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Cipe Pineles's Editorial Design course dummies

Identifier: PC-02-12-02


Collection consists of twenty dummies created at Parsons School of Design by students in an Editorial Design course taught by Cipe Pineles. The course was situated in the Graphic Design (later Communication Design) Department. One of the dummies is Pineles's, used as an example for her students, titled, Ah, Me.


  • 1970 or 1971



3 Folders (20 items)

Language of Materials


Scope and Contents

The student projects forming this collection are "dummies," a print production stage in the design process from idea to execution. According to the Getty Art & Architecture Thesaurus Online, dummies are "unprinted, partially printed, or sketched samples of projected publications to suggest the appearance of the completed work."

Parsons School of Design students produced these projects in the third-year Graphic Design course, Editorial Design, taught by Cipe Pineles. A description of the course in the 1970-1971 Parsons School of Design catalog reads, "Plan and design a 24 page publication on a specified subject. Comprehensive layout due at the end of the first semester. If approved by a selected jury, the student may continue the project for actual publication at the end of the second semester" (page 24). The New School Archives does not possess any completed publications resulting from this class, and it is unknown if they were ever produced.

Comparing students' names with those in annual diploma lists compiled by the Office of the Register, it appears that the majority graduated from Parsons in either 1970 or 1971. The dummies may have been produced over the course of multiple semesters, thus representing the work of consecutive classes, or represent the work of one large class. One dummy, titled Ah, Me, is Cipe Pineles's own work, probably created as an example for students.

The dummies are all square and consist of 24 pages, most with illustrations rendered in ink, although a few include pencil. Each page is a visual response to a question, such as "My favorite vacation was...," about the student author-artist, written at the bottom of the page, with questions reoccurring across students' projects. The projects present a collective portrait of Parsons School of Design students at the beginning of the 1970s, while simultaneously providing insight into each students' lives and aspirations. Students' names, addresses and phone numbers appear on the back cover of each dummy.

Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research use. Please contact for appointment.

Use Restrictions

To publish images of material from this collection, permission must be obtained in writing from the New School Archives and Special Collections. Please contact:

Biographical Note

Cipe Pineles, (pronounced CEE-pee Pi-NEL-is), was a prolific designer and art director whose career stretched from 1932 to 1987. She gained recognition for innovative approaches to magazine design, including commissioning well-known fine artists to create commercial illustrations and creative layouts using multiple typefaces. Pineles raised the level of design quality in magazines directed at teenage girls and working women, paying these audiences respect by taking them seriously when women's interests and sensibilities were often treated as frivolous.

Pineles was born in Vienna, Austria in 1908 and spent most of her childhood in Poland. Her family moved to New York in 1923 to escape violence in Europe. In 1932 her fabric designs and displays were noticed by the publisher, Condé Montrose Nast, who invited Pineles to interview with M. F. Agha, the art director of Nast's Vogue and Vanity Fair magazines. Pineles worked as Agha's assistant for five years, during which time he became an important mentor and source of inspiration. In 1932, Pineles started working at Glamour magazine. She was appointed art director in 1942. She went on to serve as art director for Seventeen, Charm, and Mademoiselle magazines, as well as for Lincoln Center.

Pineles became an instructor at Parsons School of Design in 1962 and continued in that role until 1987. For one of her assignments, she led her class in the production of an unconventional yearbook, the Parsons Bread Book, that sold commercially and was recognized as one of AIGA's Fifty Books of the Year in 1975. Starting in 1970, Pineles also served as Parsons’s director of publications, mentoring a staff of students in the creation of promotional materials and shaping a new graphic identity for the school. She developed the iconic look that defined Parsons for many years, with images of fruit serving as geographic symbols for Parsons's campuses--apples for New York City, grapes for Paris, oranges for Los Angeles, used for nearly a decade on recruitment posters, mailers, and course catalog covers. As a teacher, Pineles had devoted students, but she also had detractors who were put off by her autocratic style. Enrollment in her classes begain to wane in the 1980s, and in 1987, when she was seventy-nine, her contract was not renewed.

As a pioneering woman in a male-dominated industry, Pineles did not receive the recognition that many felt she deserved. She did, however, earn many accolades late in her career, from the AIGA, the Art Directors Club, and the Society of Publication Designers. Charm magazine won Art Directors Club awards every year under Pineles’s direction. In 1975, Pineles became the first woman admitted into the Art Directors Club Hall of Fame. She received the Award for Excellence in 1978 and the Herb Lubalin Award in 1984, both from the Society of Publications Designers. Pineles died in 1991. In 1996, she was posthumously awarded the AIGA Medal for exceptional achievements in the field of design.



Audio interview with Alan Gussow, May 15, 1994. Parsons School of Design Centenary oral history project, PC.07.01.01, New School Archives and Special Collections, The New School, New York, New York.

Scotford, Martha. Cipe Pineles: A Life of Design. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1999.

Scotford, Martha. "Cipe Pineles." AIGA. 1998.

Historical Note

Parsons School of Design has offered courses in graphic design since the early twentieth century under various program titles, including Poster Advertising and Commercial Art, Advertising Design, and Communication Design.

In the 1960s and 1970s Parsons’s Graphic Design program was a three or four year course of study (earning a certificate of graduation or a BFA bachelor of fine arts degree), which sought to create an artist “who is able to think creatively about communication problems and find appropriate solutions for them.” The program focused on teaching students design proficiency in a wide range of media including drawing, illustration, photography, lettering, painting, and even film. Students were expected to use these skills to clearly and forcefully communicate a message to a viewer. James Frangides was chairman of the department during the 1969-1970 academic year, with John Russo becoming the new department chair in 1971. In 1972, the department name changed from Graphic Design to Communication Design, which remains the name of the program in 2017. Of twenty-four Graphic Design faculty members in 1971, Cipe Pineles was the sole woman teaching in the department.

Organization and Arrangement

Arranged alphabetically by student designer.

Custodial History

It is unknown how these dummies came into the possession of the seller.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased from Harper's Books, East Hampton, New York, 2017.

Related Materials

Several students represented in this collection contributed to the 1970 Parsons School of Design exhibition, My God! We're Losing a Great Country, and the 1971 Parsons School of Design yearbook for which Pineles served as faculty advisor. The yearbook and artwork from the exhibition are in the Parsons School of Design academic departments, programs and schools collection (pre-2009 accessions) (PC.02.01.01) of the New School Archives and Special Collections.

Guide to the Cipe Pineles's Editorial Design course dummies
New School Archives and Special Collections Staff
March 29, 2017
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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