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Bernard Zlotnick papers

Identifier: Mss 0124

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of print advertisements, subject files, and audio-visual materials from 1959 to 2014, documenting the development of advertising and graphic design in the latter half of the 20th century. The bulk of the materials are print advertisements Zlotnick produced in the course of his work in Manhattan advertising agencies for a variety of clients, which vary in format from full-page newspaper ads and posters to small postcards, flyers, and mailings. The collection also contains subject files which reflect the design process and the business aspects of advertising agency work. There are a small amount of photographs used in the advertisements. Finally, there are a handful of 16mm films of television advertisements Zlotnick produced. There is also some digital material which accompanies the collection, including Zlotnick’s Facebook page to which he frequently posted images of his work.


  • Creation: 1959-2014
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1959-2000

Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research use.

Conditions Governing Use

All materials available in this collection (unless otherwise noted) are the property of the Monsignor William Noé Field Archives & Special Collections Center and Seton Hall University, which reserves the right to limit access to or reproduction of these materials. Reproduction of materials or content is subject to United States copyright restrictions and may be subject to federal or state privacy regulations. Permission to publish exact reproductions must be obtained from the Director of the Archives and Special Collections Center.

Biographical / Historical

Bernard Zlotnick is a graphic designer, art director, and creative consultant who has been involved in the advertising industry since the 1950s. He studied advertising art at the High School of Industrial Arts and graphic design at the School of Visual Arts in New York City.

He began his career as a graphic design assistant at Sudler & Hennessey in 1956, where he worked for ten years. In 1966 he took a position at the Young & Rubicam agency as an art director, where he worked on campaigns for Eastern Airlines, General Foods, and the Peace Corps, among many others. One of his campaigns for the Peace Corps, a poster featuring the Statue of Liberty pointing to the left with the text “Make America a Better Place. Leave the Country”, was selected by the Smithsonian as one of the best 100 posters of the 20th century. He was promoted to the role of creative director and started “285”, the design division of Young & Rubicam.

After working at Young & Rubicam for five years, he left to found his own advertising agency, Barnett Zlotnick. In 1974, his agency was purchased by Young & Rubicam and became its subsidiary, and Zlotnick remained as its creative director.

After leaving Young & Rubicam for a second time in 1976, he worked at Leber Katz Partners until 1981 and then founded his own creative firm, The Zlotnick Company. The Zlotnick Company eventually became Zlotnick Communications, which he maintained for over 30 years, creating campaigns for Olympic Airways, Finlandia Cheese, Ovaltine, Absout Vodka, and many others.

Zlotnick won numerous awards during his career including a Clio Award, The One Show, and an Art Directors Club Medal. He served as a judge for many advertising awards, and was a member of the board of directors for the New York Art Directors Club.

Zlotnick worked in many different forms of advertising including print, radio, and television. He also wrote a monthly column satirizing advertising and pop culture for Art Direction magazine, which ran for 11 years. He has taught advertising and design at a number of institutions including the School of Visual Arts, Pratt Institute, Ramapo State College, and the County College of Morris, where he also teaches typography.


10.3 Linear Feet


This collection consists of materials that document Bernard Zlotnick’s work in the advertising industry from 1959 to 2014. Zlotnick worked at several major advertising agencies in Manhattan, and produced campaigns for a variety of clients including the Peace Corps, Olympic Airways, Finlandia Cheese, Ovaltine, and Absolut Vodka. The majority of the collection is made up of print advertisements and subject files that address the design process and the business aspects of advertising agency work. The collection also contains photographs used in advertisements and television advertisements on 16mm film. This collection will prove valuable for researchers interested in advertising, design, and the history of the advertising industry.

Organization of the Collection

This collection is organized into series:

  1. 1: Advertising Materials
  2. 2: Subject Files
  3. 3: Photographs
  4. 4: Audio-Visual Materials

Immediate Source of Acquisition

This collection was the gift of Bernard Zlotnick to the Archives & Special Collections Center in 2018.

Bernard Zlotnick papers
Brianna LoSardo
2019 July 10
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Repository Details

Part of the The Monsignor Field Archives & Special Collection Center Repository

Archives, Walsh Library
400 South Orange Ave
South Orange NJ 07079 US