Mad Men

The TV series “Mad Men” was known for its meticulous attention to period-accurate detail, and it prominently featured mid-century modern design elements that reflected the aesthetics of the 1950s and 1960s. Here are some of the influences and aspects of mid-century modern design that played a significant role in shaping the show’s visual style:

  1. Interior Design: The set design of “Mad Men” featured iconic mid-century modern furniture, lighting, and decor. This included items like Eames lounge chairs, Saarinen tulip tables, Noguchi coffee tables, and other pieces that were popular during the era. These furnishings helped recreate the look and feel of upscale offices and homes from the period.
  2. Office Spaces: The show portrayed the corporate world of advertising agencies in the 1960s, and it showcased open-plan offices with minimalist desks, sleek office chairs, and large windows. This design reflected the mid-century trend towards more open and collaborative workspaces.
  3. Fashion: Mid-century fashion also had a significant influence on the show’s costume design. The characters’ clothing, especially the women’s styles, embraced the silhouettes and fabrics of the era, including tailored suits, A-line dresses, and accessories like skinny ties and hats.
  4. Color Palette: Mid-century modern design often featured a specific color palette, which “Mad Men” incorporated into its set design. Earthy tones, muted pastels, and bold pops of color were common in both the fashion and interiors of the show.
  5. Bar Culture: The show’s characters were often seen in social settings, including bars and lounges. The mid-century period was known for its cocktail culture, and “Mad Men” showcased this with scenes set in stylish bars with classic mid-century barware and furniture.
  6. Architectural Elements: Mid-century architecture made an appearance in the series through scenes set in suburban homes and upscale apartments. This included elements like large windows, flat roofs, and open floor plans, reflecting the architectural trends of the time.
  7. Consumerism and Advertising: The show’s central theme revolved around the advertising industry, which was a key player in promoting mid-century consumer culture. The advertising campaigns and marketing strategies depicted in the series reflected the consumerist ethos of the era.
  8. Social and Cultural Norms: Beyond design, “Mad Men” explored the social and cultural norms of the mid-century period, including issues related to gender roles, race, and class. These themes were intertwined with the visual aesthetics and design elements of the show.

In summary, “Mad Men” drew heavily from mid-century modern design to create an authentic and visually striking representation of the 1950s and 1960s. The show’s meticulous attention to detail in both its set design and costuming helped transport viewers back to a specific moment in American history when mid-century modern design was at its peak.