UPS Logo; IBM Logo
By: Paul Rand
Date: 1961, 1972
Source: Rand, Paul. UPS Logo and IBM Logo. Reproduced in Paul Rand: A Designer's Art. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1985.
About the Designer: Paul Rand (1914–1996) was one of the most influential figures in American graphic design. He developed a unique American graphic style characterized by simplicity, humor, and taste. Educated at New York's Pratt Institute, the Parsons School of Design, and the Art Students League, Rand started his career as art director of Esquire and Apparel Arts (later known as GQ). Going on to a successful career in advertising design, Rand eventually focused solely on his highly effective identity systems for major corporations such as IBM and Westinghouse.
Paul Rand is a seminal figure in the fields of advertising and graphic design. His role in creating a prestigious school of graphic design in the United States was based on his deep understanding and appreciation of European modernism. His biographer Stephen Heller summarizes that Rand "was the channel through which European modern art and design—Russian Constructivism, Dutch De Stijl and the German Bauhaus—was...
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1971 AMC Gremlin
By: American Motors Corporation
Source: AP/Wide World Photos.
About the Organization: The American Motors Corporation (AMC) was an independent car manufacturer formed by the merger of Hudson Motors and Nash-Kelvinator in 1954. The merger, with a price tag of $197,793,366, was the largest corporate merger in history at that time. AMC was in business for thirty-four years and produced a wide variety of makes and models of automobiles. It went out of business in 1987.
On April 1, 1970, the first American subcompact car, the Gremlin, was introduced by AMC. The car's designer, Richard Teague, is said to have come up with his idea for the Gremlin while on a plane trip, sketching it out on the back of an airsick bag. In his design, Teague combined many of the rear-end styling features from other models. Much of the body was similar to the Hornet, but
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The Nike "Swoosh"
By: Caroline Davidson
Source: The Nike "Swoosh." The Advertising Archive. Image no. 30521234.
About the Designer: Caroline Davidson (1952–) was a student at Portland State University in 1971 when she developed the Nike logo. She ran an independent design firm for nearly thirty years in Portand before retiring.
Nike, perhaps the best known athletic shoe company in the world, was founded by Phil Knight in 1971. Before founding Nike, Knight had spent years after college and military service distributing athletic shoes to college track and field teams. Knight had run track at the University of Oregon at the end of the 1950s, and he and his coach had searched for appropriate running shoes. His interest in developing a lightweight shoe for the University of Oregon's team, along with his search for a career that would allow him to stay close to athletics, led to a trip to Japan, a contract with "Tiger" shoes there, and his subsequent founding of Nike. Knight quickly had a million-dollar business, but it didn't skyrocket until he found his logo.
The "Swoosh" logo, as it has come to be called, is a design created by Caroline Davidson in 1971. Davidson was at that time a student at Portland...
(The entire section is 522 words.)
Learning from Las Vegas
By: Robert Venturi, Denise Scott Brown, and Steven Izenour
Source: Venturi, Robert, Denise Scott Brown, and Steven Izenour. Learning from Las Vegas: The Forgotten Symbolism of Architectural Form. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1972, xi–xiii.
About the Author: Robert Venturi (1925–) has been credited with many things—notably of being one of the founders of postmodern architecture, restoring credence to both historical perspective and the pop world, and saving the world from being bored to death by modernist architectural design. He authored, or coauthored, books on the theory of architecture and he won the coveted Pritzker Prize in 1991.
Denise Scott Brown (1931–) Venturi's wife and partner in their Philadelphia architectural firm, is an architect, planner, author, and educator. Together, Scott Brown and Venturi won the National Building Museum's Vincent Scully Prize for 2002.
Steven Izenour (1941–2001), a partner in the Venturi, Scott Brown architectural firm, was also a writer and an architectural educator.
Robert Venturi was known as something of a cynic in the 1960s and 1970s. He did not follow the International style of Mies van der...
(The entire section is 1076 words.)
World Trade Center
By: Minoru Yamasaki
Source: Rotkin, Charles. "Aerial View of World Trade Center." 1973. Corbis. Image no. RT003704. Available online at http://pro.corbis.com (accessed July 1, 2003).
