The faithful gathered back together tonight for the 4th season premiere of Mad Men. I updated my party look for the occasion. (The avatar choices still not yet far enough in time to offer the classic long straight locks for Emma Peel.)
“Who is Don Draper?” This question from the Advertising Age reporter opens the episode, the script finally catching up to that obvious Atlas Shrugged motif that many of us saw back in season one.
But it’s our first look at the new offices of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce in 1964 that is the first “wow” of the season, that stunning Modernist style. Specifically and in general sensibility it looks like it's based around the Barcelona Collection designed by Mies Van der Rhoe, Eero Saarinen’s Tulip chair, and Marcel Breuer’s Wassily chair. The whole place looks like Knoll and Herman Miller showroom (both places which I have recently visited), down to the glass walls of the conference room.
It’s a sleek, fresh environment, and while Don’s inner life continues in chaos, he has landed in a place of order and beauty for his professional creativity.
UPDATE 7/26. The Mid-Century Modernist has an excellent feature on the Furniture of Mad Men (h/t Basket of Kisses). The look also derives from the Eames chair of Herman Miller.
The SCDP logo is great—-the bold Helvetica (?) letters in their independent quadrants. Some echo of Robert Indiana’s 1964 stacked LOVE, and of the Pop Art sensibility in general.
UPDATE 7/30: The font is Akzidenz Grotesk, with comparisons to Ariel. Burn Down Blog shows the comparison.
The costumes for the series have gotten a lot of attention, but this season more attention needs to be paid to the graphics and interior design. (Design Observer, this means you.) UPDATE 7/30: Great roundup of design and font posts from DO's Michael Bierut (thanks very much Michael) as well as his own Jerry Della Femina, Mad Men, and the Cult of Advertising Personality.}
Here’s where I will be joining the conversation, as we groove our way through the sixties:
Matt Zoller Seitz
Basket of Kisses