Nature Medicine | Spoonful of Medicine

Graphic design in pharma ads traces the history of healthcare

Modern-day print ads for medicine are hardly worth a glance, with their universal fine print detailing drug side effects amidst stock-photo graphics and vague illusions to disease. However, such ads would be unrecognizable to their predecessors in the mid-twentieth century. At the time, pharmaceutical advertising was a new frontier for American artists working in marketing. And with a heavy influence from the European avant-garde movement, drug ads became bold, colorful statements for the nascent field of graphic design. 


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