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Ivan Chermayeff graphic design work

Identifier: KA-0085-01


The collection consists of a print for Chermayeff's mural, "Painting by Computer"; an issue of the Harvard Advocate with cover and illustrations by Chermayeff; and two posters.


  • 1950-1987



0.1 Cubic Feet (3 folders consisting of 1 print [4 copies], 1 publication, 2 posters)

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Scope and Contents of Collection

Includes four offset print copies of a mural, "Painting by Computer," conceived by Ivan Chermayeff and produced by Chermayeff & Geismar Associates in 1977. The mural ran along the length of one wall from back to front of the Parsons School of Design's May Company Auditorium on the lobby level of its 66 5th Avenue building. Also includes an issue of the Harvard Advocate; and two posters, one for the New York Expo and one for an exhibition by Chermayeff.

Conditions Governing Access

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. Please contact:

Biographical note

Ivan Chermayeff was born in London in 1932 and immigrated to the United States in the 1940s. After attending Harvard University and Chicago's Institute of Design, Chermayeff earned a BFA from Yale. In 1957, Chermayeff formed a partnership with Tom Geismar, whom he'd met at Yale, and Robert Brownjohn. After Brownjohn's departure in 1960, the company, renamed Chermayeff & Geismar Associates, went on to become one of the most powerful graphic design firms in the United States. Specializing in a clean, Bauhaus-inflected style, Chermayeff & Geismar created total graphic programs that often included customized alphabets employed across logos, signage, packaging, and posters. In 1961, their logo for the new Chase Manhattan Bank led to a lasting industry-wide preference for abstraction in corporate identity graphics. Other clients include Xerox, NBC, Mobil Oil, Pam Am, the Museum of Modern Art, the Smithsonian Institution, Cornell University, the New York Public Library, National Geographic, PBS, and the Boston transit system (the firm created its lasting “T” identity).

In addition to his successful graphics business, Chermayeff has led a distinguished career as an independent artist. Among his many honors, in 1981 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts by the Corcoran Museum of Art in Washington, D.C., and in 1999 received a Distinguished Service Award from the New School University. A Trustee of the Museum of Modern Art, he has served as president of the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA), was inducted into the New York Art Directors Hall of Fame, and with Geismar received the Gold Medal of the AIGA and the Yale Art Medal for Outstanding Accomplishments in the Arts.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Acquired by Parsons School of Design sometime prior to the establishment of an archives unit and transferred to the archives, circa 1994.

Related Materials

The School of Visual Arts' Milton Glaser Design Study Center and Archives houses the Chermayeff & Geismar Collection.

Guide to the Ivan Chermayeff graphic design work
New School Archives and Special Collections Staff
March 9, 2011
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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