Bell Telephone System Analysis
The 1956 Bell Telephone System advertisement, an ad for multiple household telephones, is a compelling subject that accurately depicts how layout and appeals are manipulated to target both a certain audience and a particular issue. This advertisement takes into consideration popular issues of the 1950’s, such as gender roles and family values, and exploits them through its layout design.
There are four main aspects of this advertisements layout, balance, proportion, movement, and simplicity, that have a significant effect on its overall audience appeal. Balance, a fundamental aspect of layout design, is achieved in this advertisement by equaling out the heavy picture on the right side, depicting a business man struggling to hold a baby, presumably, his child and an armful of dirty dishes, with a headline, a smaller picture of a young woman sitting at a desk, and a narrative body copy on the left side. Balance and equilibrium are created within the advertisement through the use of proportion. The relative size of the four main aspects of the advertisement, the large full length image of the man, the sizeable headline, the smaller image of the woman, and small text of the narrative body copy, help to create a coherent movement.
The type of movement used in this particular advertisement is structural movement. Due to the large size of male image on the left side of the advertisement that is what first captures the audience’s attention. The audience’s view is then direct towards the headline in the upper right of the advertisement by the direction of the man’s stance, the line created by his shoulders, and the upward line created by the baby’s arm. After reading the curious headline “Madam! Suppose you traded jobs with your husband?” the audience continues to look down the page, consistent with the habitual reading direction found in Western language, to an image of a young woman, seemingly...