About the Architect: Minoru Yamasaki (1912–1986) was an American architect born in Seattle and educated at the University of Washington. In the late 1950s he became known for his architectural designs combining aesthetic appeal and functional efficiency. Included in his portfolio of designs in the 1950s and 1960s were the St. Louis Airport and public housing in St. Louis, the Dhahran Air Terminal in Saudi Arabia, and Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles. In many of these projects, he departed from the clean, angular look of traditional, modernist corporate building design, with its concrete and brick, preferring a softer and more refined, some even say sensual, look using woods and polished steel. Yamasaki will always be remembered for changing the skyline of New York City with his design of the World Trade Center.
IntroductionSince September 11, 2001, reference to the towers of the World Trade Center brings to everyone's mind
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High Platform Shoes
Source: High Platform Shoes. 1972. Corbis. Image no. HU015673. Available online at http://pro.corbis.com (accessed July 1, 2003).
The platform shoe probably originated in China, where it was used to keep a woman's feet out of water and mud. It was introduced to Europe around the fourteenth century, when it was called a chopine, which was, in effect, an overshoe that fit over a slipper, protecting it from dirt. As the fifteenth century rolled around the chopine's function was less to protect than to look good, and at that time it came to look like the modern platform shoe, usually constructed with a cork-or wood-stacked sole covered by velvet. In Venice, the platform shoe signified wealth and social stature. After the 1600s, the shoe disappeared for centuries.
During the late 1930s, the platform shoe reappeared. Though shoes of the 1930s had generally been practical and modest, shoe designers of the day were becoming more adventurous. The platform shoe designed in the 1930s generally had a cork-wedged heel that was basically an elevated sole, tilting the foot like any high heel. Platforms became wildly popular in the 1930s. They were used as sandals, and cork-bottomed platforms were...
(The entire section is 483 words.)
"What Makes Me Tick"
By: Philip Johnson
Source: Johnson, Philip. Philip Cortelyou Johnson: Writings. New York: Oxford University Press, 1979, 261–265.
About the Author: Philip Johnson (1906–) was born in Cleveland, Ohio. After graduating from Harvard, he met the modernist architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, who profoundly influenced him. He would go on to set down the principles of modern art, along with architectural historian Henry-Russell Hitchcock, in the book The International Style: Architecture Since 1922. In 1941 Johnson designed a house for himself in New Canaan, Connecticut, now known simply as the Glass House; it is considered one of the finest examples of modernist architecture. In later years Johnson worked in postmodern as well as modernist approaches.
Johnson's early works, such as the Glass House, the Four Seasons Restaurant in the Seagram's Building, and the State Theater...
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"Everything I Know"
By: Buckminster Fuller
Source: Fuller, Buckminster. "Everything I Know." Session 4. 1975. Buckminster Fuller Institute. Available online at http://www.bfi.org (accessed April 15, 2003).
About the Author: Buckminster Fuller (1895–1982) was born in Milton, Massachusetts, and educated at Harvard University, before being expelled from the institution. During his long career, the architect, engineer, mathematician, writer, philosopher, and educator contributed an astonishing range of ideas, designs, and inventions. He is particularly remembered for his work in the areas of practical, inexpensive shelter and transportation. His international career took off after the success of his geodesic domes in the 1950s. Fuller circled the globe repeatedly, lecturing internationally until his death.
To many people, Buckminster Fuller was a genius and a visionary, although his unconventional ideas and methods led others to consider him a crackpot—though a brilliant one. Among his many achievements, Fuller was awarded 25 U.S. patents; he authored 28 books; he received 47 honorary doctorates; and among the dozens of major architectural and design awards, he won the Gold Medal of the American...
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Sears, Roebuck Ad for Polyester Pant Suit
By: Sears, Roebuck
Source: Sears, Roebuck and Company Catalog. Fall/Winter 1976. Reproduced in Skinner, Tina. Fashionable Clothing from the Sears Catalog: The 1970s. Atglen, Pa.: Schiffer Publishing, 1998.
