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vintage advertising on Flickr

Posted By Josh Dillon


With the advent of photo sharing accounts like Flickr, the number of accessible images from which to draw inspiration has skyrocketed.

Below are some key images and the site links to limitless vintage advertisements from decades of magazines, newspapers and multimedia sources. Each Flickr contributor does have quite a few other sets to view, so don’t stop at the images or sets indicated for the authentic advertising experience.

5. Pink Ponk

With hundreds of images to choose from, this is a great place to start for vintage image inspiration. Most of these vintage advertisements are artsy, European designs, with overtones of 60′s mod.

There are a few other types of images thrown in for good measure, but the strength for this location really is it’s bright colors, image repetition and high level of visual stimuli.


4. Odd_Prods

Our number four pick for vintage advertisements is based on our fascination for black and white advertising on the throw away pages at the end of the magazines. The grainy images, the overwritten, eye grabbing text…classy.

The ads on Odd_Prods’ pages offer lurid details of the seedy underbelly of back-magazine advertising. Not for the faint of heart, mail order ads like these are surely not for talking about at the dinner table with the wife and kids. No-sir-e! The content of these ads can only be discussed down at the lodge, with the comforting smells of scotch and polyester wafting through the air.


3. rchappo2002

This collection of retro images has the “sex sells” angle covered. Short skirts, long legs and barrel chested men adorn the pages of this 70′s advertising collection.

When compared to the advertising of the 50′s and 60′s, the 70′s simply had no shame. Gone are the crossed legsĀ  and suburban sensibilities of the 50′s. The 70′s, along with plunging necklines, are here.


2. Lee Sutton

This group of vintage advertisements cuts across content, national lines and decades, but manages to offer a cohesive collection of top notch advertising. It may not be as large or as targeted as some of the other Flickr photostreams that we crossed to get here, but what it lacks in quantity it makes up for in quality.

Some of our favorite graphics can be found in this set.


1. SA_Steve

Professional account holder, SA_Steve has a slew of images from print sources of the 50′s, 60′s and 70′s. These represent a timely, mainstream feel and probably appeared in the most popular domestic magazines at the time of publishing. Most images are fairly straight-forward, while others are loaded with innuendo and sly wit.

With 2000+ images, this collection is invaluable to the creative professional seeking authentic, seasoned artwork for project development and inspiration.


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