Ivan Chermayeff: Mostly Early Covers
It’s not difficult to find examples of book covers by American graphic designer Ivan Chermayeff (1932–2017).
They’ve been featured in monographs about his long and legendary partnership with Tom Geismar, magazine profiles of their firm, and surveys of book cover design; they’ve been selected for inclusion in numerous AIGA competitions.
Chermayeff's best covers share qualities with his celebrated logos, posters, advertisements, and collages: they’re charming, clever, witty, and fun. Although it may not be difficult to find examples of his covers, when they’re shown with other examples of his work it’s easy to overlook them. Displayed alongside his firm’s intimately familiar logos for Mobil, Showtime, MoMA, and Chase, they tend to get lost. We’re inclined to notice and remember what we already know, and miss what’s less familiar to us: when in a crowd we seek out faces we recognize, the rest we barely register.
Katherine Small Gallery's inaugural exhibition in Somerville, Massachusetts, allowed Chermayeff's (mostly) early covers to take center stage while simultaneously providing an opportunity to share insights about Chermayeff's remarkable career.
This detailed, full-color catalogue accompanied the exhibition and is the first survey of Chermayeff's early book covers. It includes an introduction and exhibition checklist by guest-curator Michael Russem.
Design and typography by Kat Ran Press
Published by Katherine Small Gallery, 2018
Softcover, 32 pages, Smyth-sewn binding, full color offset, 5.875 × 8.25 inches