Design Couples: Paula Scher and Seymour Chwast

Posted inDesigner Interviews
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By: Caitlin Dover | June 13, 2010

Paula Scher and Seymour Chwast

How did you meet?

Paula: Seymour and I first met in January of 1970 when I was a senior at Tyler School of Art. A publishing art director named Harris Lewine arranged for me to have an interview with Seymour at Pushpin.

Where do you live and work now?

I am a partner of Pentagram and work there on Fifth Avenue and 25th St. Seymour’s business is still called Pushpin and it’s on 9th Street between University Place and Broadway. We live on 26th in Chelsea and in Salisbury, Connecticut.

Did either of you influence the other in your choice of discipline?

Yes, I originally wanted to be an illustrator, but I realized, being around Seymour, that I’d never be good enough, so I concentrated on design.

Do you ever collaborate?

We can’t collaborate at all. It’s a total disaster. When I was an art director at CBS records I hired Seymour to illustrate some covers and it was OK. He asked me to write for the Pushpin graphic, but that was always terrible.

What’s your favorite thing that you’ve done or created together?

We are both good parents to our dogs.

How are your working lives and home lives integrated?

We have studios at home in our Connecticut home. We see each others’ painting and we show each other work when we either want input, or we like it.

What’s the best thing about being a couple working in design?

When we complainabout work our partner can be sympathetic.

How do you approach design-related decisions that you make as a couple in your daily lives?

Seymour does whatever I tell him to do.

How do you each think your partner influences your practice?

Seymour always works harder than me so it keeps me workingharder.

Seymour: I just do every thing Paula tells me to do.

Next: Rudy VanderLans and Zuzana Licko

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