Showing items from the Chermayeff & Geismar Collection
25 Oct 2010

What am I doing here?

What Am I Doing Here? by Abner Dean, New York: Simon and Schuster, 1947.

I was initially drawn to this book because it reminded me of the Chas Addams and Ed Arno collections from my dad’s bookshelf. There are stylistic similarities to the classic New Yorker cartoons, but Abner Dean’s work dispenses with their gloss to espouse a much bleaker reality.

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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.

21 Jul 2010

Music box

Chermayeff & Geismar Collection: Box 19, Folder 4, Gramavision CD packaging, 1989.

Chermayeff & Geismar’s packaging for these Gramavision CDs brings me back to the CD bins in the (long gone) Tower Records on Broadway and E. 4th Street.

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02 Jul 2010

C&G for Masterpiece Theatre

Chermayeff & Geismar Collection: Drawer 7, Folder 2. Mobil Masterpiece Theatre.

Masterpiece Theatre was the principal portal into British television for American audiences in the seventies; Mobil, the sponsor, drafted their longtime designers Chermayeff & Geismar to make posters for various features.

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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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21 May 2010

The new graphic art, 1959

Another recent addition from Ivan Chermayeff: the beautiful slipcased hardcover for The new graphic art, a trilingual history of the basis for the Swiss design style, compiled by Karl Gerstner and Markus Kutter in 1959.

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14 May 2010

107 graphic designers

The most recent addition to the Chermayeff & Geismar Collection is twelve boxes of old and rare art books, ranging from annuals to architecture; Switzerland to Japan. As always, there were plenty of surprises: one was the catalog for an AGI exhibition from 1976, which featured, alongside reproductions of their work, dramatic photos of the designers.

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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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16 Nov 2009

C&G for Howard Wise Gallery

Chermayeff & Geismar Collection Box 48 Folder 14: Milton Resnick exhibition at Howard Wise Gallery.

Chermayeff & Geismar designed a series of exhibition posters for the Howard Wise Gallery in the 1960s, highlighting the artists’ works. Wise exhibited abstract expressionists including Milton Resnick and Edward Dugmore, and later specialized in kinetic art and light sculputure.

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10 Nov 2009

The Mead Library of Ideas

In the 1970s, the Mead Library of Ideas held exhibitions showcasing the best contemporary graphic design; they commissioned announcement posters from designers including Tony Palladino, Chermayeff & Geismar, and Seymour Chwast.

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02 Oct 2009

Chermayeff and Geismar’s letterhead on Silver Lining

Box 1A, Folder 34: Brownjohn, Robert, Chermayeff & Geismar. Letterhead, business cards, envelopes. ca. late-1950s

One of our favorite design ephemera blogs, Silver Lining, recently asked us to participate in their Top 5 feature, where they invite fellow bloggers pick out five things for them to showcase as a series. Beth and I dug through boxes MG1 1A-4B and chose our favorite stationery and envelopes by letterhead wizards Chermayeff & Geismar. See all of them over on the Silver Lining Blog.

24 Sep 2009

Chermayeff & Geismar for Pan Am

Chermayeff & Geismar Collection: Drawer 9, Folder 15.

In 1971, Chermayeff & Geismar designed these posters for Pan Am, which are now featured in the latest issue of Eye magazine as part of the article Flight of the Imagination. In it, SVA Design Criticism student Frederico Duarte investigates this fruitful period in the company’s history:

Under the supervision of Patrick Friesner, Pan Am’s head of sales and promotion, Chermayeff & Geismar was one of a handful of studios taken on to produce, at a frenzied pace, promotional materials that carried the new identity; others included George Tscherny, Rudolph de Harak and, in London, Alan Fletcher.

We have written on Tscherny’s artwork and modular displays for Pan Am. And now we’ve also uploaded more of C&G’s posters in the series (in our Flickr).

16 Sep 2009

Chermayeff and Geismar’s System 1

Chermayeff & Geismar Collection: Box 16 Folder 13. Dictaphone System 1, 1970.

Is it a top secret missile defense system? A world-wide clandestine computer network designed to topple rogue governments? The futuristic and vaguely ominous-sounding System 1 was actually an office furniture system from Dictaphone’s furniture division Marble/Imperial.

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20 Aug 2009

High-caliber promotions

Halftone pattern from photography promoting Knoll’s Calibre filing system

Ivan Chermayeff and Tom Geismar designed this elaborate promo system for a Knoll modular filing system. Some details from the project follow.

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