In 1979, the year I graduated from high school, I remember seeing posters and ads for a new movie called Alien. Why was this cracked egg floating in space with acidic green vapors leaching out? And what did the headline “In space no one can hear you scream” mean? It left me wondering, anticipating, and was a perfect setup for a great sci-fi flick.
Five years later, I was working as a designer in New York City and I learned about the person who created that poster. The man was Phil Gips and the firm was Frankfurt, Gips, Balkind. Unlike most New York design studios that focused on one or two specialties, FGB seemed to have their hands in everything—annual reports, signage, and corporate identity (he is probably best known for the ESPN logo, which the sports network has used since 1985), as well as advertising, album covers and movie posters. In the 70s and 80s, Mr. Gips designed striking posters for Rosemary’s Baby, Downhill Racer, Superman, All That Jazz, Desperately Seeking Susan, Fatal Attraction, and Casualties of War. His poster for the French film Emmanuelle (1974) is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
Phil Gips died on October 3rd in White Plains. He was 88. Read the NY Times obituary.
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