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Ad Boy: Vintage Advertising with Character Paperback – April 7, 2009


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Ten Speed Press; 1 edition (April 7, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1580089844
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580089845
  • Product Dimensions: 7.1 x 0.5 x 8.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #371,452 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Visual blast from the past" "Packed with colorful images"
--Tampa Bay Times

"Colorful and classic advertising characters line this breezy
walk down a memory lane of Madison Avenue creations."
--American Profile

"Ad Boy has power to bring back childhood memories."
—Advertising Age

About the Author

WARREN DOTZ is a pop culture historian and the author of eight books on advertising art. As an authority on product label art, his commentary has appeared in Advertising Age, Brandweek, and the New York Times Magazine. He lives and works in Berkeley, California.

MASUD HUSAIN is a graphic designer, branding specialist, and avid collector of American advertising ephemera. He coauthored Meet Mr. Product with Warren Dotz. He lives and works in Albany, California.

More About the Author

WARREN DOTZ is an author of award-winning, graphic design books published by American and foreign imprints such as Random House, Chronicle Books, Insight Editions and Graphic Sha Japan.

A theme common to his publications is the "Art of Commerce," particularly package label and promotional illustration. As a pop culture historian with a special interest in brand spokes-characters, his commentary has also appeared in notable publications such as Advertising Age, Brandweek and the New York Times Magazine. Artifacts from Warren's collections have been displayed in exhibitions in San Francisco and Japan and many of his books can be found in museum gift shops such as The Museum of Modern Art and Centre Pompidou, Paris. Warren lives and works in San Francisco and New York City.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Robin Benson on June 14, 2009
Format: Paperback
A fine selection of ad characters from Warren Dotz, who seems to have cornered this particular icon market. The book continues the theme of his two previous titles but this time most of the characters (and there are more than five hundred) are shown as they appeared in their original setting, so the pages show ads, labels, packaging and more.

The sixty-two categories are arranged alphabetically with a light-hearted appeal, for instance: Flower power; Happy hour; Not-so-super heroes and a spread with a nice touch: Nasties, featuring four bad guys: Mr Coffee Nerves (Postum) Gumout (fuel additives) 24-hour Bug (Pepto Bismol) and Skimpy Wiring (Kennecott Copper). The editorial really doesn't need much text so each listing has a few generalized words but it's kept to a minimum because the artwork provides the interest here. Having said that I thought the design was rather too flamboyant with colored background shapes and a few spreads that have tone graphics added behind the character graphics. for me these ad characters were interesting enough visually to not really need any extra eye candy. I much preferred the straightforward look of the earlier 'Meet Mr Product' book, to me 'Ad boy' is really son of 'Mr Product'.

Fans of Americana and popular culture will find this a useful addition to their collection and if you like this sort of material check out What a Character!: 20th Century American Advertising Icons by Dotz. This really is a book of ad characters with a difference because it featured actual advertising figurines rather than just two dimensional artwork.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Dina L. Petringa on June 16, 2009
Format: Paperback
Husain's Ad Boy took me by surprise. What could easily have been merely a mish-mash of photos was instead a beautifully designed, homage to those great old products and advertisements that shaped my childhood and made me the person I am today -- a lover of pop culture and art, a ravenous consumer of all things 'old'. This book is a MUST for anyone who has an appreciation of American culture as seen through advertising.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Chester Harding on June 16, 2009
Format: Paperback
Dotz and Husain have teamed up to create another stellar tribute to the icons of yesteryear. The engaging design captures the essence of the decade for each advertisement through an ebullient palate of color and graphic elements. The text is equally as effective as it draws the reader into the cultural and social milieu of the day. The book is a perfect compliment to the winsome Meet Mr. Product published in 2003.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mary on May 3, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Gave these as gifts to my employees on marketing team. It actually inspired them to make a few vintage/retro ads.
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By A. Steakley on April 6, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a kid born in the 70s, I came in on the tail end of advertising characters' popularity. As a graphic designer though, I've always loved retro fonts, designs and the fun characters of yesteryear. This book is an entertaining stroll through the familiar and unfamiliar, informative and funny too!
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By Andrew Vancott on January 31, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have always loved old advertisements so this book was a real trat for me. I remember some of the products mentioned but there were alot of them i never heard of so this was extra special. Buy it if you are like me.
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By Hayden Butler on January 28, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book contains little information on the use of characters in advertising. However if you like to look at old ads prepare to get nostalgic. If you are an art director or a graphic designer this book could be inspirational.
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