Push Pin Studios

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Push Pin Studios is a graphic design and illustration studio formed in New York City in 1954. Cooper Union graduates Milton Glaser, Seymour Chwast, Reynold Ruffins, and Edward Sorel founded the studio.

After graduating from Cooper Union, Sorel and Chwast worked for a short time at Esquire magazine, both being fired on the same day. Joining forces to form an art studio, they called it "Push Pin" after a mailing piece, The Push Pin Almanack, which they self-published during their time at Esquire. Sorel and Chwast used their unemployment checks to rent a cold-water flat on East 17th Street in Manhattan. A few months later, Glaser returned from a Fulbright Fellowship year in Italy and joined the studio.[1]

The bi-monthly publication The Push Pin Graphic was a product of their collaboration.[2] A distinctive quality of Push Pin's early illustration work was a "bulgy" three-dimensional line.[3]

Sorel left Push Pin in 1956, the same day the studio moved into a much nicer space on East 57th Street.[1] For twenty years Glaser and Chwast directed Push Pin, while it became a guiding reference in the world of graphic design. Today, Chwast is principal of The Pushpin Group, Inc.[4]

The exhibition "The Push Pin Style" traveled to the Museum of Decorative Arts of the Louvre, as well as numerous cities in Europe, Brazil, and Japan in 1970–72.

Graphic designers and illustrators John Alcorn (in the late 1950s), Paul Davis (1959-1963), Barry Zaid (1969–1975), Paul Degen (1970s) and others spent time at Push Pin early in their careers.[5]


  • Chwast, Seymour. Push Pin Graphic: A Quarter Century Of Innovative Design And Illustration. Chronicle Books, 2004.


  1. ^ a b Blechman, R.O. "Edward Sorel," Hall of Fame biography, Art Directors Club (2002).
  2. ^ Seymour Chwast & Push Pin Archived 2008-04-19 at the Wayback Machine, accessed June 6, 2008.
  3. ^ Interview with Robert Grossman, in Heller, Steven. Innovators of American Illustration. New York: Van Nortrand Reinhold, 1986.
  4. ^ Pushpin Group website, accessed June 6, 2008.
  5. ^ AIGA Biography of Paul Davis. American Institute of Graphic Arts website.

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