About the Organization: Sears, Roebuck and Company was established in the 1880s, when R.W. Sears, a railroad agent in Minnesota, mistakenly received a shipment of watches he did not order. He bought the watches and resold them, thereby forming the R.W. Sears Watch Company in 1886. A year later, Sears entered into a partnership with Alvah Roebuck and moved the business to Chicago. In 1893, Sears, Roebuck was formed. At that time, most Americans lived in rural areas, where shopping areas were few and far between. For decades, Sears, Roebuck sold most of its general merchandise through its famous catalogs. In the twentieth century, it began to branch out with retail stores throughout the nation, though it retained a large catalog business. The company became one of the leading retailers in the United States. In 1973, work was completed on the Sears Tower in Chicago, then the world's tallest building.
In the 1970s, Sears, Roebuck and Company was America's largest retailer. The company had begun...
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By: Skidmore, Owings and Merrill
Source: Sailors, David. "Sears Tower in Chicago." 2002. Corbis. Image no. NT2168436. Available online at http://pro.corbis.com (accessed July 1, 2003).
About the Organization: Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (SOM), an architectural design firm, was founded in Chicago in 1936. By the early 1970s, it was one of the largest architectural firms in the United States and a leader in designing skyscrapers and corporate centers. With offices in New York and Chicago, SOM was responsible for many massive projects in both cities.
In the late 1960s, Sears, Roebuck and Company had become the world's largest retailer, with nearly $9 billion in sales and 13,000 employees. When the company decided to move its administrative operations to downtown Chicago, it clearly needed a very large headquarters building. The company determined that it would need at least 3 million square feet of office space. Real estate developers who had become involved in the project encouraged Sears to create a landmark presence in Chicago with a tall tower that included upper floors to be rented out to other tenants as office space.
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Still from Annie Hall
By: Woody Allen
Source: "Woody Allen and Diane Keaton." 1978. Corbis. Image no. U1926151. Available online at http://pro.corbis.com (accessed July 1, 2003).
About the Artist: Woody Allen (1935–) was born Allen Konigsberg in Brooklyn, New York. When he was sixteen, he failed a college course in filmmaking, so he wrote for radio and television, eventually getting a staff position with Sid Caesar's cast. He also tried standup comedy. His film career began in 1964 when he wrote and acted in What's New, Pussycat? He made his directorial debut in 1969 with Take the Money and Run. His breakthrough film was the Academy Award–winning Annie Hall (1977).
In Woody Allen's 1977 film Annie Hall, Annie, played by Diane Keaton, is a budding Midwestern singer, and Alvy, played by Allen, is a Brooklyn comic. They meet in Manhattan and begin a romantic relationship. Annie matures because of Alvy's attentions, and, by the end of the film, chooses southern California over New York. Annie Hall won four Oscars, including one for Keaton's Annie. Keaton's look in the film became a fashion sensation. Her clothes had a thrown-together look with oddly...
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By: Norma Kamali
Source: Evening Ensemble. The Costume Institute, The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Available online at http://www.metmuseum.org/collections/ (July 1, 2003).
About the Designer: Designer Norma Kamali (1945–), a native of New York, was educated at the Fashion Institute of Technology, graduating with a bachelor of fine arts degree in 1964. She opened her first boutique on East 53rd Street in New York in 1968. In a long and ongoing career, she has designed inventive clothing as well as accessories and fragrances, winning numerous awards for her achievements. In 2002, she was inducted to the Fashion Walk of Fame in New York.
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Sony Walkman Advertisement
By: Sony Corporation
Source: Sony Walkman Advertisement. The Advertising Archive Image no. 30506755.
About the Organization: In 1946 a group of engineers formed the Tokyo Telecommunications Engineering Corporation. The group had worked in Japan during World War II developing military equipment. The company would be renamed Sony and over the next half century, it would become a world leader in the development of electronic equipment, including such household items as transistor radios, tape recorders, televisions, and computers.
In 1978, legend has it that Sony president Akio Morita decided he would like to listen to his own selections of music while flying on airplanes. He brought the idea to the company, and soon, the simple, hand-sized cassette player with lightweight headphones was out on the market. Another story credits the tape recorder division with the invention. Faced with the dreaded corporate reorganization if they didn't find a new product, the tape recorder division came up with the small cassette player capable of stereo playback by tweaking some of their existing products. Morita learned of their invention and supported it.
Whatever its origins, Sony put together...
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