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George Tscherny at 95
George Tscherny Collection. SVA logo, 1997.
July 12, 2019

George Tscherny at 95



George Tscherny was born in Budapest on July 12, 1924. Raised in Berlin, he emigrated to the US in 1941 received his education in design at the Newark School of Fine and Industrial Art and Pratt Institute. Then, he was off and running. He worked as a packaging designer for Donald Deskey in 1950 and soon after joined George Nelson's practice. Tscherny opened his own design studio in 1955, and has been working independently ever since. 

Tscherny is a seminal figure at SVA. He designed posters for SVA's original iteration, Cartoonists and Illustrators School, and then announced SVA's name change in a 1956 poster.
Poster for School of Visual Arts announcing name change, with small purple "s" and large orange "V" and large purple "A"
George Tscherny Collection. SVA name change poster, 1956.

He taught SVA's very first design course the same year. He's designed 15 subway posters for SVA over the years, each one exploring the spontaneity of the brushstroke, or the expressive properties of typography or photography. In 1997, in honor of the College's 50th anniversary, Tscherny created a new logo for SVA, which is still in use. His identity program and signage can been seen throughout the campus. 

Tscherny's work is elegant and economical. His fascination with texture and implied movement is always present. His work is modern and human. 

Happy Birthday, George! This is your century.
Cover for exhibition catalogue with colorful, abstractly arranged numbers.
George Tscherny Collection. Exhibition catalog, 1962.
 
1963 annual report cover for Burlington, with the company name in green printing on a waving piece of blue fabric
George Tscherny Collection. Annual Report cover, 1963.
 
Poster for Overseas National Airways with JET ONA spelled out in large orange letters.
George Tscherny Collection. Poster, 1961.
Poster with white background and folded ribbon representing colors of both the US and Italian flags.
George Tscherny Collection. Poster, 1968.
Program cover for Martha Graham with black background and abstract cut-outs in light brown and white.
George Tscherny Collection. Program cover for Dunetz & Lovett Publisher, 1963.
Book cover for Symbiosis by TC Cheng with white background and bleeding orange and blue watercolor splotches
George Tscherny Collection. Book cover, 1970.
Poster for San Francisco Clothing with grainy photo of woman holding a shopping bag with "SF" spray painted in pink
George Tscherny Collection. Poster, 1990.
Logo for Interactive Language Teaching with two red squares with corner cut out talking to each other.
George Tscherny Collection. Logo, 1991.
 
Poster with white background and blue watercolor water and brown gestural figures wading in the water.
George Tscherny Collection. Poster for Long Island State Park Commission, 1994.

Explore his collection in the Archives. If you're interesting in seeing his work in person, make an appointment to visit.

Finally, enjoy George himself talking about his work and his long relationship with SVA!