graphic design

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Image features a poster design by Lester Beall for the Rural Electrification Administration. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Electrification for a Better Biscuit
This blog post was originally published on January 8, 2014.  By the 1930s, the vast majority of American urban dwellers had access to electricity in their homes and businesses.  But those in impoverished rural areas were often not serviced by private electric companies, who believed that it was not cost-effective for them to invest in...
Image features the cover of book, The Gorey Alphabet. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
The Gorey Alphabet
In the spirit of Halloween, a fun and spooky object in our library collection is a copy of The Gorey Alphabet  by Edward Gorey.  Edward Gorey (1925-2000), American writer and artist, child prodigy and high achiever has nestled his way into the hearts of those fond of dark themes, Victorian and Edwardian settings, and pen-and-ink drawings. The...
Image features a tornado-like object composed of metal strips at center; text in blue above in a wavy line; text on either side, and photographs of buildings. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
In the Eye of the Tornado: Rethinking the Limits of Design Copy
Today’s Object of the Day celebrates the winners of Cooper Hewitt’s National Design Awards. Honoring lasting achievement in American design, the Awards take place annually during National Design Week, with festivities for all ages celebrating design creativity and innovation. Today’s blog post was originally published on March 29, 2018. As design director for her alma mater, Art Center...
Magazine covers, (L) no. 12, 1926. (R) No. 34, 1928.
Inspirations for Mad Men
I have always loved looking at old advertisements in magazines; many of the people that come and use the Cooper Hewitt Library come for that specific reason. Advertisements are designed to establish a connection between the person seeing it, and the product or idea the ad is selling. Typefaces, colors, styles of portraying an object-...
Image features poster asymmetrically bisected into two separate color fields, featuring white egg on red-orange ground at right, with uneven black splotches gravitating towards (or emanating from) it; white ground at left, with black text at top left. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Hatching Good Design
Today’s Object of the Day is on view in Rebeca Méndez Selects (October 5, 2018–June 16, 2019) Produced by renowned American graphic designer Paul Rand, this poster announces the 1966 International Design Conference in Aspen (IDCA). Rand is known for his influential contributions to the advertising industry, including his logos for IBM, Westinghouse, ABC, and...
Image features a poster depicting a triangle made up of colored blocks with a black circle at the top with atomic symbol; above: atoms for peace; lower margin: GENERAL DYNAMICS. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Looking Ahead in the Atomic Age
This blog post was originally published on August 4, 2014. 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,...
Image features poster with the word Giselle printed in large text alongside a blurred photographic image of a ballerina in mid-spin. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
A Harmony of Contrasts
Armin Hofmann (Swiss, b. 1920) is associated with a graphic design movement known as the Swiss Style, which originated in Switzerland in the 1940s and 50s. Also referred to as the International Typographic Style, the Swiss Style is characterized by a recognition of the importance of typography—especially sans-serif fonts—as an essential element of design. The...
Image features a poster depicting a series of mixers and sliders that categorize the albums of David Bowie between a set of extremes. Featuring seven columns for each album released between 1976-84, with "DAVID/ BOWIE" printed in silver ink in custom typography. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Less Ziggy, More Stardust
Today’s blog post was originally published on July 10, 2013. There are many ways to celebrate an anniversary.  To commemorate a decade of working together as the design duo Non-Format, Kjell Ekhorn and Jon Forss did not opt for the traditional gifting of tin, pewter, or aluminum.  Instead, they pooled their creative energies towards a personal...
Poster for The Chap-Book, August 1894. A woman dressed in blue at the center of the image stands in a wood, holding a pair of skates. The words The Chap / Book, printed in red cover the lower left portion of the poster.
Baby, It’s Cold Outside!
With the temperature outside at record highs this week, I can’t help but think of William Henry Bradley’s The Blue Lady. Clutching her ice skates in her left hand, she makes a cold winter’s stroll through the thin, bare trees look elegant and placid. The Blue Lady was Bradley’s second poster for The Chap-Book, America’s...