Graphic Designer, Author George Tscherny Finds Beauty in Ordinary Objects

RIT Cary Graphic Arts Press hosts book signing for Tscherny on May 4

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Bending wire to hang clothes in a closet or to clip papers together were two designs born out of necessity. The wire hanger and the paper clip may be ordinary objects in our everyday lives, but in his new book, Where would the button be without the button hole? Unsung heroes of anonymous design, published by the RIT Cary Graphic Arts Press, graphic designer George Tscherny explores the beauty among their sensibility.

RIT Cary Graphic Arts Press will host a reception and book signing for Tscherny at 4 p.m. on Monday, May 4, in the Alexander S. Lawson Publishing Center, second floor of RIT’s Wallace Library. The author will be on hand to sign copies of his book.

Tscherny shares examples from the many items in his own personal collection, analyzing everything from the folding lunch box to the vintage re-closeable bottle.

“I find the examples in George Tscherny’s new book immensely cheerful,” says Milton Glaser, designer. “His impeccable eye has isolated a selection of brilliant objects perfectly suited to their task and beautiful as well. The book is a marvelous tribute to a world of anonymous designers and to George himself.”

A comprehensive collection of Tscherny’s work is included in the Graphic Design Archives at RIT, including a corporate case study of Pan Am, samples of various paper companies and examples of his designs for the W.R. Grace Company. W.R. Grace Company, Johnson & Johnson, IBM and Mobil were among Tscherny’s corporate clients.

He began his professional career in 1950 as a packaging designer. In 1955, he opened his own design office and soon was appointed consultant to the Ford Foundation, with design responsibility for all publications. Throughout Tscherny’s career he worked on numerous identification programs for corporations. He served two terms as president of the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA). In 1997, Tscherny was inducted into the New York Art Directors Hall of Fame.

Tscherny’s full-color paperback book is $19.95 and can be purchased through the RIT Cary Press Web site at

RIT Cary Graphic Arts Press is a new academic press at RIT that publishes peer-reviewed scholarly content. Together with its companion imprint—RIT Press—the Cary Graphic Arts Press is working to craft a university press model that is progressive, innovative and nimble.

RIT Press is committed to publishing high quality titles and occasionally books of interest to the wider reading community.

The press maintains a close relationship with the Melbert B. Cary, Jr. Graphic Arts Collection at RIT, a renowned resource for those studying printing and graphic communications history, bookbinding, typography, papermaking, calligraphy and graphic design.