The Legendary Wall

“Okay, wiseguy, what would you do?” With those words, Frank Stanton, former president of the Columbia Broadcasting Company, challenged Lou Dorfsman, the creative director, who died last Thursday at 90, to devise a concept for the 35′ x 8’6″ cafeteria wall in the new corporate headquarters. Dorfsman replied, “Give me 30 seconds …” and the mammoth “Gastrotypographicalassemblage” was conceived, subsequently rendered by Herb Lubalin and Tom Carnese (Lubalin’s sketch below). The wall was dismantled after 25 years (once the “Tiffany Network” became the Wallgreen’s network) and left to the termites. Recently, artist and illustrator Nick Fasciano obtained the nine panels, which are currently housed at The Center for Design Study in Atlanta, Georgia. Together with Richard Anwyl, he has mounted a campaign to “Save Lou’s Wall.” See a wonderful video here. And here is a great tribute by Michael Bierut.

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About Steven Heller

Steven Heller is the co-chair of the SVA MFA Designer /Designer as Author + Entrepreneur program, writes frequently for Wired and Design Observer. He is also the author of over 170 books on design and visual culture. He received the 1999 AIGA Medal and is the 2011 recipient of the Smithsonian National Design Award.

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