Ad Age

A drumbeat for the advertising industry.

When Ad Age debuted in 1930, advertising was a $2 billion industry. Now, quickly approaching a century later, advertising is a $200 billion industry and Ad Age is in position to operate as a third party watchdog.

In 2017, Crain Communications hired a new Ad Age Publisher and he immediately set to work transforming the business from a weekly trade publication into a industry-leading, industry-challenging and industry-inspiring brand. Their advantage was that they had been the first in the field, so they had more raw data on than any other outlet. They just needed a little style to help boost credibility in a creative field.

The move from Advertising Age to Ad Age was a no brainer. It was time for the masthead to align with the vernacular. The lettering was crafted by Tobias Frere-Jones. It is based on the original 1930s masthead.

We need a drumbeat.
We are a brand,
not a magazine.

Josh Golden, Publisher, Ad Age


In our brand research, we found a in-book ad from the 1950s. It simply said, Important to Important People. (Hyperbolic, but true.)

Ad Age needed a consistent visual system to support their in-house team of two designers. The bands of color created supported efficiency. When you need a design element, you have all of the stripes. When you need the design to get out of the way, you have fewer stripes. It uses a seventeen color palette.

Print is not dead. Ad Age published a full brand book from strategy through grid systems.

When our publication is its most vibrant, our industry is also its most vibrant. 

Wendy Clark, President and CEO of North America, DDB Worldwide