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The Container List Blog

June 10, 2011

Seymour Chwast keeps it cool

Here in New York we’re struggling through a heatwave. Perhaps a good course of action for those lucky enough to reside in air-conditioned high-rise Soho lofts is to keep it cool by lounging about with bright furniture, like the sporty cat in this illustration by Seymour Chwast (undated, but probably for the Frankfurter Allgemein Zeitung).

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June 04, 2010

Subscribe to Push Pin Graphic

The thing that fascinates me most about Push Pin Graphic is how unpredictable they manage to be all the time. Even apart from the contents of each issue, every promotion contains — no matter how generic the thing as a whole may be — some off-kilter element that has a defamiliarizing effect on the whole endeavor. The Cherie Currie-esque figure here has no other reference anywhere on the page, she’s just hanging out in the margin of the tearaway.

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August 14, 2009

The Pancake King

In 1971, Phyllis La Farge and Seymour Chwast collaborated on the children’s book The Pancake King, which described the rapid ascent of a young master of the griddle pan. It spoke of the joy of breakfast, the perils of fame, the importance of family and of maple syrup. More spreads from The Pancake King are viewable on Flickr (thanks to Norman Hathaway), and show Chwast’s dexterous use of scale and bleed between spreads, and tidily-set Bodoni. The book was included in AIGA’s Fifty Books of the Year.

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July 10, 2009

Seymour Chwast for McDonald’s

In 1979, McDonald’s hired Seymour Chwast to contribute one version of the packaging for the introduction of their new product, the Happy Meal. The promotion cost one dollar, and comprised a hamburger or cheeseburger, twelve-ounce soft drink, a small order of french fries, and a McDonaldland Cookie Sampler (not pictured). Along with their comestibles, the first customers could look forward to discovering either a McDoodler stencil, puzzle book, a McWrist wallet, an ID bracelet or McDonaldland character erasers.

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June 26, 2009

The Push Pin corporate identity

This label, stuck authoritatively on the back of a mounted board as a bit of corporate identity — complete with the overrule, grotesk “Group Incorporated,” and high-contrast logotype — exploits its context to achieve a kind of reflexive wit, a kind of acknowledgment of what is being put over, that gives it a unifying effect (it is at once more than, and no more than, a “bit of corporate identity”). This is achieved with an unusually unaffected air — a combination that I think has always characterized Chwast’s work.

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