All entries tagged ‘1960s’
16 Sep

Deborah Hay

Deborah Hay and the graphics for her postmodern dance performances.

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10 Jul

Lost New York

New York City signage that never was.

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06 May

Richard Serra in Rome, 1966

A brochure for Richard Serra’s first solo show, from 1966, surfaced recently in the archives. Though often excised from his oeuvre, Serra, then on a Fullbright in affiliation with Academie Belles Artes in Florence, showed live and stuffed animals along with sculptural collages or Rauschenbergian “combines” at Gallery La Salita in Rome.

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24 Apr

Won’t you be my neighbor

James McMullan is paired with Jane Jacobs for a 1966 issue of the Push Pin Graphic.

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27 Mar

Russell Hoban

Russell Hoban’s portrait of Joan Baez on the cover of Time, 1962.

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03 Mar

That New York

Brownjohn, Chermayeff and Geismar’s expressive typography for The Composing Room.

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12 Feb

Significant figures

Milton Glaser’s menagerie of figures for the School of Visual Arts, 1971.

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28 Jan

Barbizon

George Tscherny’s 1967 company profile for lingerie-maker Barbizon.

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08 Jan

Justine & Balthazar

Milton Glaser Collection Box 111 Folder 4. Pocket Books, 1969.

I’m always interested to see how different artists interpret of the same source material. Zach featured James McMullan’s boxed Alexandria Quartet some months ago, but I’d forgotten that Milton Glaser also created book jackets for at least two volumes (Justine and Balthazar) of Lawrence Durrell’s tetrology for Pocket Books in 1969; I can’t determine whether he also designed jackets for Clea and Mountolive.

While McMullan’s work from the early 1960s is close in spirit to the evocative illustration of his colleagues Robert Weaver and Jerome Martin, Glaser’s late 1960s take shows a pop/psych style then at its height. The art is very much in keeping with other work that Glaser was doing at the time, with its flowing curvilinear lines and high contrast colors, which also, intentional or not, indicate some churning emotional content.

16 Dec 2013

Lost and found

Newly unearthed SVA exhibition posters (1969-1970) from Cris Gianakos.

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10 Dec 2013

Portraits of Pnin

Several incarnations of Vladimir Nabokov’s most lovable protagonist, Timofey Pavlovich Pnin.

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20 Nov 2013

Working drawings

Milton Glaser’s sketch for the Working drawings and other visible things on paper not necessarily meant to be viewed as art poster became a part of the artwork.

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11 Oct 2013

Collage

The publication featured the work of SVA’s incredible illustration faculty in the early 1960s.

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20 Sep 2013

Future games

“Man in Control?” at Expo 67.

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07 Jun 2013

I can’t see my flag anymore

Tony Palladino Collection, Slides. Photo by Edith Marshall. For Empathy Graphics.

This detail from an anti-Vietnam war poster is represented only on a slide in the Tony Palladino collection. In serif text above the image, the original includes the complaint “I can’t see my flag anymore”—which has some of the same arch plainness or indirection of Chwast’s anti-war End Bad Breath poster of two years prior. Here’s another of various flags by Palladino, one graphic symbol whose permutations he remained fascinated by throughout his career. Despite its relative lack of exposure today, it is one of two Palladino posters in the Library of Congress.

17 May 2013

Dusty and the Duke

Milton Glaser illustrates the stark contrast between two film stars of 1969 — Dustin Hoffman and John Wayne.

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07 May 2013

On your toes

Duane Michals photographed George Balanchine for Show magazine.

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15 Apr 2013

Everyday is like Sunday

Milton Glaser’s take on Seurat.

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01 Apr 2013

Eat your peas & carrots

Westvaco’s not-so-generic paper promotion.

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15 Mar 2013

Rich and splendid

Trahey/Wolf borrow some allure from TWA.

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01 Feb 2013

Inaugural address

A pair of posters announcing the School of Visual Arts’ new location at 209 E 23rd Street.

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27 Nov 2012

Something Soft

Another foray by Milton Glaser into the realm of expressive typography.

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21 Nov 2012

Odd bird

Milton Glaser Collection. Drawer 21, Folder 11: poster for Poppy records, 1968.

Looks like a regular ocellated fellow, with one significant difference. Cross-reference for flowers sprouting from heads: Utopia Records, and this poster for Push Pin Graphic. (Typeface is Glaser Stencil, which appeared on other Poppy productions as well.)

