Layer Cake

July 22nd, 2011 by Zachary Sachs

Milton Glaser. Printed sample study For Primrose / Beylerian Kites & Lites Exhibition, 1982.

One of the central features of the Push Pin generation of designers — mainly Seymour Chwast and Milton Glaser — was a continued inspiration from, and reliance upon, physically layered compositions (using e.g., cello-tak) and photographic compositing. This approach tends to produce subtle dimensional effects and color interactions. In our Chwast collection there are lots of intricately-cut composites that clearly show how the final product was arrived at (some examples forthcoming!).

With Glaser there are fewer — he seems to have taken many angles at a particular idea before finding his way to the final product — but many of the stray mechanicals have survived and show interesting, individual states of development of various pieces. This is a mechanical for an exhibition poster for an exhibition put on by furniture company Beylerian.

Milton Glaser Collection, Series 1. Drawer 10, Folder 5: Primrose / Beylerian Kites & Lites Mechanical, 1982. Instruction on coversheet Reads FRANK—MAKE 1 SAME SIZE FILM POSITIVE OF EACH OVERLAY PLUS THE BOARD ART. NOTE: RED FILM SHOULD SHOOT SOLID BLACK SAME AS BLACK INK.

And the final poster:

Beth points out that Glaser also revisited a similar dot layering in this poster for Fraser paper.

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A treasure trove of art and graphics from The Milton Glaser Design Archives. Rare, unseen printed work, original art, and drafts for design and illustration by Glaser, Heinz Edelmann, Seymour Chwast, George Tscherny, James McMullan, and others. For even more design ephemera and art from the School of Visual Arts, see also


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