INDUSTRIAL DESIGN Volume 2, Nos. 1 – 6, February 1955 – December 1955. New York: Whitney Publications, Inc.

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INDUSTRIAL DESIGN
Volume 2, Numbers 1 –6, February 1955 – December 1955

Jane Fisk Mitarachi [Editor]

Jane Fisk Mitarachi [Editor]: INDUSTRIAL DESIGN. New York: Whitney Publications, Inc., Volume 2, Numbers 1 –6, February 1955 – December 1955. Original editions bound in green fabricoid with gilt stamped spine. A non-circulating University reference library edition with minimal institutional markings. All covers and advertisments present.  An exceptional reference set.

[6] 9 x 12 magazine with 804 pages and illustrated throughout and printed on different stocks and an amazing variety of editorial content. Here is what the publishers wanted this magazine to accomplish: "A bi-monthly review of form and technique in designing for industry. Published for active industrial designers and the design executives throughout industry who are concerned with product design, development and marketing."

These issues of INDUSTRIAL DESIGN celebrated all the best of modern American industrial design.  Includes many examples of furniture, ceramics, housewares, appliances, automobiles, buildings,  radios, projectors, televisions, and many other objects designed for the burgeoning postwar middle class.

Contents include:

  • How a Big Design Office Works: Walter Dorwin Teague Associates
  • Good Design Exhibition
  • Space and Structure: R. Buckminster Fuller Geodesic Domes, etc.
  • Why Polyethylene?
  • Designs from Abroad
  • Rosebuds on the Silverware by Eric Larrrabee
  • Three Dream Kitchens: including the GE Kitchen by George Nelson
  • Calibrating a Ship Curve
  • Greetings from Designers: Ladislav Sutnar, Ben Shahn, I. M. Pei and others in full color
  • Perspective; a new system for designers by Jay Doblin
  • Cars ‘55: 8 pages and 53 images
  • Design Review: High Fidelity, furniture, ceramics, housewares, appliances, automobiles,  radios, projectors, televisions, and many other objects
  • Housewares: George Nelson Weather vanes and birdhouses.
  • Invention
  • Dream Cars: Buick Wildcat III, LaSalle II, Oldsmobile Delta 88, GMC l’Universalle, Lincoln Mercury Futura, Pontiac Strato-Star, Cadillac Eldorado,
  • The El Comes Down: John Pile
  • Frames for Fiberglass Displays
  • The Story of Rubbermaid Products
  • Men and Machines: Computers
  • REdesign: dome-shaped barn
  • REdesign: lotion dispenser, portable lock, micro switch and Citroen suspensions
  • Motor Sports Show: 3-wheelers and Minis from Europe!
  • what are the best materials for cooking utensils?
  • Exhibitions: Danish Silver in the USA and American Designs in Paris
  • Student Toy Projects
  • Sitterle Ceramics
  • Lunge by Loewy: cartoons by Raymond Loewy
  • Design Review: Applaince controls, furniture, ceramics, housewares, appliances, automobiles,  radios, projectors, televisions, and many other objects
  • Housewares
  • Appliances
  • Perspective; a new system for designers by Jay Doblin
  • Technics
  • Frontis: full-page photogram by Lester Beall
  • The Education of a Designer: Institute of Design, Pratt, Cranbrook, Art Center School, etc.
  • AMA Packaging Show
  • Dialog on Graphic Design I: The Torrington Design Program and Lester Beall
  • Plastic Coatings
  • Design in Unexpected Places
  • Design from Abroad: Yusaku Kamekura’s packaging designs
  • Designing for Die Casting
  • REdesign: Tripod and Camera
  • Development of Basic materials through Design: Hawley Molded Products
  • Invention
  • Kitchen Equipment
  • Air Conditioners and Fans
  • Full-page ad for Product Information designed by Ladislav Sutnar for Sweet's Catalog Service. In 1941 Knud Lönberg-Holm appointed Sutnar as chief designer of the Information Research Division for Sweet’s Catalog Service. Together the two men used modern functional principles to solve the contemporary problem of information organization and —most importantly—retrieval. During the next 20 years at Sweet’s Sutnar and Lönberg-Holm defined and pioneered the field now called information design. Illustrated in Ladislav Sutnar Prague  New York, page 235, no. 426.
