Chwast was an influential American graphic designer and illustrator who worked closely with Milton Glaser and was a co‐founder of Push Pin Studios and the Push Pin Graphics magazine, in 1954 and 1955 respectively. Like his associates at Push Pin Studios he did much to undermine the abstract forms, ordered layouts, and machine aesthetic of International Style graphics by using hand‐drawn lettering and illustrative content. Amongst his influences were 19th‐century popular advertising, together with its typography and garish colours. His output was prolific and included a wide variety of realizations including posters, magazines, books, packaging, record covers, and animated films. A contemporary of Glaser at the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art in New York, he studied painting, illustration, and design there from 1948 to 1951. He then gained professional experience, designing in a junior capacity at the New York Times, followed by time at House and Garden and Glamour magazines. In 1954, together with Milton Glaser and illustrators Edward Sorel and Reynold Ruffins, he founded Push Pin Studios and in the following year, with Glaser and Ruffins, Push Pin Graphics. Chwast edited the latter, an important vehicle for graphic experimentation, until 1981. During the 1980s he worked in partnership with Herb Lubalin and Alan Peckolick, forming Pushpin, Lubalin, Peckolick in 1981. His work became widely known internationally, commencing with the retrospective exhibition of Push Pin Studios' work in the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, in 1970, inclusion in A Century of American Illustration at the Brooklyn Museum, New York, in 1973, and a one‐man show at the Galerie Delpire in Paris in 1974. His awards included election to the Hall of Fame of the Art Directors Club of New York in 1983 and the medal of the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) in 1985.
Subjects: Industrial and Commercial Art.