Kristina Parsons

The Theater. Very Parco.

Eiko Ishioka was a prolific and revolutionary designer. She contributed enormously to the fields of art direction, graphic design, production, as well as costume design for film, theater and opera. Based in part on her innovative work for the Japanese cosmetic manufacturing company, Shiseido, Ishioka was hired as the chief art director for a new breed of Japanese department store called Parco. The establishment was centered on the philosophy that the Japanese youth needed a platform to establish their identity in connection with the rest of the world, particularly the West.
poster, graphic design, Japan, lithograph, Eiko Ishioka, Parco, shopping, theater, advertising

Back to 1983!

Tune up your flux-capacitor and take a trip back to 1984. Macintosh computers are making their first appearance and causing waves across industries, especially the design market. Devoted to traditional methods, most designers are skeptical of integrating computers into design practices. They fear that the creative ability of the hand will be usurped by a plastic box full of wires and bytes… What is to become of design when these emerging technologies threaten the very survival of human imagination?
April Greiman, poster, graphic design, offset lithograph, Los Angeles, Wolfgang Weingart, typography, technology

All The World's A Fair

When F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote The Great Gatsby in 1925, the Valley of Ashes he described as “fantastic farm where ashes grow like wheat into ridges and hills and grotesque gardens,” was a very real place. This wasteland between Brooklyn and Queens was known as the Corona Dump, where the Brooklyn Ash Removal Company disposed of the vast quantities of coal burned in New York furnaces. It may be hard to imagine, but the bright and beautiful scene gracing the cover of this issue of the New Yorker from 1939 is the very same place!  
Ilonka Karasz, New Yorker, magazine, illustration, New York, world's fair, party, Robert Moses, F. Scott Fitzgerald, George Washington

Mercury's Swift Flight

Hildreth Meière (1892-1961) was a distinguished Art Deco muralist, painter, mosaicist, and decorative artist often applauded for her defiance of normative standards against the professional success of females.  In 1936 she wrote, “It drives me wild to be spoken of as ‘one of the best women artists’. I’ve worked as an equal with men, and my rating as an equal is all that I value.” Indeed, Meière’s artistic achievements gained great attention throughout the art world during her lifetime and continue to be revered today.
Hildreth Meière, design drawing, mural, Mercury, Art Deco

A Game of Natural Treasures

With the establishment of Yellowstone National Park on March 1, 1872, Americans began embracing the idea of preserving and protecting the best of the United States’ natural treasures for the benefit and enjoyment of generations to come. In the years following the end of the Civil War, an increasing number of travelers navigated the country exploring and enjoying the landscape. They shared their discoveries and encounters through a variety of printed media, and soon these sites were recognized as iconic American landmarks.
Yellowstone National Park, America, playing cards, game, lesiure, Grand Canyon, Niagra Falls, Yosemite, Civil War, Thomas Moran

Waste Basket Boutique

In March of 1966, Scott Paper Company created the first paper dress as a promotional ad gimmick to help sell their product. To receive their newest paper fashion, customers simply mailed in a coupon from a Scott product along with a small fee (around $1.25) and in return they would receive for their paper dress. This advertising gimmick quickly and unexpectedly caught on with consumers.
paper fashions, Mars Manufacturing Company, Mod, Pop

Show Some Skin

Though in western cultures, suntans are appreciated for their indication of good health and a leisurely lifestyle, the Japanese standard remained quite different even up to the mid-1960s. Since ancient times, Asian cultures have idealized lighter complexions because they indicated a person’s privileged status. Those people living richly enough to remain indoors maintained a whiter complexion by avoiding work outside in the sun.

Pushing Beyond the Frame

This poster, entitled Big Nudes, was originally displayed in 1967 at the School of Visual Arts Gallery in Gramercy to announce an exhibition of large nude paintings. This poster is the work of American graphic designer and illustrator Milton Glaser. Glaser has designed more than 400 posters, record-covers, illustrations, magazine covers and advertisements throughout his prolific and diverse career.
Milton Glaser, graphic design, poster, advertising, Exhibition, nude, offset lithography

A carriage fit for an Earl

Roger Palmer, the first Earl of Castlemaine, was an English writer, diplomat and courtier who sat in the House of Commons. Palmer was a devout Roman Catholic and a staunch supporter of the Stuart Monarchy. Palmer’s loyalty was so committed that he even  acquiesced to the appointment of his wife, Barbara Villiers as Charles II’s favored mistress. It is in honor of his wife’s services in the King’s bedchamber that Palmer received his title as Earl of Castlemaine, and not for his service in the King’s court.
Roger Palmer, Earl of Castlemaine, england, diplomacy, travel, transportation, treason, carriage, ostentation, print, engraving, baroque

Natural Beauty

At the time of Alphonse Mucha’s birth in present day Czech Republic, the struggle for independence from the Hapsburg Empire was reaching a boiling point. The people in this region had a strong nationalist consciousness and were fighting for greater political and cultural freedom. The heavily political atmosphere in which Mucha grew up continued to influence his work throughout his career.
Alphonse Maria Mucha, textile design, drawing, flowers, Art Nouveau, C.G. Forrer