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The Container List Blog

January 15, 2013

Erasermate: Put it down and take it back

Wolf shot the photograph for this ca. 1980s Papermate ad, which was originally a full magazine spread. Presumably the art direction credit here includes the choice of this outrageous but strangely compelling combination of magenta boots, purple legwarmers, and high-cut acid-wash jeans. Against their layered, cool-tone palette, the yellow barrel of the pen stands out, its silver clip echoing the silver italic copy. The only snag here, in my opinion, is the affected rhythm of “Think, Re-think, State, Re-state,” which falls too comfortably into the exhausted “Big Idea” voice that was so prevalent in advertising a few decades before, and doesn’t really achieve any meaningful interaction with the image.

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January 07, 2013

Foot fetish

The transfigured shoes of Push Pin Studios.

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October 18, 2012

Fifty-seven varieties of Heinz

Heinz Edelmann, like his contemporary Milton Glaser, had an incredible range of graphic styles, both in his mode of illustration and layout. This 1982 poster for the Westdeutscher Rundfunk broadcaster’s series Reden muß man miteinander (roughly—correct me if I’m wrong—“We need to talk”) enlists an exceptional array of devices recalling the work of Seymour Chwast: there are similarities in the pattern, abstracted period stylization, and a floating quality to the shapes and forms, though imbued here with Edelmann’s more spastic bursts of emphasis. For comparison, see this Chwastian cat or this notable cover of Pushpin Graphic. Click through for the full poster.

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May 20, 2011

Performance for yourself

Allan Kaprow, innovator of the Happening, the Environment, and the Activity, brought his expanded view of art to post-modernism.

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July 21, 2010

Music box

Chermayeff & Geismar’s packaging for these Gramavision CDs brings me back to the CD bins in the (long gone) Tower Records on Broadway and E. 4th Street.

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January 29, 2009

For the love of Pee-Wee

Here’s a 1981 print from highly influential graphic artist (and longtime SVA instructor) Gary Panter advertising Paul Reubens’ Pee-Wee stage show in Los Angeles. The show was the springboard for Reubens’ feature film, Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure, and later his acclaimed series, Pee-Wee’s Playhouse. Panter was the head set designer for the TV show and this early poster displays his trademark jagged lines and surreal sensibility. Now scream real loud when you hear the secret word…

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January 16, 2009

Inspiration: XTC and Milton Glaser

XTC’s Andy Partridge readily admits to using Milton Glaser’s 1966 poster for radio station WOR as the inspiration for the cover art for XTC’s 1989 album Oranges and Lemons. He has also professed his love of the work of Yellow Submarine art director and designer Heinz Edelmann, who is also a new addition to the archives — sneak peek to come!

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