Discovering Simplicity

Recent construction work in a London subway (aka tube station) revealed advertising posters that have been hiding in there for 50 years. When I saw the photos of all these illustrated ads, using bright colors and simple/direct ideas to communicate a message (yes, just one message!), the effectiveness really struck me.

London Subway Arwork Single ImageIt is just so refreshing to see, where the poster itself is art and there’s no “Check us out on FaceBook!” url. The poster advertising “See the heart of historic Britain from the River Thames,” looks intruiging (and also like a renaissance fair). I imagine in present day, this ad would require aerial photography, or some models enjoying parts of the city in a series or campaign of ads. A clever tag line that applies to all the pieces in the campaign tying them together. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with that, I’m just interested in the advertising differences between past and present. Of course there are, since there are so many modes of communication now and people respond differently. However, I happen to like the bluntness of an ad when it says to me, “Get on a boat and see Britain.” I don’t need an app on my phone to take a photo of a QR code in order to get 10% off, I just want to go on the boat.


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