic which I like.
  • Layout- The type is in the centre of the page and there seems to be equal space around the page and so it is very finished and professional looking.
  • Concept- The concept is about being loud but they have communicated this in a less stereotypical way. They have used detailed and decorative type which isn't an average font and so this makes it loud. 
  • Visual content- The type is very illustrative and detailed, it is interesting to look at and catches your eye.
  • Media/ Method of Production- The type has been created digitally, and I think it has been printed onto a high quality matte paper, it also has context as it is in a book. I think it has been digitally printed and i'm not sure whether it has been de bossed but this would add to its eye-catching attention to detail.

  • Colour - I like the black and gold colours they are rich and indulgent and fit the purpose/ concept well. Also the two colour scheme is minimal but effective.
  • Layout- I like the way the illustration works up from the bottom of the packaging and the type 'enhance' fits into the illustration and it has the same landscape orientation as the illustration. Although I don't really like the logo at the top which is a different orientation.
  • Concept- The feel of the product is luxury and indulgence. I also think it looks sophisticated and this reflects the ideals of the product itself. I also think there is an element of nature and natural in this message and the image shows this.
  • Visual content- This piece is type and image, again I like the way the type fits into the space at the top off the illustration. The image is vector and it probably has been created on illustrator. The weight of the type matches the very light intricate lines of the illustration. And the image is very detailed and the type is a simple sans serif and so they balance each other.
  • Media/ Method of Production- This has also been printed digitally, and it is clear that the designer has considered that the design is on a 3D surface as the illustrations carry on around the box.

Seminar 1 Revolutionary Design

Revolutionary Design: Dictatorship and Propaganda

New, modern design, began after the revolution in Russia. This is marked as November,1917, Petregrad. The Bolsheviks led by Lenin, stormed the Winter Palace held by the Tsar. The Tsar where the royalty of Russia and held all the wealth and power, the Bolsheviks where working class, they where tired of the ill treatment of the Tsar, many lived in hunger, poor conditions and they where illiterate. 
This illiteracy forced people to communicate visually. Red was a key colour in all Boelshvik propoganda. It represnted the blood of the oppressed, and this became their identity and somthing to identify them by.

In the notes below are key pieces before and after the revolution, a key element in this is a complete change in aesthetic, paintings before where realistic, after they where more experimental and unrealistic, they where also quite minimal and reflcted a modern aesthtic.

As you can see above when Stalin took over Russia, when Lenin died, he decided socialist realism was only allowed and so design shifted back into more traditional paintings and techniques. It became old fashioned and had the same old ideologies as before the revolution, such as women having children, men going to work e.c.t. and so the modern movement came to holt in Russia.