13 Nov 2012

Skeleton key

Forever potent and still open to interpretation despite its ubiquity, the skeleton has surfaced many times in the early work of Milton Glaser.

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12 Oct 2012

Politics in print, by Henry Wolf

Henry Wolf took a variety of approaches to dramatizing the American political process in his magazine design.

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09 Oct 2012

Accidents will happen

The tension between the accidental and the controlled is almost always present in the work of George Tscherny.

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29 Aug 2012

Story arc

Milton Glaser got minimal for SVA’s 40th Anniversary logo.

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17 Aug 2012

Type cast

Some type-based design from Milton Glaser and Seymour Chwast.

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01 Aug 2012

All together now

Shades of Yellow Submarine in Gian Carlo Menotti’s sci-fi opera for children Help, Help, The Globolinks!

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18 Jul 2012

Here comes the bride

In honor of summer wedding season we bring you Tony Palladino’s poster for “The Wedding Party.”

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09 May 2012

Cross-hatch

Milton Glaser explored an undersea terrain for Sports Illustrated in 1961.

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25 Apr 2012

Palladino Perfectos

These Perfectos cigarette ads, designed by Tony Palladino in 1965, caught my attention because they’re so markedly different in style from the typical tobacco ads of the 1960s.

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11 Apr 2012

Edward Gorey at SVA

School of Visual Arts Collection. Course announcement, Fall 1965.

From our cache of early SVA course announcements comes this sweet one in dust jacket form for Advanced Children’s Book Illustration taught by Edward Lear disciple and legend himself, Edward Gorey. Too bad Gorey didn’t get to write (I presume) the copy, too.

15 Feb 2012

Phil Hays for SVA

This is a detail from possibly my all-time favorite SVA poster (click through for the whole image). It was illustrated by Phil Hays in the 1960s while he was chairman of SVA’s illustration department. Hays’ later work, especially his portraits of musicians and Hollywood stars, was markedly more hyperrealistic and decadent than this simple three-pane poster of a woman sitting in a chair, smoking. At first it seems something of a strange ad pitch, yet the subject is serene and satisfied and the work is masterly, somehow making the argument for SVA in its inherent quality.

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09 Jan 2012

Up in smoke, part 2

Liggett & Myers’ Designer Packs designed by George Tscherny.

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15 Dec 2011

Seth Siegelaub’s Xerox book

Our latest discovery—strongly recalling the original binder from Mel Bochner’s “Working Drawings…”— is a copy of Seth Siegelaub’s seminal Xerox Book.

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06 Dec 2011

Illustrating ‘Seventeen’

Mid-century editorial illustration from the pages of Seventeen magazine.

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30 Nov 2011

Smiling faces

An assortment of Seventeen magazine advertisements from the ’50s and ’60s.

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25 Oct 2011

Fed up with mediocrity

In 1964, the Sanders Printing Corporation invited SVA’s graduating class to produce its periodic promotional publication, Folio.

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18 Oct 2011

Up in smoke

Cigarette companies were always big into advertising (perhaps because their products were largely indistinguishable), but after their marketing practices became widely seen as particularly nefarious their presence in the field faded.

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14 Sep 2011

Fifteen years of heartache and aggravation

In 1969, the Mead Library of Ideas presented an exhibition of the work of Push Pin Studios, sharing the design and illustration of its many current and former members.

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06 Sep 2011

Bob + Joan

Bob Dylan and Joan Baez, 1964. Image courtesy of the SVA Picture Collection

Bob Dylan’s brief relationship with Joan Baez was exhaustively documented, but we get interested when that affair highlighted the work of Push Pin Studios. In 1964, Dylan and Baez were photographed at Newark Airport in front of Seymour Chwast’s poster for Booth’s Gin: an incongruous, but not surprising, image of two icons flanking a countercultural message from a corporate advertiser.

17 Aug 2011

Apply today

Another great example of SVA’s forms from the early George Tscherny identity system. Its almost stuffily balanced width is softened a tiny bit by the lowercase “application.” Love the setting of the serif type and the letter-spaced gothic below. We need to get a vitrine for this whole system (see also: 1 and 2).

12 Aug 2011

Desk set

Chermayeff & Geismar’s promotional work for General Fireproofing’s steel office furniture neatly represents how they adapted their dominant styles to suit the needs of their corporate clients.