  • Design Review: barbeques, furniture, ceramics, housewares, appliances, automobiles,  radios, projectors, televisions, and many other objects
  • Perspective; a new system for designers by Jay Doblin
  • Enter the Viscount
  • Redesign
  • IBM Brain Center: Eliot Noyes
  • Aspen Report: Harry Bertoia,
  • Bell and Howell Hi-Fi
  • Douglas Fir Plywood Exhibition: Chris Choate, S. Robert Anschen, John Campbell, Whitney Smith, and A. Quincy Jones.
  • Paul Rand: Ideas about Design: 8 pages of Rand’s designs and their inspirations
  • US Trade Fairs: Paris, Milan, Liege, Sweden [H55].
  • Introduction to sheet forming techniques
  • Big Break in Vault Doors
  • Designs From Abroad: Italian and Swiss Lamps by Ettore Sottsass, etc.
  • Fastener Review
  • Design Review: furniture by Herman Miller, Raymor, Knoll, Thonet, etc.
  • Invention
  • Perspective; a new system for designers by Jay Doblin
  • Full-page ad for Product Information designed by Ladislav Sutnar for Sweet's Catalog Service. In 1941 Knud Lönberg-Holm appointed Sutnar as chief designer of the Information Research Division for Sweet’s Catalog Service. Together the two men used modern functional principles to solve the contemporary problem of information organization and —most importantly—retrieval. During the next 20 years at Sweet’s Sutnar and Lönberg-Holm defined and pioneered the field now called information design.
  • Design in Detroit Special issue
  • Harley Earl and his Product
  • Auto-biography: the story of body construction: with 3-page color fold-out.
  • Dependents and Independents: Walter B. Ford Corp.; Harley Earl, Inc.; Lawrence Wilson, Assoc.; Sundberg-Ferar
  • How the Independents get the inside dope
  • Autos and Americans: the great love affair by Eric Larrabee
  • Case Studies: Plymouth ‘55; Continental Mark II; GM’s Universalle
  • Perspective; a new system for designers by Jay Doblin
  • Aluminum Finishes: a review of techniques
  • Design Review: furniture, ceramics, housewares, appliances, automobiles,  radios, projectors, televisions, and many other objects
  • Full-page ad for Product Information designed by Ladislav Sutnar for Sweet's Catalog Service. In 1941 Knud Lönberg-Holm appointed Sutnar as chief designer of the Information Research Division for Sweet’s Catalog Service. Together the two men used modern functional principles to solve the contemporary problem of information organization and —most importantly—retrieval. During the next 20 years at Sweet’s Sutnar and Lönberg-Holm defined and pioneered the field now called information design. Illustrated in Ladislav Sutnar Prague  New York, page 235, no. 426.
  • Annual Design Review: 90-page heavily illustrated feature presenting highlights of 1955 Industrial Design, including furniture, ceramics, housewares, appliances, automobiles, buildings,  radios, projectors, televisions, toys and many other objects.
  • Trends: color, elegance, big change in living habits, new products, toys, style
  • Speaking of Trends
  • Equipment
  • 5 readers as five consumers: Paul McCobb, etc.
  • 5 products that sold at Macy’s
  • Invention
  • Materials
  • Selling
  • Features work by Raymond Loewy, Virgil Exner, Harley Earl, Eero Saarinen, Henry Dreyfuss, Paul Mccobb, Peter Muller-Munk, Jens Risom, Hendrik Van Keppel & Taylor Green, Stuart Macdougall, Arthur Koch, Walter Dorwin Teague, Charles Eames For Tigrett, Harry Bertoia, William Armbruster, Florence Knoll, Serge Chermayeff, L. Anton Maix, Frank Lloyd Wright, Alvar Aalto, Gerald Thurston, Harold & Trudi Sitterle, Viktor Schrekengost, Elliot Noyes, Russel Wright, Kurt Versen, Matthew Leibowitz, Mitchell Bobrick, Alexey Brodovitch, Lou Dorfsman, Saul Bass, Lester Beall, Alvin Lustig, Morton Goldsholl, Bruce Beck, and many others.
  • Full-page ad for Sweet’s Catalog Services designed by Ladislav Sutnar!
  • Alvin Lustig and Bruno Munari Exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art.
  • ASID Conference Report
  • IDI Silvermine Symposium
  • More Decanters
  • Index to 1955 issues of Industrial Design
  • Regular features include Contributors’ Profiles, Letters, News, Editorial, Technics, Design Review, and Manufacturers Literature.

