Abstract

The advertising design of the 1950s reveals a history of the economic and social conditions that changed the lives and institutions of the Kuwaiti people after the discovery of oil in 1938. It captures the behaviours and lifestyles influenced by consumer culture and indicates the values and rationales that reshaped and developed the country as a modern community. No research has examined what governed the establishment of advertising and what influenced its design in Kuwait during the 1950s. Therefore, this study explores how advertising design in 1950s Kuwait brought about sociocultural change and influenced consumers’ behaviours and lifestyles, and considers modern trends in printing techniques and the impact of machine operators on design making. Historical research and personal interviews are used. All the interviewees asserted that the social behaviour of the Kuwaiti people has been liberalized by adopting values of non-Kuwaiti consumer culture as influenced by print design. A content analysis of print designs in 385 advertisements also confirms the diverse influences on Kuwait’s culture in the 1950s, which have continued until today.

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