Author: Ellen Lupton

A poetic transformation of industrial waste
From the archives, a past collaboration of design firm Nendo and designer Issey Miyake.
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,...
The Left
This poster for an exhibition about the history of political posters features a screenprinted image of Ernesto “Che” Guevara, the Argentine revolutionary whose face became synonymous with leftist oppositional movements in the twentieth century. Variations of the poster were produced by directly spray-painting different messages and marks over Guevara’s portrait.   Ellen Lupton is Senior...
Leaving on a Jetplane to Aspen
Ivan Chermayeff’s famous poster uses a system of found typography to represent the gathering of design professionals at the International Design Conference at Aspen. Chermayeff uses luggage tags to represent the array of countries from which the attendees hail. Ellen Lupton is Senior Curator of Contemporary Design at Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum and Director of the...
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Stripes of Another Color
Conceptual artist Daniel Buren is known for his ongoing series of works featuring alternating white and colored stripes, 8.7 cm (3 2/5 in.) wide. These printed announcements for an exhibition in Belgium feature Buren’s signature stripes at full scale. Stripes like these are commonly seen on awnings and commercial signs in France. The evenly spaced...
Monster Hands
Andrzej Pagowski is a leading member of the third generation of the Polish School of Poster Art. By actively interpreting a subject with emotionally charged images, often drawn or painted by hand, these designers tell stories through the medium of the poster. Pagowksi created this poster for the Polish distribution of Roman Polanski’s legendary 1968...
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Poetry and Posters
Russian-born designer Alexander Gelman worked in the United States during the 1990s and early 2000s. His simple icons strive not so much to capture the essence of a subject, but rather to offer an off-kilter view of it. Here, a table lamp represents a poetry reading. The illustration is, one might say, beside the point....
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Post-Cubist Still Life
Since the Dada revolution, designers and artists have chopped up glossy magazines in their search for raw materials. To create this poster for a festival of contemporary avant-garde films, the designer cut away the body of Christ from a blown-up of a Renaissance painting. The blank space where the body used to be becomes a...
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Manpower Temporary Services
Lois Ehlert is a children’s book illustrator who also worked as a graphic designer in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In the late 1970s, she created this remarkable series of posters for Manpower Temporary Services, a Milwaukee-based agency that connects temporary office workers with companies. Ehlert derived her bright, playfully simplified images from everyday office culture. Ellen Lupton...