Save precious water. Floss your teeth. Buckle up for safety. Those are just some of the truisms familiar to generations of Singaporeans. Since gaining independence five decades ago, the Southeast Asian city-state has seen countless government campaigns aimed to mold citizens who could live up to the nation’s leap from Third World to First. Design has played a central role in these efforts, as evident in the 6,000+ posters preserved in the National Archives of Singapore.
Since its establishment in 1968, this state institution has archived posters as part of its collection of material culture—including government records, maps, photographs, oral history interviews, audiovisual, and sound recordings—that are significant to Singapore’s history. Most of its posters come from government campaigns, with a small number created for cultural events, movies, and corporations.
They collect books, magazines, posters, and ephemera for inspiration just like many other graphic designers, but Kind Company’s Greg D’Onofrio and Patricia Belen aren’t your average graphic design hoarders.
Their collection of book jackets by American designer Alvin Lustig, ads for Milanese tire company Pirelli, and classic design periodicals like the Swiss Typographische Monatsblätter are just a slice of the mid 20th-century graphic design the duo have amassed over a decade. With over 3,000 pieces of works housed within drawers, archival boxes, and bookshelves stored inside their 650-square-foot home office on the Upper East Side of New York City, the couple have literally built a house for modern graphic design.
Seymour Chwast is a well-known name in American graphic design history, but how many people have seen the breadth of his over long (six decades and counting) career?
At the recently launched Seymour Chwast Archive, anyone around the world can now scroll and click into Chwast’s witty and provocative oeuvre in the comfort of their pajamas. From a 1940s illustrated book featuring protesting farm animals to a 2011 woodcut portrait of The Notorious B.I.G for Fader magazine, this digital-only archive features some 300 posters, books, identities, and paintings by Chwast, once described by former colleague Milton Glaser as a “brilliant typographer, terrific designer, unique illustrator” all rolled into one.