graphic design

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Speaking in Tongues
Graphic designer Tibor Kalman made a circle of blue the visual centerpiece of Talking Heads’ 1983 release Speaking in Tongues. The circle is seven inches in diameter, just like a 45 record. But while the graphic might evoke the standard format of singles from the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s, it was actually inspired by the...
Speaking in Tongues
Graphic designer Tibor Kalman made a circle of blue the visual centerpiece of Talking Heads’ 1983 release Speaking in Tongues. The circle is seven inches in diameter, just like a 45 record. But while the graphic might evoke the standard format of singles from the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s, it was actually inspired by the...
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Only in America
An altered photograph of a roadside motel is printed on a cardboard sleeve for R.E.M.’s 7-inch single “Only in America,” designed by Bruce and Karen Licher. The image of the motel is grainy, which compliments the speckled cardboard on which it was printed. Although the grain makes it harder to read the motel sign, the...
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A Funky Front Cover
A man in a tuxedo holds a white fedora hat in this Defunkt album cover designed by Tibor Kalman. As in some of his other album designs, Kalman chose to alter the band’s name through reverse lettering. Printed in multicolor, the text is especially striking printed atop the black and white photograph. When reflecting on...
The ad shows blocks of color depicting the earth and a T cutting down through the earth simulating their product. The T is also the first letter of an equation. Under the equation is a line depicting a wave in the earth.
Elaine Lustig Cohen’s World of Inspiration
At first glance, this graphic field of squares looks almost like an abstract painting. Although this advertisement targeted scientists, designer Elaine Lustig Cohen captures the attention of laypeople and experts alike. Created in 1958 for the oilfield services company Schulberger, the ad promotes the company’s Sonic Log, a device for the identification of soil properties....
A circular design with informational text throughout, including conference lecture series
A Stone’s Throw Away
Transcending the boundaries of art and design, Rebeca Méndez’s graphics explore delicate relationships between the organic and the digital.[1] Throughout her career, the Los Angeles-based Mexico native has maintained a fascination with the physical structures, forces and matter of nature. Today, her work is identified with the use of strong symbolism and bespoke typography.[2] Such...
Design Talks | Richard Niessen Meets Euclid
Two short talks and a moderated conversation featuring graphic designers Richard Niessen and Craig Welsh explore themes of ornament, type, and history in contemporary graphic design. Niessen’s poster series—Palace of Typographic Masonry—create intricate arrangements of text and pattern, and is now on view in Beauty—Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial. Welsh collaborated with AIGA Gold Medalist Elaine Lustig Cohen...
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Sensing a new spirit of Japan
When it comes to Japanese graphic design, a certain set of visual elements are conjured in one’s mind. Simplified forms; a minimal color palette, the generous use of negative space; an effective use of black; and unique lettering, are all characteristic elements that draw on the aesthetics of Zen culture, Japanese Buddhism, calligraphy, ukiyo-e woodblock...
Oversized poster for AIGA calling for entries for contest. Poster folds into 16 sections. Computerized photo reproduction of whirlpool (in black and white) and fish (in color) in middle. Imprinted below fish: "Communication Graphics 1993" (in black). Red, yellow and black dots assembled to form human figure at left center with head overlapping image of whirlpool. Square cut out in center of head with digital image of brain. Five other digital images of brain in various perspectives superimposed over figure with accompanying labels. Flow chart at left center: "brain/ reading/ unity/ language/ reasoning/ and/ mathematics" (in black). Imprinted, near top center, in text boxes: "neomammalian/ 200 million years old/ cerebral cortex:/ problem-solving, memorizing, creating/ paleomammalian/ 300 million years old/ limbic:/ emotional feelings guiding behavior/ reptilian/ 500 million years old/ self-preservation, hunting, homing, mating, establishing territory,/ and fighting". Photo reproduction (in black and white) of man and inversed image of same photo above. Two images connected by X's (in green and red lines). Along right edge: "AIGA/ Commun-/ication/ Graphics/ 1993" (in yellow), interspersed with names of various designers (in vertical orientation).
Mind and Body
In celebration of Women’s History Month, Cooper Hewitt is dedicating select Object of the Day entries to the work of women designers in our collection. “I believe that all designers come to a task with a unique way of ordering that is particular to their past experiences, and perhaps even their genetic structure,” says maverick...