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15 Jul 2011

Blue moon promotion

Lou Dorfsman’s epic promotional piece for CBS’s coverage of the Apollo 11 mission.

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15 Jun 2011

Go West

James McMullan did stunning work for the short-lived West magazine.

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24 May 2011

Stop the presses

Milton Glaser Collection Box 68 Folder 17. Bird for UNICEF poster, late 1960s – early 1970s.

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23 May 2011

Don’t make ’em like this anymore

I especially like identity systems when they are applied to things that might seem outside of the purview of corporate promotions. So with this SVA check designed by George Tscherny, circa 1956.

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12 Apr 2011

They might be giants

Icons of culture and folklore are interpreted by the artists of Push Pin.

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07 Apr 2011

Georgia’s always on my mind

Herb Lubalin was among the many designers and illustrators who contributed to the United States Information Agency’s 1962 graphic arts exhibition that toured the USSR.

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04 Apr 2011

Henry Wolf for Olivetti

In the late-1960s Henry Wolf produced a number of advertisements for Olivetti, which touched on two of his favorite devices: the use of celebrity and the distortions of scale and context used to dreamlike effect.

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25 Mar 2011

Let me hear your balalaikas ringing out

Chermayeff & Geismar Collection: USIA “Graphic Trends” portfolio: Robert Weaver

The United States Information Agency deploys its secret weapon in the Cold War: designers and illustrators.

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16 Mar 2011

The Cook

Milton Glaser created this 1965 book jacket for The Cook, a satirical horror novel about a mysterious chef, Conrad Venn, who seduces and manipulates the wealthy Hill and Vail families with food.

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10 Mar 2011

Fashion Illustration at SVA

Fashion illustration was a popular pursuit at SVA in the 1960s.

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04 Mar 2011

Auteur, auteur

Andrew Sarris, film critic for the Village Voice and screenwriting lecturer at the School of Visual Arts, delivered a special free lecture in 1968.

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22 Feb 2011

Words and music

Chermayeff & Geismar Collection Box 13 Folder 1: Concert Associates, Inc., Stecher & Horowitz announcement, undated.

Brownjohn, Chermayeff & Geismar’s playful experiments with type placement and scale for Concert Associates.

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28 Jan 2011

Record labels

Milton Glaser applies his passion for music to record labels.

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18 Jan 2011

The Electric Circus

Chermayeff & Geismar design for “the ultimate legal entertainment experience.”

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21 Dec 2010

Medium rare

Milton Glaser Collection: Box 108. Poppy Records. The Mandrake Memorial, Medium. 1968.

Glaser’s fascination with exploded diagrams (this poster for Olivetti, among other things) is applied here to a matter very dear to me: the hamburger. Actually this brings me back to the Sack ‘n’ Save in the suburbs of Dallas, which was the preferred purveyor of hamburger ingredients when I was a child, perhaps because a similar idea was rendered in giant ’70s-oversaturated photographs printed ten feet tall along the hot magenta wall above the butcher section. The illustration above appeared on the second long-player by Philly psych rockers Mandrake Memorial, titled Medium — now a rare find in the bins. Glaser’s influence on the graphic legacy of the hamburger can also be seen on this cover for Time magazine.

13 Dec 2010

Life Underground

Milton Glaser and Jerome Snyder ate their way through NYC so you didn’t have to.

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24 Nov 2010

Love and joy about letters

From Love and Joy About Letters by Ben Shahn. New York: Grossman Publishers, 1963.

Love and Joy About Letters is a testament to Ben Shahn’s love affair with letters: the beauty of the letter forms, the liberating influence hand-lettering, and how the incorporation of letters added meaning to his art.

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12 Nov 2010

To see a fine lady upon a white horse

School of Visual Arts Collection: SVA Department of Illustration Exhibition, April 7-28, 1961: Phil Hays

A 1961 exhibition of the work of the SVA Department of Illustration is a who’s who of the practitioners of the new expressive and painterly illustration of the time.

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02 Nov 2010

Squigglyman Meets Captain Cross-Hatch

School of Visual Arts Collection: Detail from Blechman and Slackman course announcement, 1960s.

Squigglyman and Captain Cross-Hatch will be back right after they foil Dr. Ugg, who is about to detonate his diabolical Gloomsday Device.

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28 Oct 2010

A brief tour of Milton Glaser’s typography

Glaser’s typefaces combine Pushpin-era Deco motifs with conventions adapted from hand-painted signs, but share a tendency to imbue generic letterforms with geometric dimension.

