DiscoverLETTERS READLETTERS READ: Mad Men New Orleans-style!
LETTERS READ: Mad Men New Orleans-style!

LETTERS READ: Mad Men New Orleans-style!

Update: 2021-11-26
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Premiering Thursday, November 25, letters and ephemera created in 1962 by a local professional association for graphic designers.


If you liked the TV show, Mad Men, you’ll love the real thing, New Orleans-style. Art Directors and Designers Association of New Orleans (ADDA) was chartered in 1961. Illustrators, lettering artists, art directors, photographers, commercial artists, and graphic designers banded together and promoted themselves to advertising executives throughout the Gulf South.


Central to this was a promotional slideshow presentation. Digitized in 2008. You can view an animation of it HERE.


If you are curious about the then new-fangled entertainment gizmo, slideshows, watch the Mad Men scene about their origin, HERE.


In this compelling podcast, join reader Colin B. Miller, himself a practicing graphic designer, as he continues the 2021 programming theme, Doing Business in New Orleans.


For this production, thanks are given to Steve Chyzyk and Steve Himelfarb, Sonic Canvas Studio. To Paul Broussard for additional recording. To Antenna, the project's fiscal partner. Thanks always to major funders, Corner and Reba Judith Sandler Foundations, Mark Cotton, Robert Heriard, Gayle Boudousqie, and to our executive advisory board Bill Hagler, Cole Halpern, Chris Kamenstein, and Michel Varisco. Additionally, thanks to Letters Read alum, Adam Newman. The very last ADDA vice president and, to this day, a practicing graphic designer.


Special thanks to the first president of ADDA. Don Smith, now 92. Who physically gave the slideshow presentation to Mrs. Collins, project director. Thanks to Don’s work chum back in the day at Knox Reeves Fitzgerald, Ron Thomson, now President - Marketing, Beuerman Miller Fitzgerald. The current agency from who Knox-Reeves Fitzgerald evolved. Thanks to Dave Walker, THNOC. Big thanks to Kure Croker, Loyola University Special Collections and Archives for ongoing support of the History of Graphic Design in South Louisiana physical archives and to Jennifer Abrams, director, T. Harry Williams Center for Oral History for her unwavering support of the oral history part of that project. 


Intro and outro-music are from the reel-to-reel audio tape recording of the original jingle composed and performed in 1961 by Paul Guma.


Image: Slide 32 in the 1962 Art Directors and Designers Association of New Orleans slideshow presentation.



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LETTERS READ: Mad Men New Orleans-style!

LETTERS READ: Mad Men New Orleans-style!

Nancy Sharon Collins