Timeless Library: Dave Cuzner showcases design work created during—or inspired by—the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s.

Dave Cuzner believes midcentury modern design is so appealing because it doesn’t try to be era-specific or regard shifting stylistic trends. It adapts to the current needs of the user. That’s why his popular website, Grainedit.com, not only features work created between 1950 and 1970, but also contemporary design inspired by the era.

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MARKEN SIGNETE | Drawing upon Constructivist art and the Bauhaus movement, Anton Stankowski’s work shed excessive ornamentation in favor of a simplified yet formal approach. This book highlights many examples from Stankowski’s prolific body of design work.

Classic design lovers will delight in the interviews, articles, designers’ libraries, rare design annuals, type specimens, ephemera, posters and vintage children’s books highlighted on the blog and sold on Graineditshop.com.

When evaluating items to showcase, Cuzner has guidelines for each discipline. Furniture has to first be comfortable, then effortless in its form. Graphic design must express a strong sense of composition and color to convey a message.

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JACQUELINE CASEY | Jacqueline Casey was a graphic designer who is best known for the posters she created during her lengthy tenure for the Design Services Department at MIT. Heavily influenced by the Swiss/International style, her work skillfully employed wordplay, repetition and bold typographic elements.

Cuzner says modern design’s clarity and utility is relevant in any day and age: “I think the concept of functionality is attractive to many people—not just designers—who know that a well-designed product would not only serve its key purpose, but also projects simplicity and honesty in the materials and their methods.”

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REYNOLDS METALS | Produced for Reynolds Metals Company, this booklet marks an early foray into the world of information design from a modernist prospective. Working with a limited color palette and a keen seen of composition, the designer forged a visually stunning and highly informative piece.

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This article was written by Sarah Whitman and originally published in Issue 06 of the Mohawk Maker Quarterly. The Mohawk Maker Quarterly is a vehicle to support a community of like-minded makers. Content focuses on stories of small manufacturers, artisans, printers, designers, and artists who are making their way in the midst of the digital revolution. Learn more about the quarterly here and sign up to receive future printed issues.

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