The History and Practice of Graphic Design in a New York City Archive’s Stunning Collection

On view are World War I-era posters, specimen books from ‘30s Germany, an early sketch of the MTV logo, copies of Colors magazine (Benetton’s mag from the 1990s), and the ‘60s-era taboo-breaking erotic Eros magazine that Lubalin co-created with Ralph Ginzburg — who was imprisoned for distributing it in the United States mail. As the New York Times explains: “First published in 1962, Eros was a stunningly designed hardcover ‘magbook’ devoted to eroticism. While Playboy and other men’s magazines of the time catered mostly to male fantasies, Eros (named for the Greek god of love and desire) covered a wide swath of sexuality in history, politics, art and literature.”

The Herb Lubalin Study Center is one of the first archives ever devoted to graphic design — and they allow visitors to have hands-on access to the collection (by appointment, of course). See a preview of the collection in our gallery. Visit the Center’s exhibit Thirty: 1985-2015 through October 3.

Courtesy of Herb Lubalin Study Center
Courtesy of Herb Lubalin Study Center

Sketch for a proposed logo for the MTV network, 1980. Herb Lubalin Associates, Inc.