Friday, January 7, 2011

Herbert Matter, designer and photographer

This is page 36 from American Artist published in March 1956, which illustrates the cover design and a page from the 1954 New Haven and Hartford Railroad Annual Report that was designed by Herbert Matter, New York. The magazine layout also features a portrait of Matter and also a page from a Knoll Furniture catalog designed by Matter showing the furniture designs by Eero Saarinen and Florence Knoll. The illustration is from the collection of David Versluis.

The writer of the article Eugene M. Ettenberg states, “The annual report of the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad Company features the trademark, designed by Matter, which is used with equal success as an engine emblem and as a company insignia. Inside pages show the happy combination of photo and type, which softens the harsh matter-of-factness of profit and losses.”

The author of Graphic Design History, Philip B. Meggs describes Matter’s New Haven and Hartford Railroad trademark as, “The mathematical harmony of parts demonstrates how alphabetic forms can be unified into a unique gestalt.”

Check here for an “Observed Piece” honoring Herbert Matter that was nicely compiled by Michael Bierut an editor for the Design Observer.

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