Push Pin Studios

July 30, 2009

About Push Pin Studios

“While students at The Cooper Union, Seymour Chwast, Milton Glaser, Reynold Ruffins, and Edward Sorel worked after hours as Design Plus, doing a few commissions and silkscreening without much financial success, and, after graduation in 1951, they went their seperate ways: Chwast to work for the New York Times, Glaser first for Vogue and then to study etching in Italy, and Sorel and Ruffins for independent studios. However, Chwast, Sorel, and Ruffins, unfulfilled by their day jobs, began producing a promotional publication, the Push Pin Almanack (modeled after the Farmer’s Almanac with a bevy of illustrated facts, quotes, and even horoscopes), to gain freelance commissions. Back from Italy, Glaser joined them in 1952, and by 1954 they founded Push Pin Studios (Ruffins was not one of the original founders, but joined in 1955).

The Almanack was published until 1956; it gave way in 1957 to the Push Pin Monthly Graphic, but the Monthly was dropped from the title in 1961, when it was evident the publication schedule did not match the name. The Push Pin Graphic, showcasing the remarkable and unprecedented stylistic diversity of its members, became a magnet for work and acclaim for Push Pin Studios. Sorel and Ruffins left in 1956 and 1960 respectively, but Push Pin Studios had no problem attracting talent to meet demand: Paul Davis, James McMullan, and Isadore Seltzer were all part of the group throughout the 1960s and contributed to the Push Pin Graphic as well. In the early 1970s, Glaser left to start his own studio; Chwast remained in charge (and still is), expanding the pool of illustrators represented through the Push Pin Graphic, which continued its run of original content until 1980, through 86 influential issues.”

(from Graphic Design Referenced by Bryony Gomez-Palacio and Armin Vit)

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