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Get to Know Seymour Chwast, Graphic Design Legend

Self-portrait by Seymour Chwast from Frankfurter Allgemeine Magazin in the 1980s. All images from the <a href="http://www.seymourchwastarchive.com/">Seymour Chwast Archives</a>
Self-portrait by Seymour Chwast from Frankfurter Allgemeine Magazin in the 1980s. All images from the Seymour Chwast Archives

First off, it's pronounced "kwast." Second, if the name Seymour Chwast doesn't ring a bell—it does sound like a secondary character in a Dickens's novel—a new online archive of his work provides a simple way to remedy that gap in your graphic design knowledge. Born in the Bronx in 1931, Chwast, often called the "left-handed designer," grew up with comic books, WPA drawing classes, and an appreciation for past styles that helped make him one of the foremost illustrators of the post-Rockwell age. His bold style, wicked sense of humor and work founding Push Pin Studios and Push Pin Graphic publication along with fellow Cooper Union Grads Milton Glaser, Reynold Ruffins and Edward Sorel in the '50s wasn't just influential, it seeped into the culture. The fact that the DNA of Chwast's work can be found in everything from rock poster design to glossy advertising suggests the wide range of his influence.