posters

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Image features a car with bright headlights is shown driving across a bridge at night. Lights in the distance are reflected in the water. A light bulb is encircled in the upper right-hand corner, emphasizing the product the car is utilizing. At the bottom of the poster appears the brand name PHILIPS in large orange block letters with white dashes. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Illuminating the Road Ahead
When Louis C. Kalff was hired by Philips in 1925, the company was one of the largest producers of lightbulbs in the world. Kalff created a brand identity for the company, including the iconic logo. For this poster, Kalff illustrated a car whose piercing bright headlights illuminate the scene. The stylized arcs and angles reflect...
Image features a rock concert poster showing a face in profile, surrounded by pink, black, and grey streams of flowing, wavy hair. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Deliberately Disorienting
A pioneering example of psychedelic design, this work was one of the 56 posters that Wes Wilson produced between 1966 and 1968 for the Fillmore Auditorium in San Francisco. The posters were commissioned by the rock concert promoter Bill Graham, who gave Wilson free rein over his designs until disputes about money severed their connection....
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 rectangular poster whose surface is covered with with strips of color gradients and printers marks organized into various shapes. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Macro Micro Marks
To celebrate the opening of Saturated: The Allure and Science of Color (May 11, 2018-January 13, 2019), Object of the Day this month will feature colorful objects from the exhibition. Graphic designer Fanette Mellier (French, b. 1977) has a contemporary practice that frequently highlights process in the printed medium.  Her stunning poster, Specimen, initially appears abstract.  Dominated by...
Poster depicts exterior (possibly a walled garden) with trees; "Midday," a yellow painted steel sculpture by Anthony Caro from 1960 on the left; on the right, a woman dressed in black holding a bag, she has a purple square on her body and a semi-circle covers her head (like an umbrella). Text in black, at center: Speak your own language / The Womens Graphic Center offers / two workshops with Frances Butler. / Sequential Design: The story in / folded turned or spaced pages. / Sundays, March 16 & 23, 1980 / 9-12 & 1-3 Fee: $30.00 / Experimental Color Printing. / Letterpress, collotype & stencil. / March 17-21, 9-12, 1-3. Fee: $60. / Women’s Graphic Center / at the Woman’s Building / 1727 N. Spring Street / Los Angeles, / CA 90012.
Speak your own Language
In celebration of Women’s History Month, March Object of the Day posts highlight women designers in the collection. “Images and words that reflect the authentic and varied life experiences of women are seldom valued or visible in public, printed communications, undermining our connection to the dominant culture. Lacking the graphic skills valued by that culture...
Play it, Stravinsky!
Paul Rand was an influential American graphic designer well known for the logos he created for IBM, UPS, ABC and other corporations. His 1947 book Thoughts on Design is considered a seminal text on graphic design. The poster above shows something different from Paul Rand’s oeuvre. It’s not a neat and compact corporate logo; instead...
Pluck ‘Em!
Fearing the Nazis were secretly producing atomic weapons, President Roosevelt collaborated with Canada and Britain to launch the Manhattan Project in 1942, an experimental nuclear weapon initiative.[1] The Manhattan Project was, by morbid standards, “successful”; the only two nuclear attacks in the history of the world were executed by the United States in August of...
Forty Posters in Forty Days
Whether an advertisement or call to action, posters have long been used to grab a viewer’s attention. Spanning over a century of graphic design from the collection, How Posters Work, an exhibition here at the Cooper Hewitt (May 8 – November 29, 2015), celebrates the form by considering how designers turn a creative idea into...