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In the shadows of the Brooklyn bridge, homeless girl spray painting a yellow house onto her home, which is a box. On this box bubble letters, in black: THIS SIDE UP.
Crisis on the Lower East Side
During the 1980s, there was a severe housing crisis in New York City. The building of residential properties had declined during the economic depression of the preceding decade and the limited supply of affordable housing caused a sharp increase in homelessness. In neighbourhoods like the Lower East Side, absentee landlords permitted old buildings to fall...
Full-page color illustration of giant tomato sitting in green armchair in room with floral rug in foreground, decorative wallcovering and window in background. Beneath image is text listing various musical groups.
Let’s Talk About the Tomato in the Room
When graphic designer Milton Glaser began designing for Kevin Eggers’ record company in the 1960s, it was called Poppy Records.  By 1978, the company had changed names several times, morphing into Utopia, then Atlantic Deluxe, and finally, Tomato Music Company.  (It later became known as Tomato Records).  The independent label featured an eclectic group of artists,...
1987-24-25
A Painterly Warning
It seems only fitting that Anton Otto Fischer, an artist best known for seascapes, began his career working on merchant vessels and steam ships. After immigrating to New York, Fischer assisted the American illustrator A.B. Frost. This experience led Fischer to pursue an education in Paris, where he developed his personal design aesthetic. Fischer’s 1942...
Poster for Warsaw production of the 1914-22 opera by Alban Berg.
A Bloody, Primal Scream
This gut wrenching poster, designed by the Polish graphic designer Jan Lenica, was produced to advertise the Polish National Opera’s 1964 production of Alban Berg’s avant-garde opera Wozzeck in Warsaw.  An icon of Polish graphic design, the poster was awarded a Gold Medal at the 1966 Warsaw International Poster Biennale, and is Lenica’s best known...
A group of three children in the center of a grassy lawn with a large shadow of a swastika looming over them. One of the boy stands while holding a toy plane while another in a paper hat holds up an American flag. A girl sits in front of them, holding a doll. In the lower margin is the text, "Don't Let That Shadow Touch Them / Buy WAR BONDS."
Throwing Some Serious Shade
In the midst of World War II, the war effort was reliant upon the purchase of war bonds by the American population. In 1942, the military could not hold off the encroaching armies without the support of Americans. Graphic designer Lawrence Beall Smith dramatically presented the necessity of war bonds to the public by showing...
Text in the upper margin reads, "Someone" and in the lower margin, "Talked!" all in block capitals. In the center, a soldier is shown drowning in water, pointing his finger out at the viewer.
Loose Lips Sink Ships
During World War II, poster competitions were held to solicit designs, under particular themes, to assist in the war effort. This poster, designed by Frederick Siebel, was submitted to alert Americans to the urgency of national security. For this contest each poster was subject to the scrutiny of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, who acted as...
Horizontal red and black poster in which two military leaders pull a cart of symbolic figures across a field. Behind the cart, three figures are sprawled on the ground. Red and white Cyrillic text is printed in the top right.
A Graphic Field of Bayonets
In this Soviet poster designed by Dmitri Moor, cartoonish figures trek across a dark landscape transformed by war. Along the lower border, Moor substitutes bloody bayonets for blades of grass, implying that Soviet land is hostile to these travelers, all of whom are enemies of the Bolshevik cause. The poster satirizes Soviet adversaries in both...
Poster featuring the text "VIVO IN TYPO" composed of red, black and white computer-generated punctuation marks. Additional text with details of exhibition printed in white at the right hand side.
Making a Poster is a Process
When graphic designer Philippe Apeloig featured his own poster designs at the Espace Topographie de l’art in Paris, he chose the title Vivo in Typo for the exhibition, and decided to make the title the graphic focus of his promotional poster.  Apeloig concieved of an image comprised entirely of typography.  He began by sketching punctuation marks...
Philippe Apeloig on the VIVO IN TYPO poster
Graphic designer Philippe Apeloig describes the process and thinking behind the VIVO IN TYPO poster. The gigantic poster is part of the Cooper Hewitt permanent collection. You can see it on 12/12 when the museum re-opens, as part of our “Making Design” exhibition. Thanks to Erik Hougen at the Lower East Side Printshop for demonstrating...