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Shop America: Mid-Century Storefront Design, 1938-1950

by Steven Heller

Other authors: Jim Heimann (Editor), Elmer A. Lundberg (Illustrator)

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Window shopping In postwar America, everything pointed to a bright, shiny future. Sheer optimism and opulence informed everything from automobile design to architecture, infusing design with larger-than-life planes and curves. Storefront design of the era is particularly indicative of this phenomenon, incarnated here in an extensive collection of hand-illustrated shop window designs from 1938 to 1950. These spectacular, often grandiose plans for grocery stores, shoe shops, beauty salons, bakeries, and more are reminders of a time when stores were sacred shrines for the congregation of American shoppers?impressive and even slightly intimidating, just like the future itself. Collected for this unique book, the designs viewed in retrospect reveal the mindset of a unique period in history. In addition to an extensive selection of drawings are historical black and white photographs of actual shops built in a similar style. Shop America offers a rare look at mid-century commercial America as it pictured itself. The editor: Jim Heimann is Executive Editor for TASCHEN America in Los Angeles and the author of numerous books on architecture, popular culture, and Hollywood history including TASCHEN's bestselling All-American Ads series. The author: Steven Heller, the art director of the New York Times Book Review and co-chair of the School of Visual Arts MFA Design program, is the author of over one hundred books on design, popular culture, and satiric art. In addition to writing for over a dozen TASCHEN titles, his recent books include Design Literacy Second Edition, Stylepedia, and The Education of a Graphic Designer.… (more)
  1. 00
    Window Displays/Vetrine by Paola Gallo (bluepiano)
    bluepiano: Will-you-walk-into-my-parlour design. One book contains drawings of potential shopfronts and the other photos of displays in high-end shopfront windows.
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This edition contains a not-so-good English translation.
  danielmacy | Oct 29, 2007 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Heller, Stevenprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Heimann, JimEditorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lundberg, Elmer A.Illustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Window shopping In postwar America, everything pointed to a bright, shiny future. Sheer optimism and opulence informed everything from automobile design to architecture, infusing design with larger-than-life planes and curves. Storefront design of the era is particularly indicative of this phenomenon, incarnated here in an extensive collection of hand-illustrated shop window designs from 1938 to 1950. These spectacular, often grandiose plans for grocery stores, shoe shops, beauty salons, bakeries, and more are reminders of a time when stores were sacred shrines for the congregation of American shoppers?impressive and even slightly intimidating, just like the future itself. Collected for this unique book, the designs viewed in retrospect reveal the mindset of a unique period in history. In addition to an extensive selection of drawings are historical black and white photographs of actual shops built in a similar style. Shop America offers a rare look at mid-century commercial America as it pictured itself. The editor: Jim Heimann is Executive Editor for TASCHEN America in Los Angeles and the author of numerous books on architecture, popular culture, and Hollywood history including TASCHEN's bestselling All-American Ads series. The author: Steven Heller, the art director of the New York Times Book Review and co-chair of the School of Visual Arts MFA Design program, is the author of over one hundred books on design, popular culture, and satiric art. In addition to writing for over a dozen TASCHEN titles, his recent books include Design Literacy Second Edition, Stylepedia, and The Education of a Graphic Designer.

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