We have recently moved our office to Encinitas and as we build and make this space our own I have been thinking about other successful transformations I have seen. The type wall from the CBS building sticks out in my mind. Lou Dorfsman was the art director for CBS from 1947 to 1987. In his time there he did many amazing things, but the Gastrotypographicalassemblage, as it became known, is one of the most impressive.
A collaboration between Dorfsman and Herb Lubalin, The 35 x 8.5 foot wall was designed with gridded type related to food and placed in the cafeteria in CBS’ headquarters. The wall really made the space and gave the room character and an obvious purpose. Dorfsman referred to the wall as “his magnum opus, his gift to the world” and it personally also sparked my love for typography. Unfortunately in 1990 CBS discarded the wall, but it was saved by a designer with some foresight named Nick Fasciano. Thanks to Nick the wall still exists but from improper care and storage it is damaged. The Center for Design in Atlanta has taken on the task of restoring the piece to its original glory. Check out and get inspired by his amazing creation. Hopefully it will be restored and put on display sometime soon.
Great video about the wall and Dorfsman: