Please don't steal our images, yeah?

What is this?

Black and white poster composed of white sans serif font spelling the words "Light" and "Years" which are superimposed to create a flickering image. Produced for the Architectural League's Beaux Arts Ball, March 13, 1999.

Why is this important?

While sketching ideas for a poster to announce the annual Beaux Arts Ball at the Architectural League of New York in 1999, graphic designer Michael Bierut realized that the words in that year’s theme, “Light Years,” had five letters each. He thought to overlay them. Nicole Trice, then an intern at Pentagram —an international design firm where Bierut has been a partner since 1990 — mixed Bierut’s simple concept with digital effects. Using Photoshop to create a solution implying light, shadow, and transparency, her collaboration with Bierut produced an image rich with implied temporality. Overlapping the two words in a white font —Interstate designed by Tobias Frere-Jones —created a luminescent effect that seems to flit across the black background the way film titles energetically come to life from old movie projectors. The poster even played a supporting role in Steven Soderbergh’s film Side Effects (2012), which was partially shot in the New York offices of Pentagram.

This is a poster from United States. It is dated 1999 and we acquired it in 2007. Gift of Michael Bierut.

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ This object is currently resting in our storage facility.

Its medium is

offset lithograph on white wove paper

Its dimensions are

59.7 x 97.8 cm (23 1/2 x 38 1/2 in.)

This object was designed by Michael Bierut and made for (as the client) Architectural League of New York

This object was donated by Michael Bierut

This object has been included in the following exhibitions:

See more stuff from the Drawings, Prints, and Graphic Design department.

Do you have your own photos of this object? Are they online somewhere, like Flickr or Instagram? Or have you created a 3D model of one of our objects in SketchUp or Thingiverse? If so then then tag them with ch:object=18710261 and we will connect ours to yours!

If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=http://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18710261/ |title=Poster, LIGHT/YEARS, 1999 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=31 January 2015 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>

If you would like to tell us more about an object or have found an error in an object record, please fill out this form. Objects that are slated to be on display when the museum re-opens in 2014 are being given priority but all corrections are welcomed!