Helmut Krone

Helmut Krone was an art director, considered to be a pioneer of modern advertising. He spent over 30 years at Doyle Dane Bernbach, the New York advertising agency, where he created advertising campaigns which caught the public’s eye with innovative graphics and unexpected sales pitches.

Krone created many advertisements for Volkswagen, some focusing on what could be seen as weaknesses of the car. Other car adverts were showing the glamour and excitement of the car. While Krone was telling people to 'think small' when people were thinking big, making people stop and take notice. It used two-thirds of image above, centred headlines and three columns of body copy below, a clean simple use of spacing, but he changed the picture. Every element aids the idea, even the headline is small. It was so different because the idea had never been applied to a car before. Krone had worked on an advert for Fairmont strawberries where he showed the strawberry whole in the middle of a big page, showing that the strawberry has to be prefect to keep it whole. The Volkswagen isn't every different from this idea, it’s just been applied to a car, which is very different. It was voted the No. 1 campaign of all time in Advertising Age’s 1999 magazine.

Krone’s advertisements for Avis were the complete opposite in layout of the Volkswagen. He was discussing ‘how small can headlines get before they disappear’ with another designer, as if there are three strong meaningful words it can be set in very small type. Krone thought it was absurd that headlines were getting smaller and smaller, so he took the Volkswagen style and turned it inside out, by having a big heading at the top but not in the centre and the picture became small and the copy large. It was very carefully done, to turn advertising upside down.

He built a reputation by taking something ordinary and making subtle changes. His goal was to create advertising that was different to what his peers were doing. He wanted to find new layouts, a new way of putting the same elements down onto the same area.

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