|Perhaps no single element contributes more to a book's or catalog's eventual success than the work of a gifted designer. In 1970, Tim Hill and his colleagues launched a hardcover magazine/book of art and literature named Audience, whose archives have been acquired by the New York Public Library. In partnership with associates Seymour Chwast and Vincent Ceci, art direction was provided by the renowned graphic designer, Milton Glaser, who has written:
As a hardcover periodical, [Audience] came out every two months and was sold only by subscription. ...The printing was beautiful. In short a designer's dream! About the Home Page reproduction under DESIGN, Glaser comments, For an article about animals living in total darkness, I punched a series of pinholes in a sheet of black paper and lit them from behind with colored lights. They were then photographed and reproduced in color.
Audience offered us many opportunities for illustration. Since we designed it at the Studio and functioned both as art directors and illustrators, we naturally gave ourselves some very choice assignments. This watercolor illustrating a [Nelson Algren] story is a double portrait of Nijinsky and Daigilev. I wanted to show Nijinsky principally through the action of his shadow and a glimpse of his feet. In the back of my mind was a beautiful portrait of the dancer by the Russian artist, Bakst, and I didn't want to compete with it.
Another prominent book designer and leading poster artist with whom Tim Hill has been privileged to work is Lance Hidy, designer of One Mind's Eye by Arnold Newman (Home Page); Acts of Light, poems by Emily Dickinson and paintings by Nancy Ekholm Burkert; and the famous Ansel Adams book, Yosemite and the Range of Light, which sold over 100,000 copies in its 12 x 25 hardcover edition, plus two 9 x 11 1/4 softcover editions, one with 16 pages added for a Museum of Modern Art catalog. Hidy also designed the prototype for the highly successful Adams poster series.
Hidy has received the W. A. Dwiggins Award, New England's leading honor in the graphic arts. He designed, illustrated with his etchings and printed The Garden by Andrew Marvell, chosen by the Grolier Club as one of one-hundred best private books of the 20th century. He concludes his text for Lance Hidy's Posters as follows:
In my work I like blurring the common notion that commercial art is inferior to fine art; that the commercial artist has nothing to say, is simply talent for hire. My favorite story in art history has to do with the 18th and 19th century Japanese printmakers, the commercial artists of their time. They documented beautifully in their mass-produced ukiyo-e woodblocks the heartbeat and pulse of their own culture, but were little regarded by the Japanese fine art world. Their prints exerted profound influence in Paris and were catalysts for the revolutionary experiments of Manet, Lautrec, Bonnard, Degas, Gaugin, Van Gogh, Cassatt, and Matisse, and sparked the poster movement of the 1890s by stimulating an interest in color printmaking among the avant-garde artists. And how did the Japanese prints first happen to come to the attention of the Parisian art world? In 1856, pages from Hokusais Manga arrived as packing material around a shipment of valuable porcelain. In popular prints discarded as waste paper, the magic was still there, like the genie in the lamp, capable of touching hearts and minds.