poster

Beech woods in Buckinghamshire


The American born McKnight Kauffer was the most celebrated poster artist working in Britain in the inter-war years. Although renowned for his stylized modernist posters he was also capable of showing a light touch when portraying rural scenes in his printed work. This poster, one of a pair of woodland landscapes, was produced for his major client, London Transport—the company logo, the ‘roundel’, can just be made out at the lower right of the image. These two posters were displayed in close proximity to one another outside entrances to Underground stations.
E. McKnight Kauffer, London Transport, graphic design, poster, landscape, World War II

A Heart in the Right Place


It is difficult to imagine that something as ubiquitous as the I Love New York logo was designed completely for free. But that is exactly what graphic designer Milton Glaser did in 1976 when he created his first simple sketch with red crayon on the back of an envelope for the New York Chamber of Commerce. The final logo, set in a rounded slab serif font aptly named American Typewriter, would ultimately become one of the most internationally recognizable icons.
Milton Glaser, poster, graphic design, New York, National Design Award, American Typewriter, logo

Petticoats in the Navy


When 20-year old Bernice Smith Tongate walked into a California Navy recruiting office in 1917, and proclaimed “Gee, I wish I were a man, I’d join the Navy!,” I’m sure she was blissfully unaware of the impact she was about to have on the American Navy and women’s equality.
Howard Chandler Christy, United States Navy, graphic design, poster, Bernice Smith Tongate, national pride

A Richly Fabled Romance


The marriage between art and music has always been a richly fabled romance.  In the modern era, graphic designers have had a particular knack for fusing these two mediums by imbibing their personal passion for music into their work.  Consider for instance Reid Miles typographic album covers for the jazz label Blue Note in the 1950s or Wes Wilson’s psychedelic concert posters for Bill Graham presents in the 1960s. Each designer’s individual taste helped signify the way we see music.
Niklaus Troxler, graphic design, jazz, music, poster, Wes Wilson, Reid Miles, Ellery Eskelin Trio, circles, dots

Ribbons in the Sky


With its dancing roll of printing ribbon, diving between a checkerboard game of multi-colored squares and symbols, this ad for Olivetti’s Divisumma adding machine makes simple mathematics look like anything but just another day at the office.
Hebert Bayer, Olivetti, advertising, poster, offset lithography, graphic design

An emblem of Dutch diversity


With its overlapping pattern of abstracted florals and its animated orange circular motif, this exhibition poster designed by artist Johan Thorn Prikker (b.1868-1932) is a true icon of the Nieuwe Kunst (Art Nouveau) style in Holland.  Created for an exhibition of Dutch art at the Kaiser-Wilhelm museum in Krefeld, Germany, Thorn Prikker employed several signifiers of Dutch nationalism to advertise the event, most notably the orange (for the House of Orange-Nassau), the tulip, and Indonesian batik.
Johan Thorn Prikker, textile design, graphic design, poster, batik, Dutch stained glass, Art Nouveau

Less Ziggy, More Stardust


There are many ways to celebrate an anniversary.  To commemorate a decade of working together as the design duo Non-Format, Kjell Ekhorn and Jon Forss did not opt for the traditional gifting of tin, pewter, or aluminum.  Instead, they pooled their creative energies towards a personal project that drew upon their shared love of David Bowie. 
Non-Format, poster, graphic design, David Bowie, Brian Eno, axis thinking, music

A Nice Day for a Picnic


In 1970, Steven Frykholm was working as the in-house graphic designer for the furniture manufacturer Herman Miller, Inc., when a company vice-president stopped by his desk.  Every summer, the VP said, Herman Miller hosted a company picnic.  Perhaps Frykholm would make up a poster for the event?
Stephen Frykholm, Herman Miller Inc., poster, screenprint, graphic design, picnic, food, summer

Basic Chemistry


Years ago, I was out sick the week that my fellow high school students studied the periodic table.  I’ve always blamed missing that foundational moment of scientific education for my very poor mastery of some basic chemistry.  But there are certain concepts that I have had the opportunity to learn through personal experience.  Every day when I try to make salad dressing, I am confronted with one of them—oil and water just won’t mix.
Anthony Burrill, oil spill, screenprint, poster, graphic design, Graphic Design: Now in Production

Seduced by an Object Poster


The turn of the twentieth century was an exciting time to be a graphic designer in Berlin.  The city, which had once been the sleepy capital of the Kingdom of Prussia, had rapidly transformed into a booming metropolis, bustling with the energy of industrial progress.  At a moment when everything seemed to be changing, the printed poster offered an exhilarating opportunity to explore the alliance of art and industry, particularly to one precocious young man.
Lucian Bernhard, poster, typewriters, graphic design, Berlin, Germany, Sachplakat, Art Nouveau, Jugenstil

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