Crane's Papers - Would that I needed paper.

This 1935 ad from Crane's Papers is an object lesson in why Art Deco was pretty much the best design style humanity ever came up with. This ad is so beautiful, it's like they don't even need my business!

 In case you don't see what all the fuss is about, here are the highlights.

-The wide margins and generous use of "negative space" imply a relaxed luxury. It's like the art doesn't feel the need to fill up every available corner of the page.

-The thin lines aren't shouty. This makes the art feel dignified. It's not trying to leap off the page at you. Notice it or don't. It doesn't care one way or the other.

-The picture doesn't seem to have any direct relation to the product. You have to read the copy to get it. "Our paper goes all over the world, constantly." But with a picture that pretty, we hardly care if it relates to the product or not.

Mostly, the text in the ad brags about Cranes' achievements at market domination. I guess they really don't need our business. The bottom line is, the ad mirrors their attitude, and that's this: "Wouldn't you feel better using Crane's than the loser paper you have now?" I'm inclined to agree.

Believe it or not, Crane's is still around (http://www.crane.com/), but it seems that the look of their site, which in the modern world is the front door of your company, has lost a lot of the grandeur and class they had in 1935. Better get on that shit, Crane's.


Michael Leddy said...

Boy are they still around -- they make the paper for U.S. currency.

My family and I visited their museum a few years ago. It was closed (very limited hours), but they opened for us anyway. Lots of free paper too. No money though.

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