So this week in March finds me in Chicago, the windy city, which actually isn't too windy for this time of year according to the locals. It is a little grey and drizzly, but that didn't stop me from picking up some new sunglasses on my trip to Wicker Park yesterday!
I came to Chicago last year and didn't get chance to head over to the Wicker Park area, so yesterday we took a trip on the blue line of the El to Damen and wandered around. I loved it over there as it was characterised by all of the elements that make a visit to a city worthwhile for me; lots of interesting aged signage, a mishmash of architectural styles and a sense of discovery.
As well as taking pictures of the area I also spent a bit of time browsing in book stores, first up was the second hand store Myopic Books. I only made one purchase here picking up Ogilvy on Advertising, the 1983 book by David Ogilvy, the extraordinary founder of Ogilvy Mather (as it's now called). Although over 20 years old the book discusses principles that still hold true today and should be an interesting read, if only to show how different (or similar..) the world is now to how he predicted it might be when writing in the early eighties. It's also worth confessing that my current binge watching of Mad Men has stoked my interest in American advertising agencies through the ages, which may have also influenced my purchase.
Speaking of American advertising I keep seeing adverts for U.S Cellular and I am really taken by their use of typography. It feels very European, contemporary and trendy which is not something one traditionally associates with American cellphone companies (as a broad generalisation).
The website is similarly styled and a quick click on the about section of the website shows the company is based in Chicago, which explains the ubiquity of the advertising and also informs me the company was founded in 1983, the same year Ogilvy published his book and (more importantly, some might say) the year I was born! The advertising for U.S Cellular is credited to Publicis and Hal Riney, a San Fransisco based agency, whose website is currently under construction unfortunately, but some of the TV ads they've done for the brand can be seen here. For the type lovers amongst us apparently the typeface is Rosewood filled, although that may be proven incorrect (I read it on another blog) and if you'd like a different opinion on the adverts this guy here isn't a fan! Readers of Grazia and those living in the U.K might think they've seen this sort of thing before, which we have, but it was more the fact that I'm in the U.S right now that made this stand out as it looks rather different to a lot of the other stuff on the billboards.
I shall continue my tales of Wicker Park, including my purchases from Quimby's bookstore later. Right now I have to go and get ready to register the students, run a crit on their sketchbooks/visual documentation and then get to the Chicago Gangsters tour!