Scanning Around With Gene: Turning 25 in 69
Over the years, one of my favorite design publications has been Graphis, the international journal of graphic arts and applied arts. The publication began in Switzerland in 1944 and, for most of its life, was a six-times-a-year magazine supplemented by annuals and special editions. Graphis, which is now headquartered in New York, still publishes a variety of products, though the bimonthly magazine was discontinued in 2004.
Recently I came across issue 145 of Graphis from 1969/1970, which celebrated the 25th anniversary of the magazine. As part of the commemoration, Graphis founding editor Walter Herdeg asked designers around the world to send in illustrations of the number 25. The results are a terrific collection of illustrative styles of the time (though many seem timeless). The cover of that issue was done by Jan Lenica.
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The next two are from Hans Hillmann and Milton Glaser.
In 1969 I was in eighth grade and had little sense of design, though I did produce the class yearbook using colored mimeograph stencils. My dad helped me silkscreen the covers.
The next images are from Seymour Chwast and Ronald Searle.
These four are from Imre Reiner, Antonio Frasconi, Tomi Ungerer, and Jean-Michel Folon.
These three are from Etienne Delessert, Paul Davis, and Kurt Wirth.
My favorite 25 is from designers Herb Lubalin and Tom Carnase, who clearly knew how to use a French curve. Lubalin and Carnesse are responsible for the typeface Avant Garde, among many others.
1969 was a wild year and many of these designs reflect the psychedelic/op-art style popular at the time. I had several black lights and fluorescent posters in my room, including one of Peter Fonda on his motorcycle from the film Easy Rider.
These 25s are from Celestino Piatti, Max Schmid, Yusaku Kamekura and Josef Flejsar.
And these are from Roman Cieslewicz and Franco Grignani.
The number 25 is an interesting one — the two characters share many of the same lines, and several of the artists highlighted those similarities. These are from André François and Pino Tovaglia.
These final 25s are from Robert Aeschlimann and Massimo Vignelli.
I do have many fond memories of 1969 and now I know a little more about the graphic style of the time. Thanks, Graphis.
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