Coronet VSQ Brandy - You know, I fray have to mame this ad.

Wonderful modernist booze ad news now, from 1957! Dateline, LIFE magazine, 1957! There's a really great modernist ad! And booze!

Click for big.

No that isn't all! Couple things. Who designed this ad and what's brandy all about anyway?

First, I've just learned that brandy is made from wine. Heat up some wine to distill it, and what you have is basically brandy, with the impurities and heavier stuff left behind. This is probably why you just sip it. It's powerful stuff. If you guzzle it, A) You're probably a pirate and B) It's probably cut with water because and water didn't stay clean for long in the hold of a ship and you're a pirate. This also makes me wonder: if wine is something that routinely leaves me with a pretty good headache, does this mean that brandy may... do less of that because the impurities have been boiled off? Wups. Scratch that.

The impurities in booze that can cause headaches, particularly “dark” drinks like red wine, sherry, brandy, bourbon and beer, are legion.

There's also the part about dehydration, but that's just inherent in drinking alcohol of any kind. So, no, I don't think switching to brandy would solve the headache issue.

So who's the artist? Paul Rand, it clearly says on the waiter's apron. Turns out, he was a graphic designer who did lots of famous logos you're already familiar with. See?

He was a big deal in the modernist movement, which emphasized simplicity, readability, and clean, uncluttered design. Noble motivations, if you ask me. Apparently, there was a kind of disagreement between Rand and other artists when the postmodernist movement began.

Postmodernism kind of favored geometric shapes, like modernism before it, but, as this building shows, postmodernism was more than happy to use modern-looking shapes to decorate everything, junking up the design and generally giving me a headache, without the pleasure of drinking wine first. Any strip mall built in The Nineties, for example, looked this way. Rand, like any good modernist, valued simplicity, and hated this. I'm inclined to agree. This building would look better as a pile of rubble.

Wow. There's nothing like a good old graphic design war to get the blood going, right?

Anyway, this Coronet Brandy ad would look so good in a frame, I may just have to pop off to some kind of website and get it printed up all nice on some acid-free paper. It'd look good in my basement lounge. The hard part would be fitting the vertical shape into a frame. You'd need a matte, because you won't find a tall skinny frame just the exact size. Oh, the horror of framing drama and design wars! How DO we get by? By drinking of course.


Steve Miller said...

"Whiskey is what beer wants to be when it grows up." I suppose that similarly applies to brandy and wine... Thank god for distillation, eh?

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