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Gatsby’s return
This 1947 book cover for The Great Gatsby was designed by Alvin Lustig (American 1915-1955) as part of the project “New Classics.” Initiated in 1939 by New Directions Publishing, the New Classics project was a series of cutting edge reprints of classic novels.  When F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel was first published in 1925, it garnered...
Sketchbooks and the Power of Process
Designers of all varieties—architects, graphic designers, painters—are aware of the importance and utility of sketchbooks in the creative process. The blank canvas of a sketchbook page allows the design process to occur in real time and encourages documentation of ideas that might otherwise be fleeting. The significance of sketchbooks as part of the creative process...
A Modern Identity
This 1947 print by graphic designer Alvin Lustig presents an early logo design for the Hollywood animation production studio United Productions of America (UPA), founded in 1943 and primarily active through 1960. The graphic identity’s bold black circle with its vertical brown band embraces a simple and modern approach to portraying a classic film reel,...
Album Cover Creatures
The Talking Heads are depicted alongside mountains, animals, and bell towers on the cover of their 1985 release Little Creatures. Lead singer David Byrne is Atlas, holding the globe, while the other band members are behind him. Graphic designer Tibor Kalman used a painting by Georgian folk artist Howard Finster as the basis of the...
Fillmore Festivities
Posters produced in the 1970s for The Fillmore, the legendary San Francisco music venue made famous by industry pioneer Bill Graham, were renowned for their psychedelic styling. Between 1967 and 1971, Tea Lautrec Litho, a specialist printing house operated by Levon Mosgofian, produced over 200 posters advertising Graham’s constantly shifting roster of weekly performances. The...
A Bold Statement
Australian graphic designer Mark Gowing designed this poster to advertise the film Tyson, a documentary about the controversial and legendary boxer Mike Tyson. The critically-acclaimed film was directed by James Toback, and closely follows Tyson’s career and personal life through lengthy interviews and archival footage. For his poster design, Gowing adapted elements from the graphic...
Picture of a Poster, Citicorp Center 5, 1975; Designed by Dan Friedman
Selling Citicorp Center: Dan Friedman’s 1975 Poster Campaign
A major proponent of “New Typography” in the United States, Dan Friedman received his formal education in Basel, Switzerland under Armin Hofmann, an influential educator and designer whose students disseminated the Swiss Style of graphic design in the late 1960s. Though Friedman’s portfolio had earned him teaching positions at Yale University and SUNY Purchase upon...
Picture of a Designed by Rick Valicenti
gee dad, modern design, huh?
This poster by graphic designer Rick Valicenti is loaded with iconic commercial imagery. In 1994, Valicenti received the commission to design a poster introducing the Northstar and Broughton Printing Company’s new eight-color press. His resulting design is at once an advertisement for the new press as well as a provocation that questions the role of...
Getting Better
This poster designed by Seymour Chwast for Herman Miller Furniture Company is all about the details. Chwast skillfully packed a bustling city scene overflowing with conversation into the poster’s vertical format, requiring the viewer to look closely and engage with the design’s dialogue as though reading a comic or storybook animated by the designer’s careful...