The 50th Anniversary of Project Mercury

Posted by Michael Pinto on Apr 9, 2009 in Science

50 years ago in April of 1959 the then new American space agency NASA started Project Mercury — the goal of which was to have manned spaceflight. In 1962 Alan Bartlett Shepard, Jr. would make the first American sub-orbital trip — and later in 1962 John Glenn (shown in the video above) would make the first orbit: Read more…

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Lou Dorfsman: Designer of the Golden Age of CBS

Posted by Michael Pinto on Nov 2, 2008 in Design

Photograph of Lou Dorfsman from Interiors Magazine in 1955.

About a week ago I was very saddened to hear about the passing away of Lou Dorfsman. While Lou didn’t design the famous CBS eye (that was William Golden) from the 60s until the 80s he put the tiffany in the tiffany network. The CBS of today is but a shadow of what it was during that era, but back then it was one of three corporations that dominated American media and Lou gave them their signature look.

In my last year of art school my father purchased a copy of the book Dorfsman & CBS for me which showcased the entire career of Lou Dorfsman and it inspires me to this day. The first thing that you’ll notice is that most of what Lou does is in fact print design, and while he did do his share of animated titles and set designs it’s the medium at which he excelled. What I love about his work is that it’s not just about pretty pictures, but about using words and typography in clever ways to communicate his message. The other thing to keep in mind that as a creative director Lou was a manager, so what you’re seeing here is the word of many other talented people including typographers, photographers, illustrators and even printers.

Newspaper ad designed by Lou Dorfsman from 1962 showcasing the CBS News coverage of the John Glenn space flight.

The first time I viewed this ad was in a course on the history of graphic design, and I was blown away! It’s a newspaper ad from 1962 showcasing the CBS News coverage of the John Glenn space flight. What makes it brilliant is that Dorfsman has taken the graphic convention of the american flag and by turning it 90 degrees and adding a rocket made it represent the hopes and aspirations of the space program. Simply put this is conceptual graphic design at its best.

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