As the show prepared for its new season, which begins April 7 in the US, the new promotional poster depicts Don Draper, the series lead character, in a vertiginous pose on a New York City street corner that seems to be collapsing on him like the decade he is living in.
The poster has been designed by Brian Sanders, a 75-year-old british illustrator who used technique reminiscent of 1960s illustration books.
The New York Times ran a story on how Sanders was recruited to do this new poster for Mad Men. Apparently, Matthew Weiner (48, born in 1965), the creator of the series, was looking for something similar to commercial illustrations from the '60s and '70s he'd seen from books. When the marketing team wasn't able to come up with what Weiner wanted, they looked to the source of the inspiring illustrations and discovered that Sanders was still working. They brought him on board to create the image above, which is now being used to promote the new season.
Brian Sanders has now been a professional artist for five decades during which time he has worked in every area of the illustrative arts ranging through: book publishing, magazines, advertising, government agencies, film, television and art education. He is one of the founders of the British Association of Illustrators.
The 'bubble and streak' technique:
The impressionistic image he created uses a scumbled (ie: a softening of the colors / outlines of a painting or drawing by covering with a film of opaque or semiopaque color or by rubbing) acrylic technique that in its jazzy, textured effects instantly conjures 1960s illustration.
“It’s a style we refer to over here in England as bubble and streak,” he said “I don’t work in that manner now, and I was surprised how quickly it came back, the ability to use it in that particular way.”
Beyond being a 1960s illustration technique, this scumbling illustration technique is particularly adapted for conveying the vertiginous feeling of a world on the verge of vanishing or collapsing.
Mad Men era, the rise and fall of illustration:
“The show is telling the history of advertising, and part of that story is about photography completely eclipsing illustration,” Mr. Weiner said. Illustrating for and watching the series was doubly meaningful for him, Mr. Sanders said, because ”Mad Men” depicts a world he was once very much a part of.
1960s illustrations by Brain Sanders:
The Sunday Times magazine, 1969:
Publication unknown, women magazine, 1960s:
Brian Sanders' website: http://artofbriansanders.blogspot.fr/