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Object Timeline

1958

  • Work on this object began.

1978

  • Work on this object ended.

2002

  • We acquired this object.

2011

2019

  • You found it!

Print, 100 Watt Soft White Bulbs, ca. 1968

This is a Print. It was graphic design by Paul Rand and made for (as the client) Westinghouse. It is dated ca. 1968 and we acquired it in 2002. Its medium is offset lithograph on white cardboard. It is a part of the Drawings, Prints, and Graphic Design department.

Paul Rand was a leading twentieth-century modernist graphic designer whose six-decade career left a lasting impact on graphic design, branding, and commercial art. Though sometimes whimsical, Rand’s ultimate focus was clarity in design. After revamping IBM's logo and corporate identity in the 1950s, he was asked to do the same for Westinghouse Electric Company. His first task was to redesign the company's visually outdated turn-of-the-century logo; his 1960 "W" trade mark, seen right center of this flat packaging, is still in use today. Aware of the importance of brand recognition, he retained the circle and underscore from earlier iterations, preferring to revamp rather than completely redesign a logo. Rand’s version is suggestive of a circuit board, connecting the logo's form to the company’s purpose. A year later he developed the Westinghouse Gothic typeface to be used on signs, packaging, advertising, and other corporate ephemera. In 1968, upon the success of his logo and other design consultancy work for Westinghouse, Rand redesigned the Lamp Division's packaging. He eliminated unnecessary graphics, using a light bulb to make the package’s contents apparent, and enlarged the type size that relayed the bulb wattage and hours, previously nearly illegible.

This object was catalogued by Karin Zonis. It is credited Gift of Marion S. Rand.

  • Edison Lamp, 1880
  • bamboo, glass, wood, brass, plaster, platinum, cork.
  • Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of American History, Cat. 310579.01.
  • 14.2012.44
  • Bulb Lamp, 1966
  • mold-blown glass, chrome-plated metal, incandescent bulb.
  • Gift of Ingo Maurer.
  • 2008-16-1-a,b

Its dimensions are

H x W x D: 19.1 × 10.2 cm (7 1/2 × 4 in.)

It is inscribed

Imprinted in white, upper center: 100 watt Soft White Bulbs; imprinted in green, on lightbulb below: wattage: 750 Avg. Hours/ 1670 Avg. Lumens/ (Light Output); imprinted in white, center-right, Westinghouse logo; lower left quadrant: 100 Watt Soft White Bulbs; imprinted in green, on light bulb: 750 Avg. Hours/ 1670 Avg. Lumens/ (Light Output); imprinted in white, lower left quadrant: 2 Bulbs; Verso: imprinted in white, upper center: 100 watt Soft White Bulbs; imprinted in green, on light bulb: 750 Avg. Hours/ 1670 Avg. Lumens/ (Light Output)/ 2 bulbs 66¢ plus tax; imprinted in white, upper right quadrant (under light bulb): 7SA192-100 Made in USA; center-right: Westinghouse logo; lower left quadrant: 100 Watt Soft White Bulbs; imprinted in green, on lightbulb (under wattage): 750 Avg. Hours/ 1670 Avg. Lumens/ (Light Output); imprinted in white, lower-center: 2 Bulbs; on right of #: Westinghouse Electric Corp/ Bloomfield NJ 07003

Cite this object as

Print, 100 Watt Soft White Bulbs, ca. 1968; Graphic design by Paul Rand (American, 1914–1996); USA; offset lithograph on white cardboard; H x W x D: 19.1 × 10.2 cm (7 1/2 × 4 in.); Gift of Marion S. Rand; 2002-11-43

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

<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18695417/ |title=Print, 100 Watt Soft White Bulbs, ca. 1968 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=24 April 2019 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>