Mad Men is the best show on TV and its logo is pretty good too.

15 Oct

It’s not a surprise the best show on television also has one of the best logos, especially considering the show’s content is so rich with ideas to work off.

Mad Men is based on an advertising agency in the late ’50s, early ’60s. The show mainly revolves around a character named Don Draper, the head creative director at his firm and a man leading a very complicated, dramatic life.

The logo does a good job reflecting this dichotomy. First to reflect Draper’s successful ad business, it utilizes some classic good design principles like any good agency would. The logo art tactics include negative-positive space (note the cuff links/shirt cuffs transition seamlessly into the background), lots of white space in the design and the use of a silhouette. The title is also a perfect so aligning it horizontally emphasizes it. Finally, the main visual is a strong image that is distinctive to the show (it’s of Draper, also shows him smoking and in a suit, the iconic attire of his workplace).

To emphasize the chaos of the Draper’s life, “Mad” is put in a strong warm color so it comes to the front both visually and thematically. The position of Draper’s silhouette is also a reoccurring image in the show as he often times deals with his issues by sitting isolated in his office with a cigarette and a glass of something alcoholic.  Using a silhouette rather than his actual image could also be interpreted thematically. Draper often struggles with letting others see his real identity, so using a silhouette visually has the same effect (you simply see the outermost layer but no real detail of the man).

The creator of the show, Matt Weiner, said in an interview with Rolling Stone that this idea is utilized in the logo. Draper is a hero on the outside but a disaster within and this logo best encapsulated it. The concept behind it is so liked that it’s even used in the show several times (including the opening scene of the show’s initial pilot).  Draper’s duality is what drives the show to be so captivating and successful, it’s only fitting that somehow that’s behind the series’ successful logo.


2 Responses to “Mad Men is the best show on TV and its logo is pretty good too.”

  1. agraphicworld October 20, 2010 at 4:06 pm #

    Again great job dissecting the logo and how it relates to the theme of the show.

    -Bridget Streeter


  1. Zombies are stiff and striking, so is their logo. « A Graphic World II - October 23, 2010

    […] AMC strikes again (with the logos at least, I hope the show itself is also as good as their other offerings). […]

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