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Image features poster with hot pink background, an upcoming musical performance is announced. The singer’s name, Taana Gardner is written in curly red letters across the top, and a black and white portrait of the young singer gazes flirtatiously out at the viewer from within the frame of a red heart, out of which a devil’s tail emerges. She is also surrounded by red hearts of various sizes. Beneath her portrait, the title of her song, “Heartbeat” is printed in a bold, black, shattered typeface. The lower half of the poster provides information on the details of the upcoming show. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Pure Coquette
Although some may claim that disco died a messy media “death” in 1979, in the early ’80s, its “Heartbeat” could still be heard reverberating on radio airwaves and in dance clubs across the United States.[1] Fame first found Taana Gardner in 1978, when she became an overnight sensation after recording the vocals for West End...
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 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 the letter-form Y and the Yale bulldog mascot in rows of descending sizes with varying rotations. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
How sharp is your vision?
In celebration of our new exhibition, The Senses: Design Beyond Vision, this Object of the Day post explores the multi-sensory experience of an object in Cooper Hewitt’s permanent collection. In this poster, graphic designer Paul Rand plays with the iconography of eye charts to create a clever advertisement for Yale University. He incorporates the school’s mascot, an...
Take Me to Paradise
“One of my motives for becoming a graphic designer,” said the Japanese designer, Tadanori Yokoo, “was to make tourist posters. As a result, all my pieces end up looking like tourist posters. The only thing is that these posters are about places that don’t exist on earth. They may be about a lost paradise.”[1] Tadanori...
Faster, Higher, Stronger
In 1966, the influential German designer, Otl Aicher (1922–1991), was hired to design the 1972 Munich Olympic Games’ iconography, language, and overall graphic scheme. By this time, Aicher had worked to modernize brands like Braun (1956–66) and Lufthansa (1962–64) and was a co-founder of the Ulm College of Design, a school established upon a post-war...
Okay, Bye
Graphic designer and visual artist Geoff McFetridge created this striking poster in 2015 to advertise the play “Okay, Bye” performed by the Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago, Illinois. As with many of McFetridge’s designs, the poster uses bold colors and simple forms to communicate a visual riddle. Two pairs of black shoes distinguish the owners...
The Invisible City
In 1972, The International Design Conference in Aspen (IDCA) appointed the architect Richard Saul Wurman as the program chairman for its annual symposium. As chairman, Wurman was responsible for choosing the conference’s theme and proposing the various programs, exhibitions, and discussion sessions. Wurman decided to depart from the IDCA’s standard exploration of practical design issues...
Your Turn, My Turn
The idiosyncratic graphic designer April Greiman designed the poster Your Turn, My Turn for a 1983 symposium in Los Angeles, California. The conference aimed to discuss the roles of artists, designers, and architects within the field of design and possibilities for multidisciplinary collaboration.[1] In deference to the conference’s ambitions, Greiman embraces innovation and freedom in...