Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Austin Company streamline building ads

These wonderful illustrations appeared regularly in ads from 1935 in Fortune Magazine. The advertiser was the Austin Company, founded in 1881 and still located in Cleveland. The company specialized in commercial and industrial buildings and offered clients a complete package from the initial design concept to the finished structure.
    The ads, created by the Cleveland agency Fuller, Smith & Russ, followed a rather traditional design but really stood out because of the brilliant images of streamlined buildings, usually filling half the ad. Robert Smith Jr was the Austin Company leading architect and he was encouraged to produce models of buildings to use in the ads. Smith designed the NBC headquarters in Los Angeles, scroll down to see the ad image and below it the real building.
    A few of the buildings in the ads were actually built but mostly they were wonderful examples of streamlined concepts that captured the feel of the style and I think they still look exciting today.

The rendering (above) and the reality (below).

The first ad (above) to feature streamline models was in the May, 1935 edition of Fortune magazine

 The spreads below are from Martin Greif's book The new industrial landscape  The story of the Austin Company (ISBN 0876633084).

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