Push Pin Studios

Graphic design as art.

09.3.2021

At Commune we find beauty in the human touch. Our projects are filled with handmade objects, from every design discipline, such as carved wood bowls, hand-woven textiles, and hand-made type. And while many things are generated using a computer, our practice in graphic design has a history of being drawn and painted. For this reason we are attracted to the work of Pushpin Studios, founded in 1954 by the Cooper Union alumni Seymour Chwast, Milton Glaser, and Edward Sorel.

Pushpin Studios became famous by launching a promotional publication called Pushpin Almaneck which showcased the studio’s work while providing a format for experimentation. The studio’s huge body of work was largely executed as illustration and, according to Milton Glaser, was inspired by an eclectic mix of references ranging from Art Nouveau and Chinese wash drawing to German woodcuts and American primitive paintings. This novel approach to graphic design still seems significant as the work seems to blur the line between art and design.

Pushpin’s work is credited for breaking away from the non-sentimental, non ambiguous ethos of modernism which was the popular aesthetic of the time, and although we still love the organized discipline of the modernist, we at the same time love the playful, weird, and colorful style of Pushpin.