typography

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Image features a poaster with blue and yellow background. In the foreground, an image of a Philips Miniwatt Type E444 diode-tetrode radio value lamp, in shades or grey and brown. "MiNiWATT" is printed in red, while "PHILIPS RADIO" is rendered in solid black letters, outlined in white. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
“i’s” or “eyes”
When legendary French graphic designer A.M. Cassandre was hired in 1931 to produce this poster for the Dutch light bulb and radio tube manufacturer Philips, he was at the high point of his career. Together with fellow poster designer Charles Lupton, Cassandre had founded the printing and publishing collective Alliance Graphique in Paris, France.[1] Cassandre...
Jennifer Morla: Experimental Typography
In celebration of the milestone 20th anniversary of the National Design Awards, this week’s Object of The Day posts honor National Design Award winners. What does “typography” mean to you? Does the word stir up contempt for Comic Sans and Papyrus, or does it conjure a death match between Times New Roman and Helvetica? For...
Image features a black background with letter "S" outlined in blue, evoking a fluorescent light. A box of Orion light bulbs is in the foreground in the lower register of the poster, printed in blue, orange, and white. A light bulb hangs in the center of the upper register, with the word "Orion" printed across it, and printed in white and gold. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
An Elusive “S”
Apart from several months spent at Iparművészeti Iskola, Budapest’s school of applied arts, József Bottlik[1] was a self-taught graphic designer. Bottlik began his career in 1919 and quickly established himself as a designer of eye-catching commercial product and film posters, including a celebrated 1927 design for Universal Film AG (UFA) for the film Metropolis.[2] Bottlik...
Image features a green, New York City street sign composed of a landscape-orientation rectangle with "W 125 St" in white letters. The "125" is largest, in the middle, and the other text is slightly smaller, on either side, and higher up. The material of the sign will reflect light, and appears in this image with a small diamond pattern, like a chain-link fence. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
We’re Walkin’ Here!
The first street signs in New York City, known as “direction boards,” were posted in 1793 and were largely used on horsecars.[1] They were intended to “rationalize the city’s built environment,” and have undergone many changes over the years. The recognizable rectangular shape of today’s signs, like this one in Cooper Hewitt’s collection, date to...
Image features a light orange book cover showing the title, GEEK LOVE, in black hand-lettered capital letters at top, the words overlapping their mirrored images in dark orange. Printed below the title, in black capital letters: A NOVEL / KATHERINE DUNN. At the left edge, hand-lettered text repeats the title and author's name on the spine. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Book Geek
In celebration of World Pride, June Object of the Day posts highlight LGBTQ+ designers and design in the collection. What does it take to design a great book cover? An avid taste for literature surely helps, and so does an eccentric eye for images and type. Chip Kidd (American, b. 1964) has designed some of...
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: Length of printed textile with alternating aqua-blue and white stripes with scalloped edges. Stylized horses grouped in pairs are printed in the opposite colors. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Spencerian Horses
Marguerita Mergentime is noted for her innovative use of text as a decorative element, and among her many sources of inspiration were books of calligraphy and penmanship. The “Spencerian” of the title refers to Spencerian script, a cursive writing style developed by Platt Rogers Spencer and promoted through his 1866 book, Spencerian Key to Practical...
Image shows a wallpaper pattern composed of periods and commas. Please scroll down for For further information on this piece.
Stop, Stop, Stop, Pause
Today’s Object of the Day celebrates the winners of Cooper Hewitt’s National Design Awards. Honoring lasting achievement in American design, the Awards take place annually during National Design Week, with festivities for all ages celebrating design creativity and innovation. Pause is a strong graphic pattern using typographic characters that notify the reader to stop and...
Image features a tornado-like object composed of metal strips at center; text in blue above in a wavy line; text on either side, and photographs of buildings. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
In the Eye of the Tornado: Rethinking the Limits of Design
Today’s Object of the Day celebrates the winners of Cooper Hewitt’s National Design Awards. Honoring lasting achievement in American design, the Awards take place annually during National Design Week, with festivities for all ages celebrating design creativity and innovation. Today’s blog post was originally published on March 29, 2018. As design director for her alma mater, Art Center...