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Pink envelope
Milton Glaser. "The Search For Beauty" envelope for Gilbert Paper, 1993.
August 05, 2021

The Search for Beauty

When print publications were alive and well, paper companies would bankroll elaborate promotional pieces to plug their products. Gilbert Paper’s “The Search for Beauty,” designed by Milton Glaser along with David Freedman in 1993, was no exception. With a mandate from Gilbert simply asking the piece be interactive and have appeal to an international audience, Glaser conceived of a high-concept project that required the participation of many designers.
Borchure sketch
Milton Glaser. Sketch for envelope and booklet pages.

He sent out 176 visual questionnaires asking artists to respond to prompts asking for beautiful examples of a typeface, human face, fruit, color, landscape, background, and foreground. He received 82 responses from designers including Henrietta Condak, Stephen Doyle, Wim Crouwel, and Shigeo Fukuda, and published them all in a booklet, along with some composite illustrations featuring unexpected combinations of works from different artists. Ultimately, “The Search For Beauty,” wrapped in a blank translucent visual questionnaire and packaged in a striking pink envelope, represented an artful bit of data visualization.

This post also appears in PRINT.
 
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