Then X Ten continues Herman Miller’s tradition of patronizing young graphic designers to create posters celebrating the company’s collection. Here, an ode to the Aeron Chair by Kam Tang.

Craig Redman and Karl Maier (aka Craig & Karl) created this homage to the Eames classic Hang-It-All.

A sweet illustration celebrating the Eames Lounge and Ottoman by Petra Mrzyk & Jean-Francois Moriceau.

The Eames Molded Plastic Chair takes on decidedly female proportions in the hands of Felix Pfaffli.

An amazing Eames-style collage hommage to the Molded Plywood Chair by Eda Akaltun.

The Eames Walnut Stool forms a series of alien columns in this poster by Sanghon Kim.

Herman Miller’s company initials are turned into an axonometric cartoon by illustrator Emily Forgot.

A cute pun on the Nelson Coconut Chair by Jonathan Zawada.

Keiichi Tananmi goes appropriately psychedelic with Nelson’s classic 1956 Marshmallow Sofa.

French illustrator Genevieve Gauckler took on the Setu, managing to make a visual joke out of an all-business office chair.

Co.Design

Contemporary Illustrators Reimagine Herman Miller Classics

Damn you, subpar Internet ads. These contemporary posters celebrating Herman Miller chairs hearken back to days when graphic design greats like John Massey reigned in the advertising world.

Herman Miller has patronized some of the greatest designers of the past century: Isamu Noguchi, the Eames, and George Nelson, to name just a few. But at the same time—albeit more quietly—the company has also patronized some legendary graphic designers, tapping greats like John Massey and Don Ervin to produce iconic ads and posters as the business expanded in the 1950s and '60s.

This year, Herman Miller launched a project called Then X Ten, a three-part celebration of what they call "the power of the poster." They put out an open call for poster designs celebrating the most recognizable silhouettes, eventually garnering hundreds of entries, and hand-picked 10 contemporary illustrators to create original works based on pieces like the Eames lounge chair and Nelson’s Marshmallow sofa. Visitors to Art Basel Miami got a sneak peek of the resulting traveling show earlier this month, and now we’ve gotten our hands on the full set.

The Then X Ten posters tend to fall into one of two categories: historic or sexy (some are both!). There’s an awesome Eames-style collage hommage to the Molded Plywood chair by Eda Akaltun and a clever rendition of the HM logo that references Constructivism and prefab housing by Emily Forgot. Meanwhile Keiichi Tananmi goes all-out psychedelic for the Marshmallow sofa and Craig & Karl (hey, remember them?) have mirrored the faces of Charles and Ray in their signature supergraphic style. Personal favorites include Felix Pfaffi’s superimposition of female anatomy on a Molded Plastic chair and Genevieve Gauckler’s friendly goblin hanging off a Setu Chair.

Each of these posters is clever enough to make us lament the gradual passing of print advertising. Flash banners just can’t compare.

More on Then X Ten is here.

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1 Comments

  • Guslaruffa

    What a great concept! The idea of reviving poster art is terrific. This revives an era when creativity was produced by hand medium such as colored pencils, markers, ink and acryilics. Cut, paste and drag has nothing on this era of design art. All hail HM!