Vintage Russian Ads
By Maria Popova
Today, we’re looking at that weird limbo of Russian heritage between the cultural zenith of the Dostoevsky era and the nadir of Russia’s current status as the Gas Grinch – namely, vintage Russian ads, the intersection of art and commerce.
From tobacco to tailoring, the collection speaks to a striking resemblance between the cultural valuables of Russian society and those of the Western world circa early 20th century, debunking the whole “us vs. them” notion of lack of cultural common ground.
And while much of the typography and illustration appear to… ahem… “borrow” from their Western brethren, we notice some surprisingly sophisticated techniques rarely seen in Western vintage ads — such as this perspective treatment of type:
But before we get too caught up in the cultural common tangents here, let’s not forget the other side of the whole Soviet-American relationship, clearly and stride-stoppingly revealed in the Soviet propaganda of the day.
Published January 15, 2009