Bloomfield Hills, MI

Bradbury Thompson

Cranbrook Art Museum

From the time of the Bauhaus, Modernist design has endeavored to mediate cultural difference with well-designed goods and images. Through the grid and sans serif type, graphic design has popularized the ecumenical esthetic of High Modernism. Bradbury Thompson has been a major presence in Modernist graphic design for much of the 20th century, and this retrospective surveyed his work over the last 50 years.

One should acknowledge the corporation’s role as a patron for legions of designers. In this case, the West Virginia Paper and Pulp Company (Westvaco) has played Don Lodovico since 1938, when Thompson first began designing the firm’s publication entitled Westvaco Inspirations—a showcase for state-of-the-art design, particularly as it might encourage “creative” use of the printing papers Westvaco offers. By giving the designer free reign in esthetic matters, Westvaco enabled Thompson to

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