Ad Archives is an on going archive of adverts from print magazines. Contributed by @halixma @superimpose.studio (The Face) and @dazed. We spoke with Hali to find out how it began and where they see it in the future. Ad Archives is one of 017’s favourite Instagram / Tumblr pages. A constant inspiration for us.
How did you start Ad Archives?
I started ad archives while I was interning at Dazed magazine, I have a background in graphic design for print but I really wanted to know more about fashion editorial. I already had a large collection of magazines but for design reference so one day I was researching for a project and began scanning adverts I liked for inspiration.
Do you own most of these in print?
If you mean the magazines then yes I do.
What does your library look like?
My print library as a designer is a mixture of design, stickers, postcards usually with a range of print finishes or printing styles. For ad archives however it's more just old fashion and culture magazines I started with Dazed, I-D and sleazenation as they were what I had in my collection but the face came through collaborating with Superimpose Studio.
What is your favourite magazine at the moment and why?
This is a difficult question but would have to say Print Publication that just came out through idea.ltd it's designed by Christopher Simmonds studio and it's rare I pick up a publication that offers an experience from the way it's packed to collatables it comes with. I believe that's what print design is all about creating something that gives back as well as exploring a range of subject matters.
Which era of ads do you like the most?
I really like the 90s specifically the early 90s as from what I've seen they challenged stereotypes, societal pressures and class along with all of this the copy is always very to the point. I remember one ad the copy was ‘show us your tits. Simple’ and this struck a chord with me as I felt in the age of social media we know how this would've been received by their target audience but I feel because there weren't many platforms for you to challenge what you saw and read we just consume and don't really question the advertising we see.
Looking at all these ads, how has the revolution of ads changed over the years?
I feel advertising has changed with society, its adapted to technology and has still managed to stay relevant in print. In regards to the ideas, messages and the way advertising used to make you think I believe it is not as motivating or as inspiring, i look at these ads and i would say 90% of the inspire me to want to create a visual story, its why it strikes me when some of them turn out to be ads and not editorials as they have created them with so many layers.
What is the difference in terms of aesthetics of ads in the 90s versus the ones today?
I feel like i said advertising changes as does society and the way we consume. I feel in the 90s there was a lot of creative freedom which allowed photographers and artists to explore their brand and identity in ways that pushed boundaries. I feel advertising now caters a lot to technology and tends to find ways to get us to interact (QR Codes, websites that exist for a day) and this isn’t a bad thing but I think it brings about an attitude that makes you feel like you are constantly being sold something.
Which brand has the strongest branding in your opinion?
I would have to say Stussy, Levis and Diesel have had consistently creative advertising throughout my research.
Is there any company that has had a consistent image in over 20 years and how do you feel about consistency in terms of branding?
Same as above, I feel consistency brings about something to expect from a brand but if you use it right it can allow a brand to explore a range of ideas.
What do you want Ad Archives to achieve? or Where do you see Ad Archives in the future?
I have plans to develop the website into an online library as well as host scanning socials where people can bring their magazines and scan them into contribute to the archive. Its very time consuming as I also work full time, but the more i research and develop this archive the more people reach out and tell me how helpful it is to them or how they use it as an educational tool which is enough for me really. I wanted to give back to the arts and I wanted to create something I did not have whilst at art school.
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