Daily Features

Seymour Chwast: Battling War with Art

New book of antiwar illustrations from co-founder of Push Pin Studios and graphic design legend launches on Kickstarter.

By Steve Kroeter April 28, 2016

For almost six decades, Seymour Chwast has used his signature blend of design, illustration, and social commentary to wage a campaign against war. 

Now, at age 84, he turns his pen and sketchpad toward creating a new book of powerful antiwar images, Seymour Chwast at War with War: An Illustrated Timeline of 5000 Years of Conquests, Invasions, and Terrorist Attacks. Designers & Books has just launched a Kickstarter to support the publication of this limited-edition book. Join us!

From At War with War, Teutonic knights conquering Prussia, 1283.

From At War with War, Haitian Revolution, 1791.

From At War with War, Rwanda Civil War, 1994.

At War with War visualizes humanity’s 5,000-year-long state of conflict, chaos, and violence on a continuous, relentless timeline. Seventy pages of stark black-and-white pen-and-ink drawings and woodcuts illustrate history’s most notorious battles — from 3300 BCE to the present day. As Seymour says, “there is no happy ending to this story — in fact, there is no end at all.”

Watch our video on the project, below

(Video by Christian Svanes Kolding)

At War with War will involve a master letterpress printer and a process utilized for fine and limited editions. The book will feature an introduction by Victor Navasky, former editor and publisher of The Nation, and will be edited by renowned graphic design writer Steven Heller.

To support this Kickstarter, in which he so strongly believes,  Seymour has opened the doors to his archive, offering both new and vintage items as rewards to backers, including original sketches and drawings and his famous antiwar posters as well as personal copies of his first illustrated antiwar publication, A Book of Battles, which he self published in 1957. There are also limited “Early Backer” discounts available for At War with War plus copies that Seymour will sign and stamp with his unique logo.

Selection of reward posters and prints

“War is Good Business, Invest Your Son,” giclée print, 18 x 24 in., of 1968 poster.

“End Bad Breath”" screenprint, reprinted in 1999 from original 1967 poster, 24 x 36 in.

“Visit Dante's Inferno,” original 1967 offset poster, 18 x 28 in., featured in a 2014 episode of “Mad Men” (to evoke the psychedelic ‘60s in ad executive Roger Sterling’s office).

“March for Peace and Justice,” original 1982 poster, 18 x 24 in., offset.


“War is Madness,” giclée print, 18 x 24 in., of 1986 poster, also the very rare original offset poster, 25 1/2 x 36 in.

“Peace,” giclée print, 18 x 24 in., of 1985 poster, printed for the 40th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima.

The Seymour Chwast at War with War Kickstarter project is part of a program to connect specialized audiences interested in design and creativity to noteworthy designer-authored books, and also to facsimile editions of important out-of-print books about design. Designers & Books was last on Kickstarter with the successfully funded facsimile edition of Visual Design in Action by Ladislav Sutnar.


Through June 4, Seymour’s antiwar art (including work from the book) will be on view in the exhibition “Seymour Chwast on War” at New York City’s Society of Illustrators gallery.

The Kickstarter runs through June 9. We invite you to be part of it.

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