graphic design

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Weltformat festival poster. Sections resembling torn paper overlap with one another. Each section is printed in one of the following patterns: black with grey dots, blue rectangular stripes, and pink with maroon circle. In the bottom left corner, on a pink section, scrawled text reads: "Welt / format / plakat / festival / 12.-20.10.13 / Luzern!"
All Torn Up
When Swiss graphic designer Felix Pfäffli was asked to design a poster for the 2013 Weltformat Poster Festival held in Lucerne, he grappled with the “strange duplication” of creating a poster to promote a poster exhibition. He turned to the many posters hung on steel poster walls in the streets for his inspiration.  As posters...
A shirtless man sets fire to the monumental figures of the Church, the Tsar, and the Bourgeoisie. These figures in red, with features grotesquely abstracted, appear to be carved from stone. The man is naturalistically rendered by comparison. The title is printed in red Cyrillic on a yellow ground.
Toppling Monumental Foes
The huge figures dominating the composition of this Soviet poster stand as grotesque monuments to Russia’s imperial past. Labeled pedestals identify them as priest, tsar, and bourgeoisie—all cruel oppressors in the eyes of the new regime. Their rough-hewn faces crudely caricature the elegant, ostentatious sculptures of past tsars, and they tower over two naturalistically rendered...
Distressed ground resembles a black wall with flaking white paint. The paint flakes are designed like a map, depicting Ginza, Japan. The white dot represents the location of Ginza Graphic Gallery. Title of exhibition appears in black Helvetica text of varying sizes, stacked vertically.
Lovingly Crumpled
After a decade in mainstream advertising, Singaporean designer Theseus Chan founded the independent consulting firm WORK in 1997. Three years later, he created a sibling publication, Werk magazine. Frustrated by the aesthetic tedium and reserve he perceived at larger ad agencies, Chan used these new ventures to foster innovative design. With WORK, he has devised...
On a white ground of typographic diagrams, four images of a female dancer on Pointe in a black leotard. Across the poster is yellow text that reads: FELD BALLET TECH. In lower margin: APRIL 6 – MAY 9 JOYCECHARGE: 212-242-0800 JOYCE The Joyce Theater / BBAALLLLEETTTTEECCHH.
A Typographic Performance
Inspired by Paula Scher’s work for The Public Theater, the choreographer and dancer Eliot Feld first approached her about designing an identity for his dance company in 1997, when he decided to rename the company Ballet Tech.  Scher designed an identity using a typographic family of slab serifs, overlaying the typography on top of photographs...
Six blocks of text outlining Stalin's 1931 "Six Conditions" speech overlap a black and white photo of Stalin. Additional quotes from the speech, printed in red and black Cyrillic appear to the right of Stalin's head at an angle against a cream-colored section. Above this, the speech's title appears in red, against a grey background.
Designing for a Dictator
Bold text surrounds a black-and-white photograph of Joseph Stalin in this Soviet poster from 1931. The poster was designed to reinforce the tenets of a speech by the leader, delivered to a meeting of industrial managers in June of the same year. The speech outlined six conditions for new industrial development, all of which are...
Poster depicting a town view with buildings and scaffolding in the background under large clouds. Large arms coming from above hold a book open to an audience of men (workers) holding signs. All look to a man, standing on a tall platform, pointing to the book.
From Lenin’s Lips to God’s Hands
You don’t need to read Russian to understand this Soviet poster. Two larger-than-life hands lower a huge book from the sky, holding it open for all to read. Crowds flock to the book, extending as far as the eye can see. In unmistakable visual language, designer Sergei Ivanov conveys the importance of literacy—a crucial issue...
Poster depicts an oculus of digital blocks of color, growing more concentrated as the blocks get smaller and closer to the center. Above: el atomo para la paz; below: GENERAL DYNAMICS; center right: solar dynamics.
Looking Ahead in the Atomic Age
The year is 1955, and Cold War tensions have begun to escalate. General Dynamics is a newly formed parent company overseeing eleven manufacturers, producing cutting edge technology for the defense of the United States. The company is capitalizing on the American policy of nuclear deterrence, but John Jay Hopkins, General Dynamics’ president, wants a graphic...
2012 National Design Awards Gala
Remembering Massimo Vignelli (1931-2014)
From the moment Massimo Vignelli started his career in Italy in the mid-1950s, he forged a rigorous philosophy that transformed the international language of design for print, products, and environments. Over the decades, debates about design’s cultural function bubbled and boiled around him. Confronting the upheavals of Pop, post-modernism, deconstruction, and the digital age, Massimo...
Sign of the Times: Music and Design, 1960s-1980s
Join us for a look at how popular music and design influenced the material culture and lifestyle of the 1960s–1980s. Pat Kirkham (Bard Graduate Center), Paula Scher (Pentagram), Ben Watson (Herman Miller), and Stephen Duncombe (NYU) explore highlights of Cooper-Hewitt’s collection, from graphic design to furniture and product design.