Cadillac LaSalle - Gee, our old LaSalle ran great.

In the opening credits for All in the Family, Edith sings "Gee, our old LaSalle ran great", right before she shrieks the final line "Thoose were the daaaaayyyyys!" with Archie. So this is the car she was singing about. The ad is from 1931, and it's a minimalist eyefull of Deco class. Swing, baby.

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Art Deco generally means pulling your punches and taking the high road. Any time I've been required by a job to do the Deco thing, it has meant leaving a lot of negative space, repeated geomoetric shapes and visual restraint. Notice the large areas of empty space around the ad copy, and the surprisingly small size of the illustration at the top, with lots of breathing room around it. All of these art decisions communicate dignity and grace, as if the ad doesn't need to shout at you to communicate. It's an ad that doesn't care if you read it or not. Cadillac doesn't even need your business. They want you to feel like you can buy some of that dignity if you buy their car. They're THAT classy.

All of that is B.S., of course. You can still be a vulgar prick and have a nice car, as we all know. Somehow, as advertising ruins every tool with overuse and cheapness, Art Deco hasn't been destroyed by the ad biz. It still works as a communicator of calm aristocracy.

Sure, The Eighties did it's best to drag Deco into the toilet of Miami Vice cocaine culture, but somehow it's been able to recover from abominations like this dining room, and the juvenile "more is more" mentality that swept the nation in that decade.

There's a reason mirrored surfaces were so popular in The Eighties. You never know when you'll need another taste of booger sugar. Those weren't the daaaayyyys.

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Miraculously, I can look at the people in this 1931 clip art without imaging them doing rails of blow off the hood of the LaSalle in the ad. Deco still works.


Anonymous said...

G. R. O. LaSalle Redgrave! Those were the daaaayyyyys!

MrsBug said...

OMG, I hate All In The Family. My dad used to love it, and while I love my Dad dearly, this show made me seriously question his thought processes.

"booger sugar" That is the funniest thing I've read in a long time. :golf clap: well done, sir.

PhilAreGo@gmail.com said...

Yep. I could never get into that show either. Mostly because I was eight. Now, I just don't like any of the characters. Also, the show is just so damn yellow. Why so yellow?

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