‘Designers & Books’ Launch Kickstarter for Seymour Chwast’s New Illustrated Antiwar Book

Seymour Chwast is a design legend. As co-founder with Milton Glaser of Push Pin Studios, he led a revolution in graphic design in the 1960s and ’70s, producing bold, vibrant work that pushed the limits of nearly every visual medium—from posters, advertisements, book jackets, and magazine covers to album covers, product packaging, typography, and children’s books. His pioneering role as a designer, author, and activist continues to influence and inspire 21st-century designers.

Seymour Chwast, 2016.
Seymour Chwast and Milton Glaser, 1968; Bob Dylan and Joan Baez flanking a Seymour Chwast poster, 1964. Photo: Courtesy SVA Picture Collection.

Now, he turns his pen and sketchpad toward creating a new book on a subject that has been a personal obsession for nearly six decades: the fight against war, humankind’s never-ending scourge.

Designers & Books has launched a Kickstarter campaign to publish Seymour Chwast’s new book of antiwar illustrations: Seymour Chwast at War with War: An Illustrated Timeline of 5000 Years of Conquests, Invasions, and Terrorist Attacks.

For more than six decades, Chwast, who celebrates his 85th birthday this year, has used his signature blend of design, illustration, and social commentary to wage a campaign against war.

From “At War with War.” Iraq War, 2006.


From “At War with War” by Seymour Chwast. Rwanda Civil War, 1994.


At- War-with-War-Punic-Wars
From “At War with War.” Punic Wars, 264.


At- War-with-War-Haitian-Revolution-1791
From “At War with War.” Haitian Revolution, 1791.


To support the Kickstarter, Chwast has opened the doors to his archive, offering both new and vintage items to backers. Included among the special items are three of Chwast’s personal copies of his first antiwar publication, A Book of Battles, which he self published in 1957; his Vietnam War era poster “War is Good Business, Invest Your Son”; and a one-of-a kind four-color mechanical for a book he wrote with Steven Heller.

Seymour’s desire was to present his reaction to war in its purest form. To put his gut on the page. To set aside his interest in color and mixed media and use what would allow him to focus on the ideas alone: marker on paper; just black on white. His technique serves the content and the intention — to viscerally connect with the audience and bring front and center the horror and waste that is war. — Steven Heller, graphic design writer and editor of At War with War.



At- War-with-War-Book-Cover

At War with War Specifications

Size: 6.6 x 9.5 inches, 88 pages, 35 original illustrations, hardcover

At War with War will involve a master letterpress printer and a process utilized for fine and limited editions. The book will feature an introduction by Victor Navasky, former editor and publisher of The Nation, and will be edited by renowned graphic design writer Steven Heller.

Seymour Chwast working on a woodcut illustration of Teutonic knights conquering Prussia, 1283, from “At War with War.” “At War with War.”

Maria Papaefstathiou

VISUAL DESIGNER since 1996 and blogger since 2010. Living in Athens, Greece. She has been focusing her research on poster design and particularly on social poster design and portrait design. Her main poster project is a series of posters celebrating great personalities of traditional and popular culture in Greece and Jamaica. These include actors, singers, musicians, poets etc. This is an ongoing project. “I believe that design is a powerful tool that we designers can use to spark enthusiasm, change mindsets and bring positive actions to our world and our culture”. FOUNDER AND EDITOR OF GRAPHICART-NEWS.COM BLOG. She carefully curates high-quality designs, illustrations, and art, from all over the world that will teach and provoke other designers. Many consider her blog to be an exceptional educational tool. CO-FOUNDER OF THE INTERNATIONAL REGGAE POSTER CONTEST which was launched on December 2011, partnering, the creative activist Michael Thompson aka Freestylee. (www.reggaepostercontest.com)