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Graphis #135 cover, January 1968

Contributed by Florian Hardwig on Aug 25th, 2020. Artwork published in
January 1968
Graphis #135 cover, January 1968
Source: Scan courtesy of IADDB. License: All Rights Reserved.

When I prepared the entry about Bill Howell’s Pamoja Gallery poster, I wondered why the dimensional caps from Obese arranged on a curve looked so familiar. Now I remembered where I had seen this before – Peter Max used a very similar setting in his cover design for issue 135 of Graphis magazine, published in Zurich in January 1968. Here’s how Graphis introduced their cover artist:

Peter Max, designer of the cover of this issue, was born in Germany and came to the United States by way of Shanghai and Israel. He opened an art studio with Tom Daly in 1962, achieved rapid success, then withdrew for two years to prepare thousands of designs with which he has since emerged to dazzle the public at large and to brighten the American business scene. At 28 Max is an idol of the youth and has already been called ‘the Walt Disney of the next generation’. His arresting colours and slightly crazy ideas are now helping to sell clocks and crockery, foods and furnishings, while his posters (see pages 64 and 65) are big business in themselves. He sees in the new psychedelic […] productions, to which his own belong, ‘the foam of a tremendous wave that’s just beginning to lift’.

The grotesk caps in the center of the mirror image are a tad to small for me to identify. The artist’s signature at the bottom is in Reklameschrift Secession as usual. Max had used Obese already in 1967.

2 Comments on “Graphis #135 cover, January 1968”

  1. The tiny text appears to be Univers 55 in English, French and German.

  2. Yes, I think you’re right, Jay. The G and R certainly suggest as much. It’s not like there were an awful lot of other grotesks in this vein in 1968. Added, thanks!

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