Review: All-American Ads of the 80’s

All-American Ads of the 80’s

Editor: Jim Heimann / Foreword by: Steven Heller

Publisher: Taschen

Pages: 640

Release: April 15, 2022


The 80’s were perhaps the most flamboyant decade of the last century. Being a Generation X’er myself and growing up in the 80’s I have very fond memories. Mainly because of this I a had a specific interest in this book, which is part of an entire series since every decade from the 20’s to the 90’s has its own volume.

The first thing of this heavyweight book (hardcover & 640 pages) that grabbed my attention is the cover: Patrick Nagel’s iconic art for the Duran Duran album Girls on Film.

Inside the book is very little text, there’s an introduction by art director Steven Heller and after you’re entering a time capsule with nothing but images of 80’s advertisements divided into 8 categories:

  • Alcohol & Tobacco
  • Automobiles
  • Business & Industry
  • Consumer Products
  • Electronics
  • Entertainment
  • Fashion & Beauty
  • Food & Beverage
  • Travel

With over 600 pages there’s a LOT to see. Sure, there’s a big chance you’ll find things missing (for me, it was Nintendo) but just when that thought popped in my mind I saw some ads of products I owned (or still own!) back in the day. (Looking at you Robocop and Ghostbusters videogames!)

All-American Ads of the 80’s is a nice coffeetable book that will take you hours to see (not read) from front to cover. I suggest checking it out while listening to Prince’s Purple Rain, sipping on (New) Coke. Just do it.

Special thanks to Taschen for providing a copy!