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Layer cake
Milton Glaser. Printed sample study for Primrose / Beylerian Kites & Lites exhibition, 1982 (detail).
July 22, 2013

Layer cake

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.

Spread of two photos of the same painting, a collection of pink circles; left painting is covered in a translucent sheet

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:

Kite shaped graphic against taupe background containing text and circles in muted colors


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