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January 12, 2020

Café des Affiches Gets a Makeover

Angelina Lippert

In an effort to give everyone access to even more incredible posters, we’ve gussied up Café des Affiches with its own set of food-focused designs, all from our Permanent Collection.

The best part? Guests can see all these posters without having to pay museum admission. Just head to the café, buy some Counter Culture Coffee or one of our delicious house-made snacks, and enjoy the view!


Medaglia d’Oro, c. 1954, Designer Unknown

In the 1950s, Medaglia d’Oro came out with a series of posters promoting various ways of enjoying their signature Italian-style espresso. Referencing the classic Swiss Object Poster, each design focused solely on the product itself accompanied by bold, simple text. Printed via photo-offset lithography, this poster advertises the joys of iced coffee (which, incidentally, you can buy right here in our café!).


Herman Miller Picnic, 1985, by Steve Frykholm (b. 1942)

In 1970, Steve Frykholm created the first in an iconic series of posters advertising the annual company picnic at Herman Miller. Each subsequent image would consist of an element of an outdoor picnic shown in extreme closeup. The bright colors and loose illustrative style printed via silkscreen has made the collection a highpoint of modern American design.


Cafe Plendl, 1911, by Ludwig Hohlwein (1874–1949)

Hohlwein was a master of the German counterpoint to Art Deco. Through the use of flat planes of color and subtle patterns, he created figures without outlines and space without depth. This poster advertises a “first class” coffee and pastry shop in Munich, filled with classy clientele. It was created via stone lithography.


Wisconsin Cheese, 2016, by Shine United

American rail travel posters during the mid-20th century typically showcased a weighty, impressive train charging across the landscape, an acute depth of field making it hard to tell where the locomotive even ended. This poster promoting Wisconsin cheese takes the best bits from that genre and updates them in a humorous, eye-catching design printed through offset lithography.


Heute Metzgete, 2011, by Dafe Kühne (b. 1982)

Printed in meat-like shades of red, this clever design twists type into the shape of a sausage to promote Metzgete at a local restaurant. Metzgete is a traditional Swiss meal in which one enjoys various nose-to-tail preparations of a freshly-slaughtered pig, all accompanied by potatoes and sauerkraut. Kühne created the poster as a linocut through letterpress.


Push Pin Studios Posters, 1981, by Seymour Chwast (b. 1931)

The formation of Push Pin Studios marked a return to illustration in the world of American advertising. A direct counterpoint to the grid-based simplism of European posters of the 1950s and 60s, Push Pin’s collaborative, tongue-in-cheek ethos resulted in a new generation of poster design whose influence is still felt today. Created through photo-offset lithography, this design advertises an exhibition of the studio’s work in Paris. Chwast notes that he was inspired by a 19th-century poster featuring a similarly corpulent butcher and originally aimed at changing the blood-lettering for a variety of shows. It was only ever used once.

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