Art in America magazine, January-February 1969
Elton Robinson (BS/Design 1955)
Throughout a career of nearly sixty years as a designer of magazines, books, corporate literature, and other printed materials, my goal has always been to present words and images in a manner that invites attention, stimulates interest, enhances clarity, and resides in memory. Though these qualities may vary in proportion with the function of the piece, I would hope that all have been present, to some degree, on every page. The date on this Art in America cover, January-February 1969, is significant. The extraordinary series of violent events of 1968 inspired the magazine's editors to put together an issue focused on how artists deal with, and have dealt with, violence and protest in their art. (Picasso/Guernica, for example). As the magazine's designer, I chose to avoid reference to any specific artist or issue by creating, framing, and photographing a simple bloodstained bandage, to represent violence itself. The image met my personal criteria, was creatively satisfying, has been professionally praised, and is, I believe, as distressingly relevant today as it was in 1969.
This work is featured as part of Future Former: An Exhibition of Alumni Work. This exhibition honors the creative work and careers of all Stamps School alumni, creates an aspirational connection between generations of U-M artists and designers and current Stamps students, and inspires reflection during the university's Bicentennial year.