Dan Friedman (1945–1995) was a prolific graphic and furniture designer, artist, writer, and educator. Dan Friedman’s work posed a radical challenge to tradition and commodification in design practice. Friedman’s typographic experiments, high-profile partnerships with artists and gallerists, social activism, and genre-defying works of assemblage established his career as one of the most dynamic and transgressive in American design history from his early training in modernist graphic design. (The Art Institute of Chicago, 1945)
“Dan was one of the people who created what is known as the new typography in the United States, which he helped reinvent by mixing typefaces, setting type at angles and using asymmetry in his design,” said Ellen Lupton, curator of contemporary design at the Cooper-Hewitt National Museum of Design in Manhattan. (“Dan Friedman, Graphic Designer, 49,” 1995)
Friedman worked as a senior designer at Anspach Grossman Portugal from 1975 to 1977 after returning to America. From 1970 to 1973, he taught at Yale University for three years. He served as the State University of New York at Purchase’s design department’s board chairman from 1972 to 1975. From 1979 to 1984, Friedman created logos, letterheads, posters, and more while working for Pentagram. Citibank and Williwear were among the clients. He made Day-Glo furniture out of found items. He created a book in 1982 for his friend Keith Haring. He did work for the Neotu Gallery. He served as the Cooper Union’s Frank Stanton Professor of Graphic Design beginning in 1994.
In his later career, he turned to furniture and environmental design and produced furniture collections for Galerie Néott in Paris. His 1989 Virgin Screen and 1989 Zoid sofa and chair were produced by Néotu. (Byars, 2004)
Byars, M., & Riley, T. (2004). The design encyclopedia. Laurence King Publishing. https://amzn.to/3ElmSlL
The Art Institute of Chicago: Dan Friedman | The Art Institute of Chicago. (1945, January 1). http://www.artic.edu. Retrieved October 2, 2022, from https://www.artic.edu/artists/8871/dan-friedman
Dan Friedman, Graphic Designer, 49. (1995, July 8). New York Times, 26.
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