13 Jan

George Tscherny for Herman Miller

George Tscherny Collection: Advertisement for Herman Miller, promoting fabrics designed by Alexander Girard, 1954.

In 1953, after a two-year stint designing packaging for Donald Deskey, George Tscherny was hired by George Nelson to work on advertisements for Herman Miller. In comparison to his first job, where Tscherny says he basically did the same package year in year out, Nelson was too preoccupied with industrial design to micromanage the magazine ads, and so Tscherny had the opportunity to expand his range, exploring aggressively sparse layouts and modernist disruptions of the graphic plane. (Nelson’s nonchalance might also have something to do with the fact that his office happened to be full of great graphic designers: also producing ads for the company were Irving Harper, Don Ervin, and later Tomoko Miho.)

George Tscherny Collection: Advertisement for Herman Miller, 1955.

George Tscherny Collection: Half-page advertisement for Herman Miller, n.d.

Working for Herman Miller put Tscherny in the position of promoting the leading design advocates of his time — along with Nelson’s Rosewood Collection (featured below), Herman Miller was also promoting furniture by Eames and fabric by Alexander Girard — which probably helped nudge him in the direction of the bold geometric precision that would characterize his work throughout his career.

George Tscherny Collection: Steel Frame hangtag 1955.

George Tscherny Collection: George Nelson for Herman Miller furniture advertisement 1954

Below, an ad by Tscherny stressing the celebrity of the designers (by way of their jetsetting).

George Tscherny Collection:. Advertisement for Herman Miller, 1954.

The next year Tscherny would begin his own company and soon thereafter begin a long and fruitful teaching career with the School of Visual Arts.

George Tscherny in 1955. Photo by George Wiesner.