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15 Oct 2010

Exploding coffee table

Milton Glaser Collection Drawer 18 Folder 18: Detail from Knoll Sottsass poster, 1982.

While we’re on the subject of the Memphis Group, better take cover; that table’s gonna blow.

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01 Oct 2010

I can see right through you

Henry Wolf Collection Box 7 Folder 73: Course announcement for the School of Visual Arts, c. 1964.

Henry Wolf created this School of Visual Arts course announcement for his friend, photographer Melvin Sokolsky.

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21 Sep 2010

Go ask Alice

Milton Glaser Collection Box 65, Folder 1: Detail from poster for The Push Pin Graphic No. 52, 1967.

In 1967, Milton Glaser, Seymour Chwast, and James McMullan produced psychedelic “travel” posters for an issue of The Push Pin Graphic.

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09 Sep 2010

Turning point

More from George Tscherny: his design on the poster for the U.S. exhibition at the troubled Milan Triennale of 1968. In those days, the event served as a major convergence point for conversation and debate within the design community.

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31 Aug 2010

Use your head

School of Visual Arts Collection. Detail of poster illustrated by Phil Hays and designed by Ivan Chermayeff, 1960s.

SVA’s early subway posters helped raise the school to a new plane of artistic and intellectual pursuits.

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25 Aug 2010

Color is for anything you want

Tony Palladino Collection, Box 19: Color poem book for Collier Engraving, 1967.

This deceptively casual promotional piece typifies the whimsy and poignancy found in much of Tony Palladino’s work.

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19 Aug 2010

Keep it like a secret

Chermayeff & Geismar Collection: Book Jacket, 1961.

In 1961, Ivan Chermayeff designed and illustrated Sandol Stoddard Warburg’s Keep it like a secret (Chermayeff and Warburg had previously collaborated on The Thinking Book in 1960). The charming title, with its childlike connotations, was later appropriated by the band Built to Spill for their 1999 album. Sadly, we only have the jacket, not the book itself, but I did discover another version of the jacket out there.

12 Aug 2010

Concrete Poetry

Milton Glaser Collection Box 112 Folder 24. Push Pin Graphic No. 11, December 1957.

Milton Glaser tips his hat to French poet, playwright, and critic Guillaume Apollinaire.

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30 Jul 2010

Allan Kaprow’s Words

Another lovely artifact appeared in the Archive unexpectedly last week: Allan Kaprow’s Words, from 1962.

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16 Jul 2010

Milton Glaser’s geometries

Milton Glaser is closely associated with a visual style emphasizing expressive illustrations and resonant cultural symbols, but revisiting different periods in his career one is reminded that he was constantly developing new approaches, and in the Glaser Collection one can find an astonishingly wide range of approaches to design problems.

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08 Jul 2010

McMullan for Caprolan

James McMullan Collection, Box 1 Folder 7: Caprolan Nylon advertisement, 1966.

James McMullan designed and illustrated this piece for Caprolan nylon during his first year at Push Pin; it appeared in the September 7, 1966 issue of Women’s Wear Daily.

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14 Jun 2010

Ring leaders

If Chermayeff & Geismar could be said to have one particular speciality, it would probably be the knack for distilling complex organizational systems into extremely reduced graphic ideas: their calling card in this respect was the Symbol Signs project. But this poster for Interactive Data Corporation, with its monochrome figuration for a symposium, also falls neatly into the category (along with work for Xerox). Click through for the full page.

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25 May 2010

Pepsi Generation

Chermayeff & Geismar Collection: Pepsi-Cola World, February 1960.

The design firm of Brownjohn, Chermayeff & Geismar established their reputation for brilliant corporate identity work with one of their earliest clients, Pepsi-Cola.

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23 Apr 2010

The Sound of…

Milton Glaser Collection Box 108, Columbia Records: Jazz Odyssey Vol. II: The Sound of Chicago, 1964.

Milton Glaser’s early album covers express his understanding of the ineffable qualities of music.

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13 Apr 2010

My ever changing moods

James McMullan Collection: Roche Laboratories brochure for Taractan, 1965.

Well before the boom of direct-to-consumer pharmaceutical advertising, highly adventurous drug advertising was aimed almost exclusively at physicians.

