Wednesday, May 2, 2007


Been fascinated with symmetry lately. This is art for the tip-in bookplate we are doing for the PULPHOPE hardcover. The final image will be a 3 color letterpress print, orchestrated through Secret Headquarters in LA. I'll be doing a separate, larger letter press print this summer for SHQ as well.

The image is a conscious nod to The Push-Pin group, designers who had a tremendous influence on virtually every graphic artist and art movement from the 1950s onward. They produced a souvenier booklet for impressarior Florenz Ziegfeld which included lots of radio-age photos, matchbooks, ticket stubs, and other memorabelia from a bygone era, lovely nostalgic stuff lost in time. The vibrant resurgance of Art Nouveau which is associated with the '60s youth culture (the paisley patterns, the peacock feathers, the old Victorian type treatments and velvet suits) developed in no small part out of this small handful of artists' aesthetic rejection of the strict rigidity of International Modernism, which they viewed to be a visually limited, inflexible set of design rules unable to express a lot of the ideas they wished to convey. Wherever possible, the Push-Pins favored low-fi printing techniques (including woodcuts, letter pressing, and rubber stamping) and re-appropriated old Victorian typefaces and other pre-WW2 visual cliches (at the time considered horribly out of fashion, virtually unredeemable) for use in their designs.

Milton Glaiser is probably the most famous of the Push-Pin artists, if only for the ubiquitous "I HEART NY" design you see all over the place, from the side of a coffee cup to a decal on the window of a taxicab to a t shirt to a billboard.