Features work by Henry Dreyfuss, Wilhem Wagenfeld, Paul McCobb, Raymond Loewy, Ladislav Sutnar, Alvin Lustig, Bruno Munari, Raymond Loewy, Virgil Exner, Harley Earl, Eero Saarinen, Henry Dreyfuss, Paul McCobb, Jens Risom, Hendrik Van Keppel & Taylor Green, Stuart Macdougall, Walter Dorwin Teague, Charles Eames, Harry Bertoia, Florence Knoll, Serge Chermayeff,  Frank Lloyd Wright, Alvar Aalto, Gerald Thurston, Harold & Trudi Sitterle, Elliot Noyes, Russel Wright, Kurt Versen, Matthew Leibowitz, Mitchell Bobrick, Alexey Brodovitch, Lou Dorfsman, Saul Bass, Lester Beall, and many others.

Here is former ID editor Ralph Caplan's recounting the magazines birth:  "Fifty years ago, the publisher Charlie Whitney ran into Henry Dreyfuss. 'Henry,' he said, 'I'm about to publish a magazine for industrial designers.' 'Wonderful,' Henry replied. 'There are 14 of us.' Caplan remembered, "I.D. was not begun as a magazine for industrial designers, but as a magazine for anyone who had a stake in design and cared about it. This allowed a great deal of editorial latitude."

In Design Literacy (Second Edition, Allworth Press),  Steven Heller wrote an essay describing the historical significance of  Industrial Design magazine: “Industrial Design was the brainchild of publisher Charles Whitney, who also published the successful Interiors. In 1953 he was convinced by his friend and advisor George Nelson that the time was right to introduce a specialized periodical devoted to practitioners of this burgeoning field. Interiors was already featuring its own industrial design column that had evolved into a discrete section, which Whitney realized had commercial potential as a spinoff. Interiors was also so beautifully designed that Industrial Design could have no less the visual panache of a coffee table book/magazine, replete with foldouts and slipsheets, not unlike the legendary design magazine Portfolio, published between 1949 and 1951. To accomplish this an eminent art director was sought. This was the age of great magazine art directors -- including Alexey Brodovitch, Alexander Liberman, Otto Storch, Cipe Pineles, and Alan Hurlburt -- and Whitney fervently believed that a magazine's design would be the deciding factor in its success. Hence Lustig was entrusted with considerable authority to design the magazine as he saw fit.”

“On the editorial side, however, Whitney decided to take a calculated risk by promoting two young Interiors associate editors to co-editors of Industrial Design. Jane Fisk (now Jane Thompson of the architectural firm Thompson & Wood in Cambridge) and Deborah Allen may have been inexperienced in the field of industrial design but nevertheless had a clear plan to introduce a distinctly journalistic sensibility into professional publishing that emphasized criticism and analysis rather than the puff pieces common to the genre. As it turned out, this became a point of philosophical contention between the designer and editors.”

“If they had a choice the editors would have preferred an art director who, as Thompson explained, "would have been in the trenches with us," a team player with journalistic instincts rather than a distant presence with a formalist sensibility. Because Lustig designed the initial dummy and subsequent two issues in his own studio and returned with the completed layouts to the editorial offices he had made certain assumptions about the presentation of content that were often inconsistent with the editors' vision. "We did not want the words to be gray space, we wanted them to have meaning," recalled Thompson about wanting more spontaneous design responses to the material. But instead of being journalistically intuitive, Lustig imposed his formal preconceptions, and designed the magazine as he would a book.”

“Blocks of text type were indeed used as gray matter to frame an abundance of precisely silhouetted photographs. But if there was a problem it was more in the editors' minds than Lustig's design. While it was not as journalistically paced as say, a Life magazine, it was respectfully, indeed elegantly neutral allowing, for a wide range of material to be presented without interference. Moreover, it was what Whitney wanted, so the editors reconciled themselves to building the magazine's editorial reputation through informative features written by authors not previously associated with trade publishing.”

“Thompson nevertheless hated the first cover with its tight grid and silouetted photographs. Instead she wanted to disrupt the design purity with a few well composed coverlines. She further favored a conceptual method of intersecting photography, resulting in an editorial idea, not a pure design. Lustig thought coverlines would sully the design and intersecting ideas would be too contrived. Years later, Thompson grudgingly admitted that maybe Lustig's judgment was wiser: "He wanted to make a strong simple statement, which he believed (perhaps erroneously since Industrial Design did not have to compete on the newsstand) had to stand up against the covers of the elegant fashion magazines." Lustig's design set the standard for future covers, and his successor, Martin Rosensweig, continued to produce covers for a few years afterward that more rigidly adhered to the same formal practices.”

“Despite these creative tensions, the early issues of Industrial Design reveal a shift in the nature of professional publishing from a trade to cultural orientation that was in no small way underscored by Lustig's classically modern design.”

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