What Would MAD MEN Do?
AMC’s hit show Mad Men, a cultural juggernaut and the best thing on TV in years, was my perennial companion throughout grad school. I watched every season over and over, craving the constant background stimulation (and inspiration) as I pulled all-nighters in between classes and a full-time job. The visual ethos of the 1960s played an important part in the development of my own stylistic voice, so it was nothing short of thrilling to witness a fictionalized take on design’s dramatic evolution during those tumultuous ten years. The verisimilitude of the show’s art direction never wavered even as its decade-long ascent into 1970 grew increasingly–and appropriately–flamboyant.
When tasked in school with creating a mobile app, I envisioned What Would MAD MEN Do? as something between a Magic 8 Ball and a See ‘N Say: the user choses a character, selects a category (Love, Money, Ethical Quandary, etc.), and then enjoys an apropos quip from the show’s expansive archive of pithy one-liners. I continued the work long past the deadline for the project, finding I was as interested in pushing my digital illustration skills as I was in discovering clever ways to celebrate Mad Men’s characters. No detail is too small, from the glimmer of an earring to a highly polished pair of shoes. This is a project that will always be in progress. Like the show itself, I refuse to believe it could ever come to an end.