graphic design

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soundoff
Sound Off!
Alvin Lustig was one of the most influential graphic designers of mid-20th century America, despite the unfortunate brevity of his career. Well-known for his designs of books, book jackets, and magazines, Lustig also designed several record jackets for albums of classical and concert band music. Four such albums bearing Lustig’s design are featured in Cooper Hewitt’s...
Manhattan Records
Rhythm of the City
Graphic designer Paula Scher adapted Piet Mondrian’s 1943 painting Broadway Boogie-Woogie when she created the graphic identity for Manhattan Records in 1984. On each LP that Manhattan Records released, the design is printed on the center label of sides A and B. When reflecting on her decision to turn to Mondrian, Scher explained “the strongest...
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Speaking in Tongues
Graphic designer Tibor Kalman made a circle of blue the visual centerpiece of Talking Heads’ 1983 release Speaking in Tongues. The circle is seven inches in diameter, just like a 45 record. But while the graphic might evoke the standard format of singles from the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s, it was actually inspired by the...
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Only in America
An altered photograph of a roadside motel is printed on a cardboard sleeve for R.E.M.’s 7-inch single “Only in America,” designed by Bruce and Karen Licher. The image of the motel is grainy, which complements the speckled cardboard on which it was printed. Although the grain makes it harder to read the motel sign, the...
OTD_Defunkt
A Funky Front Cover
A man in a tuxedo holds a white fedora hat in this Defunkt album cover designed by Tibor Kalman. As in some of his other album designs, Kalman chose to alter the band’s name through reverse lettering. Printed in multicolor, the text is especially striking printed atop the black and white photograph. When reflecting on...
The ad shows blocks of color depicting the earth and a T cutting down through the earth simulating their product. The T is also the first letter of an equation. Under the equation is a line depicting a wave in the earth.
Elaine Lustig Cohen’s World of Inspiration
At first glance, this graphic field of squares looks almost like an abstract painting. Although this advertisement targeted scientists, designer Elaine Lustig Cohen captures the attention of laypeople and experts alike. Created in 1958 for the oilfield services company Schulberger, the ad promotes the company’s Sonic Log, a device for the identification of soil properties....
A circular design with informational text throughout, including conference lecture series
A Stone’s Throw Away
Transcending the boundaries of art and design, Rebeca Méndez’s graphics explore delicate relationships between the organic and the digital.[1] Throughout her career, the Los Angeles-based Mexico native has maintained a fascination with the physical structures, forces and matter of nature. Today, her work is identified with the use of strong symbolism and bespoke typography.[2] Such...
Design Talks | Richard Niessen Meets Euclid
Two short talks and a moderated conversation featuring graphic designers Richard Niessen and Craig Welsh explore themes of ornament, type, and history in contemporary graphic design. Niessen’s poster series—Palace of Typographic Masonry—create intricate arrangements of text and pattern, and is now on view in Beauty—Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial. Welsh collaborated with AIGA Gold Medalist Elaine Lustig Cohen...
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Sensing a new spirit of Japan
When it comes to Japanese graphic design, a certain set of visual elements are conjured in one’s mind. Simplified forms; a minimal color palette, the generous use of negative space; an effective use of black; and unique lettering, are all characteristic elements that draw on the aesthetics of Zen culture, Japanese Buddhism, calligraphy, ukiyo-e woodblock...