Chermayeff & Geismar Collection

About the Collection

Ivan Chermayeff and Tom Geismar initially formed their partnership in the late 1950s and went on to revolutionize the field of visual communication and build one of America’s most influential graphic design firms. Together they created more than 300 corporate identity programs for companies such as Mobil Oil, Xerox, Chase Manhattan Bank, PBS, Univision, and Pam Am. Their work extends from logos to posters and publications to major exhibitions including the United States Pavilions at the World’s Fair in Montreal and Osaka, Japan. The Chermayeff & Geismar Collection contains much of the print material designed by the firm since its founding in 1957, including 325 posters, 340 letterhead samples, and more than 1,000 print samples (graphic standards manuals, annual reports, brochures, book and album covers, and packaging).

Photograph of a collection of torn paper containing Brownjohn, Chermayeff and Geismar's address. The Composing Room. "A Return Exhibition of Graphic Design by Brownjohn, Chermayeff & Geismar" poster. 28 x 22. 1959.
Photograph of a collection of varied, colorful baggage tags from the same airline. International Design Conference in Aspen. "The Invisible City" poster. 36 x 24. 1972.
Primarily red, black and white against blue background. Graphic of someone (presumably Winston Churchill) wearing a bowler hat and smoking a cigar. The cigar smoke floats upward and obscures the face completely. Mobil Masterpiece Theatre. "Winston Churchill: The Wilderness Years" poster. 46 x 30. 1983.
Rough black and red graphic, covered in paint splotches over a white background, showing a bomb hitting a brick wall. Mobil Masterpiece Theatre, "Danger UXB" poster. 46 x 30. 1981.
Green diagonal text over a dark blue background; letters that spell out elements from the periodic table of elements are highlighted in white. American Chemical Society. "Taking Things Apart and Putting Things Together" folder. 1974.
Close-up black and pink photo of a female blues singer. Torrington. "Moving air is easy...." advertisement.
The word "AIKEN" in large block text, taking up the whole of the page in red, white and blue. Aiken Industries, Inc. Nine month report. 1967.
The phrase "The Chase Manhattan Bank Annual Report to Stockholders For 1961" appears infinitely, with the Chase logo superimposed on top in red, green, blue and black. Chase Manhattan Bank. Annual report. 1961.
Grey words, with hot pink circles, appear stenciled on top of a dark brown background. Town Hall/Clarion Concerts. Poster. 16.5 x 19. 1959.
Dark shadow of the top of a violin against a white background. Across the top, supplementary text appears in a red paragraph. Concert Associates, Inc. Robert Gerle promotional piece. 1960.
A large green letter "z" against a white background. Text appears across top in yellow, and reads "i solisti di Zagreb, Antonio Janigro, director." Concert Associates, Inc. Antonio Janigro promotional piece. 1960.
Photocollage print, brown on blue, of several magnetic audio tape pouring out of mechanical rollers and tape heads, forming intricate looping designs. Dictaphone Corporation. Annual report. 1972.
The word "Dictaphone" is repeated infinitely next to a play button graphic. Black against blue background. Dictaphone Corporation. Annual report. 1971.
Title text appears on top of page, in bright yellow, in a font that appears to be vibrating. Rest of page is blank white. The Electric Circus Company. Letterhead. c. 1967.
Graphic of the letters USA appearing large and jumbled, almost abstracted. Red, blue, black and white. Expo '67. United States Pavilion booklet. 1967.
Gold, red and brown against white background. Graphic is a "K" made up of a dot grid. Krystal. Identity - packaging.
Green and blue text double printed to create a vibrating effect against white background. National Committee for a Sane Nuclear Policy, Inc. "Toward a Sane Nuclear Policy" booklet cover. 1960.
Blue and red graphic of a target covered in black ink splotches against a white background. Print. Magazine cover. 1962.
A series of horizontal green lines becoming progressively thicker from the top to the bottom of the page. Title appears in black. Uarco Incorporated. Annual Report. 1968.
The name "Milton Resnick" stamped repeatedly in green and blue ink, forming a scattered cloud. Howard Wise Gallery. Paintings By Milton Resnick poster. 13.5 x 22. 1960s.
Red, black and white graphic of several piano keys. Ninth Van Cliburn Piano Competition. Promotional material. 1993.
Orange and yellow graphic made up of triangles against brown background. Edgewood Furniture. Edgewood logo print. 12.5 x 20. 1959.