transportation

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Image features four horizontal rows of people and trains, rendered in black ink on paper
Spot the Difference: Steinberg Edition
Born in Romania in 1914, Saul Steinberg once described himself as “a writer who draws.”[1] Steinberg fled Europe in 1941, settling in New York City by 1942. While living in the United States, he traveled widely and observed the world around him in a highly whimsical style with an eye toward criticism and satire. Steinberg’s...
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...
Design Pulse: What is the Future of Mobility Design?
Leading figures in design, transportation, and technology share their perspectives on the future of mobility.
Rendering of the view of the street from the front seat of a car, with text and iconography noting elements of the cityscape.
Who Owns the City of the Future?
Autonomous vehicles, electric cars, and ride-sharing applications are disruptive innovations that hold unknown outcomes for society.
Drawing, Concept Car, ca. 1935; Designed by William McBride (American, 1912 - 2000); brush and gouache, pen and ink on illustration board; 16.5 × 54.6 cm (6 1/2 × 21 1/2 in.); Museum purchase through gift of Paul Herzan and from General Acquisitions Endowment Fund; 2017-18-14
A Stylist Ahead of His Time
In the early 1930s, the General Motors Art and Colour division was emerging as the most innovative hub of automotive stylists. William McBride was a young man living in Chicago’s South Side, dreaming of fanciful and futuristic cars. As a boy, he “spent sixteen years learning how to design automobiles, to make them real. Cars...
Highway Reads
In celebration of the museum’s inaugural Cooper Hewitt Lab: Design Access taking place in the Barbara and Morton Mandel Design Gallery through February 15, we are highlighting innovative accessible design from the permanent collection. The Clearview typeface is a beautiful example of the way design helps to improve people’s daily lives. A product of the...
On cream ground, design for a six-wheeled double-decker Greyhound bus in three-quarter profile view. At the front of the automotive, a large windshield, the word "CHICAGO" in silver text on a black plaque immediately below. Centered below the destination is the Greyhound logo, an elongated running white hound on copper ground. Below the logo, a large streamlined chrome grille, which wraps around the sides of the bus, accentuating the windows of the seats on the lower level. A red license plate at front reads "1946-X BUS" with small round white and yellow headlights on either side. The destination city of Chicago appears again on the side of the vehicle, with the Greyhound logo behind, in this instance with the dog on a diagonal ground of red, white, and blue stripes. Views through the windows show at least ten rows of four plushly upholstered seats on the upper level, and approximately five rows on the lower level, allowing for mechanical and luggage storage in the lower rear of the vehicle. The frontmost wheel has a shiny chrome hubcap covering the wheel disc, while the rear wheels have an exposed rim and disc. The bus casts a pale shadow on the ground, which is indicated by two parallel diagonal lines.
Away We Go!
On July 9, 1947, Look magazine ran a feature article on the fastest growing form of transportation in America: intercity buses. “Bus travel, according to the sworn word of many highway fans,” the author wrote, “is the best way to make a sightseeing holiday trip.”[1] The post-war boom in bus travel was indebted, in part,...
Into the Fold
Folding bicycles have existed in one form or another for over a hundred years – the first U.S. patent for a folding bike was issued in 1888. There has been a heightened interest in folding bicycles in the last thirty years, particularly as a means of addressing urban transportation issues. Folding bikes are easily stored...
Travel in Style Without Clashing
Innovations in transportation and mobility were to become a common theme in wallpaper design. Similar images frequently appeared on bandboxes and hat boxes starting in the 1830’s. A sign of mobility themselves, these boxes were used for the safe transport and storage of men’s removable collars and hats. Early designs include historic hot air balloon...