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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...
International Women’s Day
This bold poster was printed by the Chicago Women’s Graphics Collective to celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8, 1975. The elegant design uses direct, straightforward symbols to clearly communicate a message of unity, a popular design approach amongst political and activist posters from the 1960s and 1970s. In this example, the simple repeat of...
Mastering the Mastaba
Despite their repeated stance that their public works of art should be appreciated mainly for the complex process leading to their creation as well as their striking visual effect, Christo and Jeanne-Claude, creators of such works as Wrapped Reichstag (1995) and The Gates (2005), have never shied away from controversial materials or sites. Oil barrels first...
A Rhythmic Portrait
In 2002, Chinese graphic designer Jianping He founded Hesign, a Berlin-based design studio.  He studied both in China and in Germany, and his designs reflect the experiences of his training in both countries. In restrained color palettes, he executes bold poster designs with exacting precision, often incorporating both Chinese characters and Roman letters. To promote an exhibition...
Santa’s Favorite Cigar
The characteristic wit and whimsy of graphic designer Paul Rand dominates a long-running series of ads designed for El Producto in the 1950s. Already wildly successful by the 1940s, Rand was hired in 1952 to revamp the American-made cigar company’s advertising efforts after production shifted from hand-rolled to machine-rolled cigars. To enliven these factory-made products,...
Posters for Preservation
In 1977 Miami’s South Beach lay in ruins: unkempt and forgotten by time. In less than 50 years, the district had gone from a lively and glamorous area to one that was run down and boarded up. With preservation in mind, a Miami Beach resident and mechanic by the name of Woody Vondracek set out...
Dancer on Orange Ground
Dancer on Orange Ground  is a poster designed by acclaimed graphic designer Paul Rand (American, 1914-1996) in 1939. The poster is taken from the March 1939 cover of Direction magazine, an avant-garde publication that Rand began contributing to that year. Rand is most widely known from his time as the art director of Esquire from...
Logo Gold
While the world’s best athletes are the obvious stars of the modern Olympic Games, countries hosting the games also have a unique opportunity to demonstrate their strengths on an international stage. The bold graphic identity of the 1968 Mexico City Olympics in this poster designed by Lance Wyman and Eduardo Terrazas intended to broadcast a...
Oversized poster for AIGA calling for entries for contest. Poster folds into 16 sections. Computerized photo reproduction of whirlpool (in black and white) and fish (in color) in middle. Imprinted below fish: "Communication Graphics 1993" (in black). Red, yellow and black dots assembled to form human figure at left center with head overlapping image of whirlpool. Square cut out in center of head with digital image of brain. Five other digital images of brain in various perspectives superimposed over figure with accompanying labels. Flow chart at left center: "brain/ reading/ unity/ language/ reasoning/ and/ mathematics" (in black). Imprinted, near top center, in text boxes: "neomammalian/ 200 million years old/ cerebral cortex:/ problem-solving, memorizing, creating/ paleomammalian/ 300 million years old/ limbic:/ emotional feelings guiding behavior/ reptilian/ 500 million years old/ self-preservation, hunting, homing, mating, establishing territory,/ and fighting". Photo reproduction (in black and white) of man and inversed image of same photo above. Two images connected by X's (in green and red lines). Along right edge: "AIGA/ Commun-/ication/ Graphics/ 1993" (in yellow), interspersed with names of various designers (in vertical orientation).
Mind and Body
In celebration of Women’s History Month, Cooper Hewitt is dedicating select Object of the Day entries to the work of women designers in our collection. “I believe that all designers come to a task with a unique way of ordering that is particular to their past experiences, and perhaps even their genetic structure,” says maverick...