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Poster, Paul Newman, 2001

This is a poster. It was designed by Ralph Schraivogel and printed by Albin Uldry Workshop and lithographer: FotoArt Schrofer and made for (as the client) Filmpodium der Stadt Zürich. It is dated 2001 and we acquired it in 2010. Its medium is screenprint and lithograph on white wove paper. It is a part of the Drawings, Prints, and Graphic Design department.

Paul Newman, Filmpodium Zurich (2001) is by the celebrated contemporary Swiss poster designer, Ralph Schraivogel. This compelling poster has been compared to the inventive, puzzle-like, modernist posters of Paul Rand, especially Rand’s 1951 Dada poster (1981-29-206), which invites reading in both a vertical and horizontal orientation. The Newman poster is similar in that it requires the viewer to derive understanding from multiple directions.
Schraivogel’s clever and sophisticated design approach is reflected in the way he plays on the double reading of the actor’s last name by laying out the typography so that the letters N and W form the first syllable of the actor’s last name, while the M and N form the second syllable. This typographic economy creates a tight and unified composition. Schraivogel allows Newman’s photographed facial features to bleed through the typography at key intersections, directing the viewer’s gaze to the actor’s mouth and eyes. Schraivogel completes the visual play by incorporating the word “Paul” to form the actor’s nose. Schraivogel also employs color to pull the viewer first to the yellow N and then to the M—the blue of the M plays on the actor’s immediately recognizable blue eyes.
In 2007, the museum acquired posters from Schraivogel that demonstrated the designer’s use of curving pattern, image, and type to create ambiguous spatial effects. This poster evolves from a different design aesthetic and tradition and shows another facet of Schraivogel’s design approach.

This object was featured in our Object of the Day series in a post titled NeWMaN.

This object was donated by Anonymous. It is credited Gift of Anonymous Donor.

Its dimensions are

128 x 90.4 cm (50 3/8 x 35 9/16 in.)

Cite this object as

Poster, Paul Newman, 2001; Designed by Ralph Schraivogel (Swiss, b. 1960); screenprint and lithograph on white wove paper; 128 x 90.4 cm (50 3/8 x 35 9/16 in.); Gift of Anonymous Donor; 2010-8-1

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<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url= |title=Poster, Paul Newman, 2001 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=22 April 2018 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>

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