I own a few design books but this has to be one of my favorites. I acquired it around 10 years ago when a fellow coworker gave me a bunch of her dad’s old design books that she was getting ready to toss. I gave most of the others aways but I always held onto this one. Check out the pdf.
Titled: Advertising Layout and Art Direction
Written by Stephen Baker
Published in 1959 by McGraw-Hill
Published in 1959 places this book right about the time in which Mad Men is set. If you’ve ever watched the show, it’s hard not to imagine the ads and designs from this book floating across the desks at Sterling-Cooper. Some of the info is obviously a little out dated, but it’s a great resource to see how many design firms were (are) set up. It’s also dives a bit into the early psychology of advertising, which is best described in the BBC Documentary “The Century of The Self” (interesting documentary on early consumerism)
The copy I own is old, worn, yellowed and torn. Which I think gives it personality. I’ve used the texture of the book cover in a couple of design projects. Feel free to download the textures for your own use.