graphic design

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Do I look simple?
The Japanese graphic designer Ikko Tanaka is recognized as a pioneer of modern Japanese graphic design.  He merged western modernist aesthetics and Japanese tradition to generate a new visual expression for contemporary audiences. Tanaka’s frequent use of geometric forms and a limited color palette is clear evidence of his strong respect for the Bauhaus, the...
Graphic Design Meet-up with Philippe Apeloig
Streamed live on September 26, 2015. Graphic designer Philippe Apeloig speaks about his work and methodologies in today’s rapidly changing world of graphic design. A fascinating conversation about design, typography, branding, digital media, and global practice.
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Designers Take Aim
Aim—pull—release! This archer draws back his bowstring and prepares to shoot. Peering into the distance, he points his arrow off the poster’s printed page. But designer Richard Roland Holst leaves no doubt about his target: a bullseye hovers just above his head, bearing the Dutch words for “Livelihood.” In this poster promoting the Labor Board...
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A Belief in a Radical Spirit
The Citibank logo is a familiar sight to every New Yorker. On the average ten minute walk through midtown Manhattan you might encounter the iconic red umbrella logotype half a dozen times, the friendly san serif letters decorating bank buildings, ATMs, and rentable bikes. The current Citi logo was designed in 1998 by Paula Scher,...
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Letters to see and feel, but not to read
This is a poster for a stage play called Abe Sada (阿部定) performed by a Japanese experimental theatre company called Black Tent Theatre in 1973. The story of the play is based on a true murder case that rocked Japan in 1936, a notorious crime that is the central focus of the poster. At first...
Poster, PLUCKEM, 1980
Pluck ‘Em!
Fearing the Nazis were secretly producing atomic weapons, President Roosevelt collaborated with Canada and Britain to launch the Manhattan Project in 1942, an experimental nuclear weapon initiative.[1] The Manhattan Project was, by morbid standards, “successful”; the only two nuclear attacks in the history of the world were executed by the United States in August of...
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Forty Posters in Forty Days
Whether an advertisement or call to action, posters have long been used to grab a viewer’s attention. Spanning over a century of graphic design from the collection, How Posters Work, an exhibition here at the Cooper Hewitt (May 8 – November 29, 2015), celebrates the form by considering how designers turn a creative idea into...
Kauffer Spring
Anatomy of the Design Process
Many graphic designers have explored the graphic possibilities of lithography by combining it with photography. Among those was E. McKnight Kauffer, an American designer who moved to London just before the First World War and stayed until the advent of the second. Kauffer often combined illustration with halftone reproductions of photographic elements, and he remained committed...
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Women’s Action is Women’s Power
Founded in 1992, the Women’s Action Coalition (WAC) staged public demonstrations or “actions” to raise the visibility of women in art, culture, and society. The organization was founded in response to the Clarence Thomas/Anita Hill congressional hearings, which riveted national attention on sexual harassment. Many women in New York’s creative community took part in WAC,...