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08 Apr 2010

Blechman Palladino for Architectural & Engineering News

Tony Palladino collaborated with R.O. Blechman in the 1960s. One of the best examples of their combined sensibilities appeared on their covers for Architectural & Engineering News.

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31 Mar 2010

Group W

James McMullan Collection: The New York Times advertising supplement for Westinghouse Broadcasting Company, March 5, 1967 / Fort Wayne by James McMullan.

From the James McMullan Collection, a look at some of the best illustrators who got their start the 1950s and 60s.

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15 Mar 2010

Do you see what I see?

Milton Glaser Collection: The Art of Seeing announcement, 1962.

A symposium of “provocative visual material” inspired Milton Glaser to come up with some of his own.

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04 Mar 2010

Talk about the Passion

School of Visual Arts Collection: Passion cover, 1970.

Milton Glaser and Henry Wolf’s magazine workshop pays tribute to the landmark erotic publication Eros.

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02 Feb 2010

The Dual Ladder

Chermayeff & Geismar Collection, Box 40 Folder 11, Xerox booklet, 1960s.

Which ladder will you climb at Xerox?

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20 Jan 2010

The glasses on the cover don’t exist

And yet…

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14 Jan 2010

AIGA presents the symbol for the 1968 Summer Olympics

Rummaging through some old SVA publications, we came across this invitation for an unveiling of the XIX Olympiad graphics, featuring Lance Wyman’s classic symbol for the games.

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07 Jan 2010

Bob Gill

School of Visual Arts Collection, Bob Gill self-promotional pamphlet, c. 1959.

Designer and illustrator Bob Gill was one of the earliest faculty members at SVA, joining right around the time George Tscherny taught the school’s first design course.

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17 Dec 2009

Early LeWitt

School of Visual Arts Exhibitions: Sketch for Groups exhibition poster, November 11 – December 3, 1969.

We love our LeWitt here at Container List, and we recently found some very early exhibition announcements for his work at SVA and other galleries.

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11 Dec 2009

Paper for packaging

Ten years before the rise of the supermarket generic brand, Champion Papers produced these colorful generic packaging designs for a series of print advertisements.

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01 Dec 2009

Identity Programs by Noel Martin

Steven Heller Collection: Identity Programs by Noel Martin, identity for Xomox Corporation, manufacturers of valves, actuators and surgical implants.

Noel Martin was a renown self-taught typographer and designer who studied drawing, painting, and printmaking at the Art Academy of Cincinnati. He later became an instructor there and was the long-time designer for the Cincinnati Art Museum, as well as a prolific free-lance designer. Martin was celebrated for modernizing museum graphics and industrial trade catalogs. In 1953, he was featured in MoMA’s landmark design exhibition, Four American Designers, along with Herbert Bayer, Leo Lionni, and Ben Shahn. His spiral-bound self-promotional piece, Identity Programs, presents some of his iconic minimalist logos.

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20 Nov 2009

Flashpoints and flash cards

The AIGA Journal for December 1969 featured the association’s annual review of textbooks and teaching aids. The latter ranged from sets of workbooks to a crate-size tool chest with several drawers of Platonic solids. Dangerous Parallel, pictured, was a Korean war simulation.

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03 Nov 2009

Illustrator Jerome Martin

Steven Heller Collection: All the King’s Men cover by Jerome Martin (Time Reading Program), 1963.

Steven Heller recently gave us 82 books from the Time Reading Program; check out his recent article in Design Observer about their wonderfully eclectic covers.

While going through the books myself, I was particularly taken with the three covers done by an illustrator I’d never heard of, Jerome Martin.

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21 Oct 2009

Colorvision!

Milton Glaser Collection, Box 93 Folder 27: Colorvision for Phoenix Clothes and Hanover Hall, 1963.

In what essentially looks like a lost issue of the Push Pin Graphic, Colorvision (“an entirely new concept of color in clothing!”) describes the magic of a Blendescent.

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29 Sep 2009

First Look: James McMullan

James McMullan Collection: Borges book covers for E.P. Dutton, 1960s-1970s.

This summer we received a great donation from illustrator, poster designer and long-time SVA faculty member James McMullan.

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18 Sep 2009

Another pitch from Palladino

Tony Palladino Collection: Box 10, Folder 20

About a decade before Tony devised his ‘guerilla marketing’ self-promotion campaign, the designer took a similarly witty but somewhat more traditional approach. Four versions of this card were printed, each in three colors on heavy stock, and sent to publishers without any additional pitch. Set simply with his address and isolating a single area of specialization, they relied on a single strong image to convey their point.

