INDUSTRIAL DESIGN Volume 3, Nos. 1–6, February 1955–December 1956. New York: Whitney Publications, Inc.

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Volume 3, Numbers 1–6, February–December 1956

Jane Fisk Mitarachi [Editor]

Jane Fisk Mitarachi [Editor]: INDUSTRIAL DESIGN. New York: Whitney Publications, Inc., Volume 3, Numbers 1 – 6, February– December 1956. 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 magazines with 868 pages and illustrated throughout and printed on different stocks, including 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."

This issue 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.

  • Contributors
  • Books
  • News
  • Color Problems - I: A new kind of color consciousness creates big headaches for industry
  • Good Design in Aluminum: A world-wide collection, assembled in Canada, will soon visit the U.S. [includes work by Erik herlow for Dansk, Willard H. Buschman for R. A. Frederick Co., and Ernest Race for Ernest Race, Ltd.
  • Redesign: Incandescent bulb
  • Ski boot
  • Lou Dorfsman of CBS Radio: 8 pages with 25 illustrations, one in color [includes one tiny illustration by Andy Warhol]
  • Noticed the New Haven? Herbert Matter, Florence Knoll and Marcel Breuer's work for the New Haven Railroad [13 pages with 37 illustrations and a two-sided three panel fold-out]
  • Kitchen of Tomorrow, III: Newest Frigidaire display kitchens
  • Designs from Abroad: includes work by Acton Bjorn, Count Sigvard Bernadotte
  • Designers' Desks: Lippincott and Margulies' offices designed by Chief package designer Norman Schoelles and other staff members
  • "Education of a Designer" debated
  • Student Projects: a modern Conestoga
  • Surgical Tools
  • New Techniques in Model Making by Rudy Koepf and Edward Ferrari
  • Cars '56
  • News: includes illustrated announcement of the release of the 670 Lounge Chair by Charles Eames for the Herman Miller Furniture Company.
  • Shaping America’s Products: Design and Craftsmanship in large-Scale Industry by Don Wallance. Material for this article was obtained by Wallance while serving as a research consultant for the Walker Art Center and the American Craftsmen's Council of New York. Wallance espoused the "designer-crafsman" ideal in postwar America, the idea that craft should be integrated into manufacturing as a way of improving quality and functionality. While Wallance's ideas were not unusual -- clearly derived from the Bauhaus theories sweeping the country after the War -- he provided concrete instances of the "designer-craftsman" ideal in action.
  • Smaller Projection Lamp
  • Design for Merchandising: Chas. D. Briddell: George Nelson and Irving Harper’s flatware and packaging design for Carvel Hall’s “Leisure” line (9 pages). Includes a photo of Harper and Nelson brainstorming with staff members.
  • Designs from Abroad: Golden Compass Awards: designs by Kartell, Achille and Piergiacomo Castiglioni, Gino Sarfatti, Bruno Munari, and Franco Albini among others.
  • Bob Rockwood, travelling plastics specialist
  • Exhibitions: U.S. plastics travel abroad: A portable display by Will Burtin
  • British designs in the U.S.A.
  • The case of the tinier tuners
  • Dialogs on Graphic Design: J. Müller-Brockmann: 8 pages with 19 examples of the Swiss master’s graphic design. Josef Muller-Brockmann began his career as an apprentice to the designer and advertising consultant Walter Diggelman before, in 1936, establishing his own Zurich studio specialising in graphics, exhibition design and photography. By the 1950s he was established as the leading practitioner and theorist of the Swiss Style, which sought a universal graphic expression through a grid-based design purged of extraneous illustration and subjective feeling . . . . Müller-Brockmann was founder and, from 1958 to 1965, co-editor of the trilingual journal Neue Grafik (New Graphic Design) which spread the principles of Swiss design internationally. He was professor of graphic design at the Kunstgewerbeschule, Zurich from 1957 to 1960 and the Hochschule fur Gestaltung, Ulm from 1963. From 1967 he was European design consultant for IBM.
  • Student Projects: Pratt Institute
  • Color Problems, II: organic coatings
  • The Plastics Industry and Design
  • Introduction: Plastics Decade
  • Rohm & Haas: Design Service
  • GE: Drawers for a mass market
  • Plumb premix hammer: A new formulation
  • Anchor Plastics: Three packages
  • The industry practices self-discipline
  • The question of quality
  • Yale and Towne doorknobs in an art gallery: includes work by Paolo Venini, Fernand Leger, Philip Johnson, and Mirko
  • Do/More's man-tailored chair: includes work by Raymond Loewy Associates
  • Redesign: Four concepts in flight
