Showing items from the Seymour Chwast Collection
07 Feb 2012

Effervescent packaging by Seymour Chwast

A short tour of Seymour Chwast’s designs for beer and soda packaging.

More

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.

10 Jun 2011

Seymour Chwast keeps it cool

Seymour Chwast Collection. Series 1: Original Art. Box 1, Item O4. (Marked “Neisser rand darf beschnitfen werdfin.”) Marker on paper (mounted), 20 × 24 in.

Here in New York we’re struggling through a heatwave. Perhaps a good course of action for those lucky enough to reside in air-conditioned high-rise Soho lofts is to keep it cool by lounging about with bright furniture, like the sporty cat in this illustration by Seymour Chwast (undated, but probably for the Frankfurter Allgemein Zeitung).

07 Jan 2011

Foot fetish

The transfigured shoes of Push Pin Studios.

More

12 Oct 2010

Chairs by Chwast

In the mid-80s Seymour Chwast was approached by Georg Kovacs, Inc. to experiment with furniture in the Pushpin style.

More

04 Jun 2010

Subscribe to Push Pin Graphic

Detail from an advertisement in Print, May/June 1979.

The thing that fascinates me most about Push Pin Graphic is how unpredictable they manage to be all the time. Even apart from the contents of each issue, every promotion contains — no matter how generic the thing as a whole may be — some off-kilter element that has a defamiliarizing effect on the whole endeavor. The Cherie Currie-esque figure here has no other reference anywhere on the page, she’s just hanging out in the margin of the tearaway.

22 Dec 2009

Candies by Seymour Chwast

In the early 1970s, Push Pin Studios produced a line of candies under the name “Pushpinoff Sweets.”

More

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.

More

14 Aug 2009

The Pancake King

Seymour Chwast Collection: P 192

In 1971, Phyllis La Farge and Seymour Chwast collaborated on the children’s book The Pancake King, which described the rapid ascent of a young master of the griddle pan. It spoke of the joy of breakfast, the perils of fame, the importance of family and of maple syrup. More spreads from The Pancake King are viewable on Flickr (thanks to Norman Hathaway), and show Chwast’s dexterous use of scale and bleed between spreads, and tidily-set Bodoni. The book was included in AIGA’s Fifty Books of the Year.

10 Jul 2009

Seymour Chwast for McDonald’s

Seymour Chwast Collection: Box 4, Item 28 (burger not included)

In 1979, McDonald’s hired Seymour Chwast to contribute one version of the packaging for the introduction of their new product, the Happy Meal. The promotion cost one dollar, and comprised a hamburger or cheeseburger, twelve-ounce soft drink, a small order of french fries, and a McDonaldland Cookie Sampler (not pictured). Along with their comestibles, the first customers could look forward to discovering either a McDoodler stencil, puzzle book, a McWrist wallet, an ID bracelet or McDonaldland character erasers.

26 Jun 2009

The Push Pin corporate identity

Milton Glaser Collection: Drawer 20, Folders 10. Seymour Chwast, logo label for Push Pin; on the reverse of item P16 in his recent donation to the Archives

Seymour: The Obsessive Images of Seymour Chwast, with an introduction by Steve Heller and an essay by Paula Scher, came out last April. A lively conversation around the book and the work it included built up in a comments thread at Design Observer last week, which brought in Scher and Heller, along with Michael Bierut, Armin Vit, Lorraine Wild, and others. Some unhappy commenters questioned the significance of his work, and this lead to a pretty interesting consideration of the concept of “dated” art (my favorite writing on this subject is I. A. Richards’ essay “Permanence as a Criterion,” which finds both “dated” and “timeless” problematic from the start).

This label, stuck authoritatively on the back of a mounted board as a bit of corporate identity — complete with the overrule, grotesk “Group Incorporated,” and high-contrast logotype — exploits its context to achieve a kind of reflexive wit, a kind of acknowledgment of what is being put over, that gives it a unifying effect (it is at once more than, and no more than, a “bit of corporate identity”). This is achieved with an unusually unaffected air — a combination that I think has always characterized Chwast’s work.

14 Apr 2009

First Look: Seymour Chwast Collection

Seymour Chwast Collection: Posters.

We recently received a wonderful donation from illustrator and designer Seymour Chwast. He was a founding partner of Push Pin Studios in 1954, along with Milton Glaser, Edward Sorel and Reynold Ruffins. The studio’s name was changed to the Pushpin Group in 1985 and Chwast remains as its director. Here’s a sampling of the 80 posters we received; future posts will highlight original artwork and other printed materials that offer a comprehensive view of Chwast’s influential career.

More