2014

A small ‘M’ modern master

Philip Grushkin: A Designer’s Archive

By Paul Shaw
Glenn Horowitz Bookseller, Inc., $25

The history of graphic design has many gaps and omissions, whether through shifting tastes, technology and fashion or straightforward neglect. Philip Grushkin (1921-98) was a prolific mid-century book jacket designer – for Knopf, Random House and others – whose work is rarely mentioned in the graphic design histories and anthologies that cover his era.

One reason for this, suggests Paul Shaw in his book Philip Grushkin: A Designer’s Archive (Glenn Horowitz Bookseller, Inc., $25), is that Grushkin was modern with a lowercase ‘m’ rather than a Modernist. Shaw writes: ‘Grushkin … forged his own brand of modernism, a unique mixture of bold typographic hand-lettering, dynamic background patterns, vibrant colors, and abstract symbolism that owed nothing to the work of Rand, Lustig, or … Herbert Bayer.’

[…]

Paul Shaw, Philip Grushkin: A Designer’s Archive.

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John L. Walters, Eye editor, London

Read the full version in Eye no. 88 vol. 22 2014

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