28 Aug 2009

Atomic-age publication design

Comment was a promotional periodical produced by consortium of printers in the early sixties. Issue 200 included contributions from Saul Bass, Will Burtin, and Henry Wolf.

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07 Aug 2009

Twen at the Visual Arts Gallery

SVA Collection, RG 15 Exhibitions

Milton Glaser designed this poster for an exhibition at the Visual Arts Gallery in late 1965. Twen, a West German magazine for “people in their twenties: from 15 to 30,” was wildly influential in design circles worldwide—with a grid system composed of twelve small modules combined in an internally regular but widely varying page layouts, and liberal full-bleed spreads photographed by Art Kane, Will McBride, Irving Penn, Richard Avedon and others (and illustrations by Heinz Edelmann). It introduced many design students to Willy Fleckhaus, the magazine’s art director and sometime editor, who became famous for his virtuosic combination of close-set typography and tightly-cropped images. The rigid geometry of this poster, though not usually associated with Glaser, was a mode he employed often for SVA exhibition posters (more can be seen here and here). Though the graphic austerity is a contrast to his earlier work, the underlying expression of concepts through tactile visual representation is, I think, unmistakable Glaser.

28 Jul 2009

Toys of the 1940s

The Henry Wolf Collection: Box 1, Folder 41

Henry Wolf art directed and photographed “Toys of a Decade” for the October 1960 Esquire. The text was full of familiar connoisseur’s details about an eclectic range of 1940s bric-a-brac. But it was presented in classic sixties prose style: partial acknowledgment of excess clothed in mock-rapturous anaphora:

Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive! While the world was impoverished, America rejoiced in its material goods, and honest goods they were. Lionel trains had a third rail down the middle, and telephones came in any color, if it was black … Johnny hawked his Philip Morris cigarettes (in plain brown wrappers) on the airwaves. Charles Eames’s plywood chair, built to sustain the bottom, has lasted until today, while brain food like Collier’s and Flash Gordon became period pieces. God, we were content! The only subversive voice was Baby Snooks every Friday night, she would ask, all feigned innocence, “Why, Daddy?” … Then, suddenly, it was 1950. North Korea invaded South Korea; and next spring Baby Snooks was dead.

(Esquire casually omits Ray Eames’ credit on the DCM.)

20 Jul 2009

Inside the Big Apple

Milton Glaser Collection: Box 3, Folder 12

One of the main attractions of the archive as a research tool is as a document of artistic process. (The effect of the overwriting of drafts by computers is a subject I have written about elsewhere.) There were several stages to Milton Glaser’s development of a poster for the Visual Arts Gallery exhibition “Inside the Big Apple” (1968) — the above shows his collage of different versions of the figuration, which arrangement ended up contributing the composition that he used in the final version (other versions and the final poster follow).

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15 Jul 2009

SVA Continuing Education courses in the ’60s

SVA Collection: RG 5.2 Continuing Education, course announcements

During the 1960s, SVA published a series of course announcements advertising the practical aspects of its evening classes. The text was often dry but the graphics were playful and eye-catching. Here, having some fun with type, are Ivan Chermayeff and Tony Palladino. Chermayeff and Bob Gill are after the jump.

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11 Jun 2009

Lincoln Center book cover

Chermayeff & Geismar Collection, Box 44, Folder 3.

Lincoln Center’s groundbreaking ceremony took place in on May 14, 1959, so this book cover designed by Chermayeff & Geismar must have been created some time in the early 1960s. According to the text, Lincoln Center would make New York City “… the international capital of the performing arts, just as the United Nations makes it a capital for world affairs.”

11 May 2009

What good design was

Tube Floor Lamp, 1968. Tony Palladino (American, born 1930) and John Mascheroni (American, born 1932). Polished aluminum, h. 50” (127 cm). Manufactured by John Mascheroni Furniture Co., New York, NY. Gift of the designers.

More Tony Palladino at the Museum of Modern Art: “Tube Floor Lamp,” part of the museum’s permanent collection since 1968, is currently on view in the exhibition What Was Good Design? alongside objects by Charles and Ray Eames, Hans Wegner, Arne Jacobsen and Bruno Munari.

