Seymour Chwast (born August 18, 1931) an American graphic designer, illustrator, and type designer.
Seymour Chwast was born in Bronx, New York, and graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Cooper Union in 1951. With Milton Glaser, Edward Sorel, and Reynold Ruffins, Seymour Chwast founded Push Pin Studiosin 1954. The bi-monthly publication The Push Pin Graphic was a product of their collaboration.
Seymour Chwast is famous for his commercial artwork, which includes posters, food packaging, magazine covers, and publicity art. Often referred to as “the left-handed designer,” Chwast’s unique graphic design melded social commentary and a distinctive style of illustration. Today, he continues to work and is principal at The Pushpin Group, Inc. in New York City.
Seymour Chwast is the font designer of Chwast Buffalo, Fofucha, Loose Caboose NF, and Weedy Beasties NF.
Seymour Chwast is a member of Alliance Graphique International (AGI).
Chwast married designer Paula Scher in 1973 and divorced five years later. They remarried in 1989.
Seymour Chwast has created a style that is synonymous with the most creative and progressive aspects of graphic art and design. Seymour Chwast clients number among the most prominent corporations in the United States and abroad. His designs and illustrations have been used for advertising, animated films, TV, graphics, record covers, trade and children’s books, package designs, posters and magazines. His alpha-
bet designs are widely used. He co- designed and art directed Audience, a
magazine on the arts as well as Tube, a magazine for children. It is impossible to overestimate the impact of Seymour Chwast work. Through his much acclaimed covers for Time magazine, and works commissioned by Mobil Oil, J.C.
Penny, IBM, General Foods, Chrysler Corporation, Peugeot, MGM, Doubleday, CBS and A.T.T., millions of people all over the
world have been exposed to his art. Seymour Chwast works in a variety of styles
and media and his work has been exhibited by American Institute of Graphic Arts, Art Directors Club of New York, Society of Illustrators,
Type Directors of New York, Art Directors Club of Chicago, New York’s Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, California State University and Galerie Delpire in Paris.
Articles about Seymour Chwast and his work have appeared in the American Artist, Graphis, Graphics Today, Print Magazine, The New York Times Magazine, Graphic Design, Gebrauchsgrafik and Newsweek. Seymour Chwast has received numerous awards for his work and was recently honored with the Cooper Union St, Gauden’s medal. A special edition of IDEA, Japan’s leading graphic
arts magazine, devoted entirely to his work published in October 1973.
Several of his posters are in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Seymour Chwast participated in the exhibition; “A Century of American Illustration” at the Brooklyn Museum. Seymour Chwast and Push Pin Studios were honored with a two month retrospective exhibition at the Louvre’s Musee des Aris Decoratifs in March 1970. It was the first time an American graphic arts studio has been invited to exhibit at the museum. The show, entitled, ‘The Push Pin Style”, was a great popular critical success. Following
the engagement held in Paris, the show appeared – in major cities through Europe and in Brazil and Japan.
Seymour Chwast is the editor, publisher and art director of the Push Pin Graphic, a bi-
monthly magazine which boasts thousands of subscribers all over the world. Seymour Chwast is a founder and partner of Push Pin Press, a company which originates and produces a wide range of books. Seymour Chwast is on the Board of Directors of
the American Institute of Graphic Arts, visiting professor at the Cooper Union Art
School and is a member of the Alliance Graphique Internationale. Seymour Chwast has lectured
widely to students and professionals. Seymour Chwast has been reviewed in principal publications including The American Artist, Horizon Magazine, The New York Times Magazine, Graphis, Print Magazine, Gebrauch- sgrafik, Graphics Today and Newsweek. A special issue of IDEA, Japan’s leading graphic arts magazine was devoted entirely to his work. His work appears in ART IN SOCIETY and THE POSTER IN HISTORY Seymour Chwast is Visiting Professor at the Cooper Union School of Art, and a faculty member of the School of Visual Arts and
Brooklyn Community College. Seymour Chwast is a frequent guest lecturer at art schools throughout the United States. He is a former vice president and current member of the Board of Directors of the American Institute of Graphic Arts. In 1974 he was elected to membership in the Alliance Graphique Internationale. Alan Ferm, curator of the Print Division for The Library of Congress in Washington,
D.C. sums up Chwast’s career. “…it is impossible to discuss every aspect of the work of this diverse and talented artist. One has only to look at Chwast’s work to see that he is a person of exceptional accomplishment and range. The work of Seymour Chwast represents some of the most satisfying graphic design in America today.”
Seymour Chwast – Awards
- 1972 – Augustus Saint Gaudens Award, The Cooper Union School of Art
- 1983 – Art Directors Hall of Fame
- 1985 – Gold Medallist, American Institute of Graphic Arts
- 1992 – Honorary Doctorate, Parson’s School of Design
- 1997 – Masters Series, School of Visual Arts