Ed Lloyd contributes to Creative Bloq's best adverts of the 1930s

Author: Ed Lloyd, Creative Strategist at Seed Marketing

The 1930s wasn't the happiest time in history; it was the decade in which the fun of the Roaring Twenties morphed into the misery of the Great Depression and the rise of the Nazis. But every action produces a counter-reaction, and this was also a decade that saw a surge of innovation and resilience. And that made the 1930s a golden age of advertising; a period when creativity bloomed in the face of adversity, and brands dared to be different

For this article, we asked the experts to select their favourite 1930s ads. And this was not just an exercise in nostalgia, because these designs have a lot to teach modern designers. Like the best 1930s logos, these ads are mini works of art, infused with the spirit of the times. They capture the anxieties and aspirations of a nation grappling with economic hardship and yearning for a brighter future.

6. Taxol

When compiling lists of the best historical adverts, it's tempting to focus solely on the fun stuff like the brands we've covered above. But while the subject matter of pharmaceutical advertising may be uncomfortable at best and disgusting at worst, from a designer's point of view it's still fertile ground for inspiration, argues Ed Lloyd, creative strategist at Seed.

"Pharmaceutical advertising involves the challenge of communicating precise – and perhaps dry – information in an interesting way," he points out. "Many adverts in France in the 1930s met this challenge through incorporating bold and experimental graphic styles that drew upon popular art movements of the time, such as Bauhaus, Constructivism, Art Deco and Art Nouveau."

This example for the constipation medication Taxol (not to be confused with the cancer treatment of the same name) features striking type, clashing colours and diagonal lines often associated with constructivism. "Interestingly, TFL’s latest safety campaign, designed by illustrator Andrew Hudson, seems to be pulling from a similar artistic territory to also communicate well-being quickly and boldly," adds Lloyd.

To read the full article, visit Creative Bloq.