  • Designs from Abroad: Exhibition of Japanese household objects at Design Research in Cambridge—includes work by Ruth Asawa
  • Shaping America's Products—II by Don Wallance: includes work by Blenko Glass, Herman Miller Furniture (Charles Eames, Gilbert Rohde, and George Nelson), Gerber legendary Blades, and Coors Porcelain
  • Exposition Report: Design Engineering Show
  • AMA Packaging Exposition
  • U.S. Gypsum's latest in meshes
  • Color problems III: Ceramics
  • Design review: International Auto Show
  • Air conditioners
  • Housewares: includes work by Leon Gordon Miller and Maurizio Tempestino
  • Packages
  • Contributor
  • Letters
  • The Aluminum Industry and Design
  • Million-dollar modelmaking: Boeing’s 707 jet interior: Design by Walter Dorwin Teague Associates
  • Russell Wright as economic diplomat
  • Designs from Abroad: London’s Design Centre: Designs by Arne Ervi and Carmella Rossini and various British manufacturers
  • ”Captive” vs. (?) “Independent” (!) Designer by George Nelson
  • The Craftsman as Designer-Producer by Don Wallance: includes sections on George Nakashima, James Prestini, Lee J. Mahsoud, and Charles Eames. The material for this article was obtained by Wallance while serving as a research consultant for the Walker Art Center and the American Craftsmen's Council of New York. Wallance espoused the "designer-craftsman" ideal in postwar America, the idea that craft should be integrated into manufacturing as a way of improving quality and functionality. Wallance offers a series of profiles, from George Nakashima and Ray and Charles Eames to James Prestini and Lee J. Mahsoud, with each presented as an exemplification of the integration of design and craft. While Wallance's ideas were not unusual -- clearly derived from the Bauhaus theories sweeping the country after the War -- he provided concrete instances of the "designer-craftsman" ideal in action.
  • Machining with Sound Waves
  • Design of Tennis and Golf Equipment
  • Power-mower: designer-engineer collaboration
  • Highlights from the Plastics Exposition: Monsanto’s famous plastic house
  • Second Conference of Design Educators
  • Color Problems: Plastics with Integral Color
  • Cars ’56: The Driver’s View
  • Design Review: Barbecues
  • Pleasure Craft
  • Design in the Midwest: the Chicago area
  • Index to Chicago
  • Introduction: Dramatis Personae
  • Close-ups: How industry uses design: Motorola, Inc.
  • Crane Company: design by Henry Dreyfuss
  • Hotpoint Co.
  • The Frank G. Hough Co.
  • United States Gypsum Company: includes a small inset on an A. Quincy Jones designed Eichler house for Gypsum’s Research Village in Barrington, Illinois
  • Masonite Corporation
  • Dormeyer Corporation
  • Identification Programs
  • The Process of Product Planning by Latham, Tyler, and Jensen
  • Change: Ecko Products Company
  • Montgomery Ward
  • Institute of Design of I.I.T.: a new era with Jay Doblin, Moholy-Nagy’s successor as Director
  • Chicago Design Directory: includes brief synopses on Raymond Loewy Associates, Painter, Teague, and Petertil, Morton Goldsholl, Stowe Myers, and Angelo Testo among many other designers and design firms.
  • Afterthoughts on Aspen by James Marston Fitch
  • Textiles for Industry: “a selection of contemporary American textiles produced by industry and craftsmen, presented at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, August 29 to November 4, 1956.
  • The Perkin Centennial
  • Annual Design Review: 102-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.
  • Introduction: What's New?
  • Communications
  • Appliances
  • Heating and Lighting
  • Obsolescence by George Nelson. With illustrated examples by Isamu Noguchi, Marcello Nizzoli, Gio Ponti, Paolo Venini, Ferdinand Porsche, Wilhelm Wagenfeld, Bruno Mathsson, Joseph Hoffmann, etc.
  • Design Classics from Abroad
  • Building
  • Equipment
  • Selling
  • The Annual Design Review includes work by Morton Goldsholl, Charles Eames, Raymond Loewy, Herbert Zeller, Eliot Noyes, Lippincott & Margulies, Henry Dreyfuss, Harold Van Doren, Nolan Rhoades, Mel Boldt, Yasha Heifetz, Ernst Lowy, Hary Lawenda, Max Weiss, Maurizio Tempestini, Jason Harvey, George Nelson, Peter Muller-Munk, Paul McCobb, Jens Risom, John Keal, Eero Saarinen, Isamu Noguchi, La Gardo Tackett, Jack Lieberman, Trudi & Harold Sitterle, Paul Evans, Charles Piper, Nord Bolen, Ekco Products, Jerome Moberg, L. Garth Huxtable, Harry Lankford, Roger Nowak, John Peter, Harely Earl, Paul Rand, Saul Bass, Harry & Marion Zelenko, Lester Beall, Louis Danziger, and many others.
  • Technics Review
  • Calendar
  • Index to 1955 issues of Industrial Design
  • Regular features include Contributors’ Profiles, Letters, News, Editorial, Technics, Design Review, and Manufacturers Literature.

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.”