The findings about the types of pictures most interesting to male and female audiences of the 1950's were not arrived at by advertising research alone. "Editorial research confirms them," writes Mark Wiseman in his article from the March 1952 issue of Art Director and Studio News.
The Reader Analysis Bureau of the Crowell-Collier Co., publishers of Collier's, "covering research among men and women readers of eight magazines", came to these conclusions:
"Illustrate a story with men, and the women's readership decreases; and put only women in the illustration, and male readership diminishes."
Illustrations of children seem to attract women very strongly, and, generally speaking, animals (especially dogs and horses) seem to have more attraction for men."
"Composite illustrations, men and women,
including 'clinches', are halfway between these two extremes."
Of course there were other sorts of clinches that were popular as story illustrations at the time. Unfortunately, The Reader Analysis Bureau did not provide information on which audience found the other type most appealing.
But author Wiseman leaves us with this telling conclusion:
"Pictures that readers can most readily understand (in their own personal terms), in which they can most quickly 'see themselves', or that offer solutions for their problems, are apt to engage their attention and hold it."
* For the purpose of context, I thought it would be interesting to show all the editorial illustrations from a single issue of Collier's magazine for today's post.