07 May 2009

The object transformed

Tony Palladino Collection, Series 3: Slides

Tony Palladino contributed this sign — a found object — to the 1966 Museum of Modern Art exhibition The Object Transformed. Curated by Mildred Constantine and Arthur Drexler for the museum’s Architecture and Design Department, it featured works by Jasper Johns, Man Ray, Bruno Minari, Meret Oppenheim, Robert Rauschenberg, and others. In the New York Times, John Canaday wrote,

“The Object Transformed” is a collection of utilitarian objects—chairs, books, mattresses, radio sets, cutlery, articles of clothing and the like—that artists or designers have transformed in a variety of ways, sometimes humourously, often monstrously, but always expressively in one direction or another.

In the introduction to the exhibition’s catalogue (designed by Massimo Vignelli), Constantine describes the objects as “apparitions of everyday reality, complete with overtones of grim absurdity,” and suggests “for the 20th century they may be the most appropriate kind of still life.” Admission was $1.25.

31 Mar 2009

The furniture people of Stanley VanDerBeek

Milton Glaser Collection: Box 112, Folder 24, Push Pin Graphic (undated)

Stan VanDerBeek (1927-1984) was best known as an experimental filmmaker but he was also a gifted painter and sculptor. This undated issue of the Push Pin Graphic features photographs of VanDerBeek’s whimsical creations.

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27 Mar 2009

Chasing skirt

Milton Glaser Collection: Box 48, Folder 13

Milton Glaser worked on many book jackets for Philip Roth (both with Penguin and Houghton Mifflin), including the original Zuckerman trilogy; American Pastoral; Goodbye, Columbus; and others. Above is the sketch for his cover to Portnoy’s Complaint (1969). I really like the figuration of hands, and the Goreyesque flowing coat, gently bulbous in high early-Milton style. Though I think it may be a bit literal as jacket covers go, it does directly engage the controlling principle of the book, as listed on the first page (as if an imaginary a psychology encyclopedia entry) —

Portnoy’s Complaint n. [after Alexander Portnoy (1933- )] A disorder in which strongly-felt ethical and altruistic impulses are perpetually warring with extreme sexual longings, often of a perverse nature.

Flying after apparently-unoccupied parachute-like skirts at full sprint is a kind of perversion I guess.

25 Mar 2009

Wonder Magazine, 1962

SVA RG 14.9.1 Media Arts — Wonder magazine, 1962.

Wonder was the product of Henry Wolf’s class, Making a Magazine, at the School of Visual Arts. Conceived, designed, and written over the course of the Fall 1961 and Spring 1962 semesters, this one-off children’s magazine communicated with its audience in an exuberantly playful manner that never condescended. And it’s certainly the coolest-looking kids magazine I’ve ever seen. Wolf’s students included William Ingraham, Walter Bernard, Sullivan Ashby, Robert Giusti, Herbert Migdoll, Shirley Glaser, David November, Antonio Macchia, and Henry Markowitz.

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17 Mar 2009

Opera News

Milton Glaser Collection: Box 77, Folder 9: Opera News, March 22, 1969 — Turandot.

In the category of personal favorites go these beautiful Opera News covers, done by Milton Glaser between 1966 and 1970, while he was at Push Pin.

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13 Feb 2009

Kodak slide box, 1963

From the Henry Wolf donation, not archived

In the 1960s Kodak returned developed Kodachrome in these slide boxes. It’s an elegant packaging system, simple and well-proportioned: pushing on the side that reads PUSH HERE (not, say, the one that reads PUSH FROM OTHER SIDE) reveals an elegantly built-in paper hinge and divider for the two sections.

29 Jan 2009

Madison Avenue in the 1960s

Madison Avenue, October 1969. From the Henry Wolf Collection, Series VI. Box 19, Folder 6.

Pictured: Sandy Kiersky, media director for Trahey/Wolf advertising and her fantastic eyeglasses. Click through for the full frame of this shot and pictures of their futuristic mid-century office at 477 Madison Avenue.

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16 Jan 2009

Inspiration: XTC and Milton Glaser

Milton Glaser Collection: Drawer 11, Folder 26

XTC’s Andy Partridge readily admits to using Milton Glaser’s 1966 poster for radio station WOR as the inspiration for the cover art for XTC’s 1989 album Oranges and Lemons (viewable here). He has also professed his love of the work of Yellow Submarine art director and designer Heinz Edelmann, who is also a new addition to the archives — sneak peek to come!