A Matter of Scale
In the City that Never Sleeps
As a young designer in New York City, in the early 1970s, I was always inspired by strong urban graphics: complicated graffiti that completely covered subway cars; a painted cigarette advertisement on the side of a building on Eighth Avenue where the giant pack displaying extended cigarettes conformed to the shape of the building; a heroic sign for Pepsi-Cola that still commands attention on the East River when viewed from the FDR Drive in Manhattan.
(Fortunately, the latter has been declared a landmark.) These icons were individually formalistically beautiful, but they also held attention in the world’s most competitive landscape, and I loved their power.
New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) Lucent Technologies Center for Arts Education, Newark (opposite above). This old rectory building was converted into a high school for the performing arts. The building was completely covered in typography. (Photo: Peter Mauss/Esto)