Clarence Lee IBM poster design

Clarence Lee IBM poster design
1960s IBM 7094 poster – Designed by Clarence Lee

Clarence Lee graduated from Yale in 1958 and went on to work for the uber graphic designer Lester Beall. In 1962 Clarence left Beall’s firm to work for IBM. During his time at IBM he designed the poster above for the IBM 7094 Data Processing System. The 7094 was released in 1962 and was built for large-scale scientific computing.

During the late 1950s – early 1960s, Paul Rand, Charles Eames ,Marcel Breuer and Eliot Noyes were involved in design work for IBM. It would be interesting to find out if Clarence had any interaction with these designers.

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That poster is wonderful. The design and the color palette both seem to be forward thinking for the 60′s. The typography seems similar to the work Aprel Gremanwas doing 20 years later in the 80′s.

On the subject of Uber talents, I recently bought 4 1960′s and 70′s IBM Annual Reports, all designed by Rand. I was surprised by how these appear very un-Rand. Maybe even un-designed. Or atleast un-what I expected. I pictured them to be as inspiring and non conventional as this Clarence Lee poster on the insides, but they aren’t. Makes me wonder what percentage of the work great design masters (or any decent designer) does that is just average. My portfolio is not all as beautiful throughout as are a few choice selections. However I was a bit disspointed by these IBM annuals, because it seems like at the time, Rand was teling the story of a new and changing business and technology environment, naking me think he would have been even more inspired.

Thanks for sharing this great poster.


marcelodecarli |

Found design |

Paul Rand was a teacher at Yale University and also a consultant at

This poster was done in the l970′s, the model was a pretty well-known
designer/photographer name of Bill Farrell, who resides in NYC.

I was able to visit Charles Eames In California when I was working on
the NY Worlds Fair. I was influenced in this spacial design by Herbert Matter,
who I was so enamored with. His Swiss Air posters were classics in
his day.

Thank you for including this in your poster designs.

Aloha. From Honolulu, Hawaii….Clarence Lee.

I am amazed that in all my poster searches I have not seen reference to IBM’s Design Center in Boulder, CO.

This creative bunch consisted of bossman Jack Stringer, three other industrial designers and three graphic designers, to wit: Ken White (lead), John Anderson and Tom Bluhm. I was on this staff as IBM’s only professional photographer and worked with the designers to achieve many handsome poster products.

Ken White and John Anderson were graduates of Kansas City Art Institute (KCAI) and Ken went on to Yale for his master’s under, guess who, Paul Rand. Tom Bluhm studied at the University of Colorado. I graduated from Dartmouth.

During my seven years in IBM Boulder’s Design Center, we created a host of graphic works that were handsome and effective, winning many awards and the acclaim of IBMers around the world.

Many of the great silk-screened posters we did were reprinted by the hundreds as employees from other international IBM offices saw our work and asked for copies. They were mostly intended for in-house employee-motivation purposes. Among the most popular was the well-known “Wild Ducks” poster.

I would be most pleased to discuss our work with interested folks. I have copies of many of our posters, almost all silk-screened by a Denver fine craftsman, Fred Jurado.

Rodger Ewy |

Found design |