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Object Timeline

1977

  • Work on this object began.

1981

  • We acquired this object.

2013

2016

2019

  • You found it!

Poster, "This is a pair of Levi's" for Levi Strauss, 1977

This is a Poster. It was made for (as the client) Levi Strauss. It is dated 1977 and we acquired it in 1981. Its medium is offset lithograph on paper. It is a part of the Drawings, Prints, and Graphic Design department.

This poster depicts a large-scale version of the Levi's guarantee ticket that founder Levi Strauss first affixed to the back right pocket of his jeans in 1892. Originally of oilcloth and sewn, the label was switched to paper in the early 1950s and affixed with staples, rather than thread, in the 1940s. The ticket's basic design, layout, fonts, and imagery have remained constant, and only minor differences in wording can be found. For instance, this one, from 1977, reads at the top: "For over 125 years," a notation that changed over time. While this ticket reads, "They are the original blue jeans," a 1930s label claims, "They are positively superior." In the two-horse logo trademark at right, a 1930s example offers the 1873 patent date for Levi’s riveted pockets, which allowed for sturdy denim pants, and is considered the birth year of the modern blue jean. The 1977 poster instead simply states, “Since 1850,” noting the date Strauss opened his dry goods wholesale business. Such differences suggest changed marketing strategies for new generations of consumers. In addition to affixing the label to jeans, Levi's also gave retailers sample tickets with denim swatches as part of their sales pitch.

It is credited Gift of Various Donors.

Its dimensions are

31.2 x 72.8 cm (12 5/16 x 28 11/16 in.)

It is inscribed

Printed in black ink, lower left edge: COPYRIGHT 1977, BY LEVI STRAUSS & CO., MARK A REG.

Cite this object as

Poster, "This is a pair of Levi's" for Levi Strauss, 1977; Client: Levi Strauss (United States); USA; offset lithograph on paper; 31.2 x 72.8 cm (12 5/16 x 28 11/16 in.); Gift of Various Donors; 1981-29-278

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<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18617655/ |title=Poster, "This is a pair of Levi's" for Levi Strauss, 1977 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=22 February 2019 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>