American Graphic Design 66

This prospectus cover, designed by Peter Megert of Ohio State University before 1972, runs cold chills up my spine every time I look at it, a very effective graphic use of letterform.


I developed a work-study program (called cooperative education) with the nuclear plant WPPSS on the Hanford reservation in eastern Washington state and I saw things, and my students were involved in things that were almost beyond my comprehension.


After WPPSS collapsed, my program was transferred to Westinghouse. When Westinghouse lost the contract, Boeing took over and my program went with it. Just before I retired I was there on site in the design and photography office when the photographers came in after verifying leaks in the huge nuclear waste holding tanks. The whole operation was closed down after that. Don't plan on going up there to see for yourself. A S.W.A.T. team will meet you before you get to the site.

  • Jeremy Pettis 7y

    i prefer megert's subtle rotations...
  • Avraham Cornfeld 7y

    beautiful an original!
  • Jesse Kidwell 7y

    I was fortunate enough to meet Peter in his home recently. Quarky guy, great designer. This was always one of my favorites of his, simply brilliant design.
  • Maryellen McFadden 7y

    That's a wonderful thing to relate, to meet Peter in his home! I was very fortunate and got to meet Matthew Carter at Bitstream, Inc. in Cambridge, during a summer workshop at MIT but it was in a group back in 1986..
  • Brian Alter 7y

    wow! it's a slightly different approach (the scale changes in each rotation) but a killer album.

  • Dezcom 7y

    I worked with Peter Megert at Westinghouse Corporate Design Center in 1968 and '69. I was his design assistant while I was there and did mechanicals for him. We became friends and he convinced me to come to Ohio State where he was teaching design in the early 1970s. I became a graduate student there and Peter was my advisor. He was a stitch, funny as hell and a good guy. I remember him doing that piece.
  • Maryellen McFadden 7y

    I have heard nothing but good things about Peter Megert over the years. That was back before everything was done in Photoshop, but the design of those days set the standards for the design of today. How did you create the circles?

    I was working with Westinghouse Hanford supervising my Visual Media student intern placement and it was truly an experience!
  • Dezcom 7y

    The circles were created by using a decent bow compass with a tiny sharp blade attached instead of the lead. First you sprayed adhesive on the back of the repro proof of the word emergencies stacked. Then you flipped it over and put it on release paper--the sheet of blue stuff that was on the slip sheets of Letraset transfer lettering. Then you made a template with a compass to establish radii of the circles with an even progression of change. Then you cut each circle in succession on the repro with the blade inserted compass. After that, you rotated each concentric circle the proper amount visually and removed the ring of release paper before burnishing each ring. With all ring completed, you made a photostat and cleaned up any blemishes with white opaque or black Radidograph. It took some time. Today, you can do it in Adobe Illustrator in just a few minutes.
    The concept came from Karl Gerstner. If you have ever seen his book "Designing Programmes" published in 1964, look on pages 70-72.

  • scleroplex 7y


    thanks to Network Osaka for the pointer :-)
  • flickrdesign 7y

    Really cool!

    This design is now featured on flickrdesign.
  • David Choate 7y

    This piece is awesome was my inspiration for this:
  • Benjamin Laurance 6y

    Great work!! I like this.

    Hey why not come and join our Flickr group at the PNW

  • Benjamin Laurance 6y

    intresting work!
  • Dezcom 5y

    Is there any way to keep the spam leeches like XpressPrint from sucking the life out of Flickr threads :-(
    I guarantee that after that little trick above, I will never use his service.
  • scleroplex 5y

    who? what?
  • Maryellen McFadden 5y

    As usual, I'm left behind when understanding what's happening out there in the electronic world. who? what? I'm asking too.
  • Dezcom 5y

    Alki1 & scleroplex: What happened was a guy named XpressPrint spammed this thread. His post "was" just before my previous post. I was annoyed that he trashed your thread with his rudeness so I wrote my previous comment. Either he got a jolt of conscience and dumped his post himself, or some Flickr Admin deleted his post. Either way, now what remains is my out of context comment :-)
  • scleroplex 5y

    electronic archaeology :-)
  • Dezcom 5y

    or a digital episode of CSI :-)
  • Nguyen Thi My Hanh 5y


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Uploaded on March 7, 2007
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