All entries tagged ‘chermayeff & geismar’
03 Mar

That New York

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


20 Feb 2013

Cameo gallery

Seymour Chwast Collection: Series 5, Item E33. Photograph by Carl Fischer.

In 1995, the Cooper Union celebrated the 40th anniversary of Pushpin Studios with an exhibition and special sale of drawings and paintings by the three founders, pictured above: Seymour Chwast, Edward Sorel, and Milton Glaser; along with works by John Alcorn, Sam Antupit, Michael Aron, Vincent Ceci, Paul Davis, George Leavitt, Tim Lewis, Jim McMullan, Reynold Ruffins, Jerold Smokler, Richard Mantel, “and others.” This reminded me of another similar device that captured a group that is also heavily represented by the Archive.


25 Jan 2013

More of that PBS guy

So last time we looked at a slide I’d happened upon by chance in the Push Pin slide library, for the font used in the PBS logo by Lubalin Studio. In the end of the post, I briefly mentioned that Chermayeff & Geismar updated the logo in 1984, taking the “P-head” from Lubalin’s logo…


12 Dec 2012

The first Nöel

Getting into the holiday spirit, we bring you Brownjohn, Chermayeff & Geismar’s charming wink at process.


24 Oct 2012

Against the grain

These exhibition catalogs and announcements for the Museum of Contemporary Crafts were created just a year after the museum’s founding in 1956.


17 Feb 2012

The Chermayeff Century

The American Bicentennial logo, designed by Chermayeff & Geismar. Pictured on the Viking 2 Mars Lander, late-1970s. Reproduced in 032c, Winter 2011.

So we got our hands on that issue of German fashion-art magazine 032c, featuring articles on and interviews with the Chermayeffs (previously mentioned). I gotta say their characterization of the family as something like the Royal Tenenbaums seems increasingly apt. The biographical profile, written by Carson Chan, has a foreword with some highlights:

For the newest wave of cultural observers, the name CHERMAYEFF may not mean much. But to flip through the hidebound epic of their collective lives, is to realize the depths of their influence in the world of architecture and design. Their tale has been spinning out for more than a century. It’s the ascension of Serge, a young Russian tango dancer in Jazz Age London, who ended up a pioneering cynosure of American architecture education (Sir Norman Foster: “At Yale, Serge Chermayeff had an incredible impact on me.”) It’s about his sons, Ivan and Peter, whose combined output has quite concretely shaped public space for countless millions. Ivan, the original Don Draper, gave NBC its rainbow peacock emblem … Peter the world’s most cherished aquariums. The story continues with Sam, Ivan’s son, a rallying leader and Kazuyo Seijima/SANAA’s right-hand man …

It’s accompanied by three interviews conducted by an all-star cast: photogapher Thomas Demand, 2×4 founder Michael Rock, and the tireless Hans Ulrich Obrist. Between them you have: the Chermayeff kids frolicking with the Breuer kids in Cape Cod, grandparents appearing in books by Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Bertrand Russell crashing on the couch, hanging with Amelia Earhart, Philip Johnson and Alfred Barr showing up to a morning court session in full evening wear, a pet bird landing on Buckminster Fuller’s head, and of course the steely patriarch Serge winning the World Tango Championship.

And when you have Sam Chermayeff, age 9, delivering the opening remarks to the Aspen Design Conference I think you’re firmly in Wes Anderson territory. More at 032c’s site.

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.


01 Jun 2011

Six ways of looking at a piano

Ivan Chermayeff uses collage and collections to create texture and dimensionality, continually exploring modernist ideas about bringing process to the forefront.


10 May 2011

The many trademarks of Chermayeff and Geismar

Chermayeff and Geismar published a spiral-bound portfolio of their trademarks in 1979, a precursor to the 2000 volume TM, published by Princeton Architectural Press.


14 Apr 2011

The newest culinary celebrity

Chermayeff & Geismar for the State of Maine Cheese Company.


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.


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.


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.


16 Feb 2011

Ciba graphics

Chermayeff & Geismar Collection Box 11 Folder 21: Detail from graphic from Sidelights for Ciba, February-March 1959.

Chermayeff & Geismar interpreted scientific data for Ciba Pharmaceuticals.


18 Jan 2011

The Electric Circus

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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


02 Feb 2010

The Dual Ladder

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

Which ladder will you climb at Xerox?


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.


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.


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.

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.


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.


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.


22 Jun 2009

Script pattern by Ivan Chermayeff

Ivan Chermayeff designed this poster for AIGA’s “Color” exhibition in 1974, which collected work by artists, photographers and designers. Tightly flowing script creates a pattern made out of textual gibberish, where exaggerated descenders are punctuated at intervals with large blobs of ink. Click through for the whole image, with Chermayeff’s colorful signature.


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.”

12 Mar 2009

Burgers for breakfast

Chermayeff & Geismar Collection: Box 2A, Folder 26 and Box 25, Folder 5

An envelope showing the logo for slider chain Krystal, ca 1980s, designed by Chermayeff & Geismar. Doggie bag follows.


10 Mar 2009

Like a record

Chermayeff & Geismar Collection, Box 44, Folder 5 — Norlin Annual Report 1974.

From the Chermayeff & Geismar Collection comes this Norlin Annual Report shaped like an album cover. Inside, along with the actual report, is the record Norlin Salutes The Music in America, which includes works by Morton Gould, Samuel Barber, Aaron Copland, Leonard Bernstein, and William Schumann.

23 Feb 2009

If we’re so good, why aren’t we better?

Chermayeff & Geismar Collection: Box 44 Folder 6.

Spin to see if new markets overseas raise your income or if underproductivity kills your business.


10 Feb 2009

How do you Prang?

Chermayeff & Geismar Collection: Box 13, Folder 13 — Crafton Graphic Company, Inc. Prang 1969.

If you’ve ever found yourself wondering what a Prang is, your worries are over.


16 Jan 2009

Ivan Chermayeff’s glove collection

From Eye 54, a small feature on Ivan Chermayeff’s collection of abandoned gloves. They also link to another post featuring some whimsical collages by the designer.