The Push Pin Graphic: A Quarter Century of Innovative Design and Illustration (英語) ハードカバー – 2004/9/9
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Part design and illustration studio, part pop culture think tank, Push Pin Studios made a phenomenal impact on visual culture from the 1950s to the 1980s, representing an important chapter in postwar graphic design. Founding member Seymour Chwast partners with key figures from the design community -- as well as co-founder Milton Glaser -- to provide a visual history of the studio by way of its signature publication, The Push Pin Graphic. Hundreds of memorable covers and spreads culled from each of the eighty-six inspired and imaginative issues confirms Push Pin's vital role in setting the design curve and influencing the direction of modern visual style. The Push Pin Graphic is the first comprehensive account of a design milestone that continues to influence designers to this day.
Seymour Chwast is co-founder of Push Pin Studios. He has created over 100 posters and has designed and illustrated more than thirty children's books. He lives in New York City.
Milton Glaser is the co-founder of Push Pin Studios and New York Magazine. His graphic and architectural commissions include the "I (Heart) NY" logo. He lives in New York City.
Steven Heller is the art director of the New York Times Book Review. He is the author of over ninety books on graphic design, popular art, and satiric art. He lives in New York City.
Martin Venezky is the director of Appetite Engineers, a design company whose clients include the Sundance Film Festival, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and Blue Note records. He lives in Rhode Island.
Push Pin Studio was the reason I went into studing graphic design. This book brought back sweet memories of the excitement and the enery when I started as a graphic designer. Going through the book and seeing all the works by the great Milton Glaser and Seymour Chwast, how beautiful and inspiring they are
after so many years. We don`t have artists like Milton Glaser and Seymour Chwast in the graphic design and illustration field
anymore,the young designers and illustrators should use this book as inspiration!
For a quarter-century, members of Push Pin Studio used every art technique -- woodcut, charcoal, watercolor, collage, pen-and-ink, color adhesive film -- to interpret subjects including Good and Evil, Black and White, and Teens and Bikers. Topics ranged from the serious ("Violence and the American Dream") to the silly ("The Mouth").
Milton Glaser has been known to say that nobody draws any more. This book, which features at least one cover and spread from each issue -- many tattered and yellowing -- may spawn a revival of the artist's hand as a design tool, and a revival of the one-color job. The first 30 or so issues of the Graphic, with a couple of virtuoso two- and three-color exceptions, are a lesson in how to do brilliant work in black on newsprint. Contrast is the designer's best friend and weapon: white space against black, tiny against huge, curlicue against justified column of type. Wit is a powerful tool, too.
A head-and-shoulders portrait of a large barnyard rooster graces the book's cover. Thickly outlined on benday-dotted background, he sports a tuxedo shirt, bow-tie, monocle, dotted beak, and bright red wattle. I'd like to think that the mascot choice has more to do with the concept of "something to crow about" than being fearful-or cuckolded. In a phone interview, Seymour Chwast set me straight by listing the bird's qualities: authoritative, prolific, sophisticated, and on-time. Ah-ha, the real meaning is "the early bird meets the deadline," with a few grains of self-mockery thrown in.
If Push Pin did not singlehandedly transform mainstream culture, as Steven Heller suggests in the introduction, it had a symbiotic relationship with it. Push Pin took from everything around them: from the Victorian, Art Nouveau, and Art Deco, from old signboards and newspapers, American primitives and wood-type specimens, from current art and music, fashion and advertising. The faces in Chwast's "Dante's Inferno" poster of 1967 echo Richard Avendon's solarized Beatles portraits. The Beatles' 1968 animated film Yellow Submarine -- and the rainbows-and-butterflies trend in animation that ensued -- owed its aesthetic to Push Pin. It will take a more diligent researcher than I to ascertain whether the color and line that burst through in the Push Pin Graphic issue 52 (and morphed into Chwast's signature style) was inspired by psychedelic rock posters, or whether the Push Pin style reached San Francisco concert promoters first.
Content aside, the Push Pin Graphic is a book well worth examining for its own design: the hefty squarish format, sense of scale and pacing, fine color and black- and-white printing on uncoated stock. The details also merit pleasurable study: old-fashioned typefaces like Cheltenham and Stymie set in old-fashioned ways like centered and flush-left-and-right; even the placement of the folios on the page. Just as the subject matter of each issue of the Push Pin Graphic mirrored goings-on in the world, the design and pacing of the book mirror the issues being featured. As the Graphic became more eclectic and colorful and began to function as self-promotion for a larger group of artists, the pages of the book become more patterned and colorful. Martin Venezky has honored the Push Pin style while designing a book that's 100 percent up-to-date.
This book may be a walk down memory lane, but it's far from an epitaph. Glaser, 75, now working on posters, books, a museum exhibition, and performance art with a political bent, recently said, "Retiring is for people who fundamentally hate what they do." Chwast, 73, added, "Every era had its doubts, but we kept going. The culture -- music, posters, films, kept rubbing off on us, and we keep reinventing it and rubbing it back on them."
If the Push Pin conviction, zest, and humor rubs off on today's readers -- and if some of them decide to shut down their computers and digital cameras for a little while and pick up a brush or pen and ink -- this book will be a great success.