graphic design

Electrification for a Better Biscuit


By the 1930s, the vast majority of American urban dwellers had access to electricity in their homes and businesses.  But those in impoverished rural areas were often not serviced by private electric companies, who believed that it was not cost-effective for them to invest in extending power lines into areas of the country that would generate only a handful of new customers.
Lester Beall, poster, graphic design, electricity, advertising, cooking, domestic life, dots, screenprint, patriotism, New Deal

Fashions in Flight


The Object of the Day for October 3, 2013 featured one of the last posters the celebrated poster artist E. McKnight Kauffer produced in England. After experiencing 25 years of commercial success as a graphic designer, the outbreak of World War II meant that commissioned work dried up and, as an American citizen, he was forced to return to his native country.
Edward McKnight Kauffer, graphic design, poster, fashion, Portrait

The Writing is on the Wall


Typography has been used on wallpaper since the early days of children’s wallpaper in the 1870s, but wasn’t used as a decorative graphic element until the early 20th century, reaching its peak of popularity during the 1960s. The early children’s papers were educational in nature and as many were inspired by literature, carried captions beneath the illustration to encourage children to read. Typography was first used as a decorative element in the wallpapers of Jean Lurçat on his Dada papers created in the early 1920s.
Jack Denst, mural, typography, graphic design, alphabet

Psychedlic Promotion


The Haight-Ashbury in San Francisco was “ground zero” for the counterculture revolution of the 1960s. The so-called psychedelic subculture that emerged in the Haight explored new possibilities in art and living that stemmed from a desire to remake American culture. The artistic endeavors of this community, be it poetry, theater, dance or music, were expressed in weekly “concerts” held in two primary venues.
Lee Conklin, psychedlic, poster, graphic design, advertising, concert poster, Haight-Ashbury, San Francisco, offset lithography

A Mystical Advertisment


Tadanori Yokoo’s designs are the result of an effortless combination of eclectic visual motifs from across time and borders. In this poster for Kanox, a Japanese production company involved with television, film radio, stage and commercial advertising, Yokoo juxtaposes classical architecture from an Italian Renaissance villa with a surrealist galaxy filled with brightly colored celestial bodies. Though the poster’s subject doesn’t immediately seem relevant to the business of production, the composition alludes to the innovative and inventive nature of Kanox.
Tadanori Yokoo, poster, graphic design, offset lithography, advertising

The British Are Coming to the Summer of Love


June of 1967 marked the beginning of the Summer of Love in San Francisco.  The city’s psychedelic scene was in full force and created a zeitgeist of music, art and attitude that’s been fabled in the American patchwork.  This aesthetic had its greatest reach through the stylized concert posters commissioned by the legendary promoter Bill Graham for his shows at the Fillmore Auditorium.
Bonnie MacLean, Bill Graham, Fillmore Auditorium, poster, graphic design, psychedelic, concert poster, music

Harlem Focus | The Apollo Theater: Conveying "Soul" through Graphic Design


Graphic designer Araba Simpson of design studio ASENYA has worked with Harlem's historic Apollo Theater to convey its history, culture, and soul through printed and promotional materials. Simpson will discuss her work and the challenge of expressing the theater's rich history through the medium of graphic design. The Harlem Focus series is made possible through the generous support of Target.
graphic design, Harlem Focus, John Reddick, Pentagram, asenya

A rare modernist poster


Niklaus Stoecklin was one of a group of early 20th century Swiss graphic designers including Emile Cardinaux, Otto Morach, and Otto Baumberger who originally trained as painters. While many of these early graphic designers celebrated the Swiss landscape, Stoecklin, with the Germans Ludwig Hohlwein  and Burkhard Mangold, focused on manufactured and industrial good and products.
Niklaus Stoecklin, graphic design

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

Graphic Diplomacy


On the occasion of the United Nations meetings in New York City this week (September 23 - September 27, 2013) a series of prints by the Dutch firm Catalogtree are humorously relevant. For this project, the principals, Joris Maltha and Daniel Gross, tracked down the raw data (who, where, when) concerning parking violations by United Nations diplomats, over the period from 1997-2007, and converted the data into a series of different mapping formats that they entitled “Flocking Diplomats,” or did they mean “Flogging” Diplomats?
Catalogtree, Joris Maltha, Daniel Gross, Werkplaats Typografie, graphic design, United Nations, diplomats, cars, parking

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