Henry Dreyfuss Industrial Designer: The Man in the Brown Suit

Henry Dreyfuss Industrial Designer: The Man in the Brown Suit

Hahn Smith Design, Toronto, Ontario, 1997


This book was published as a companion to an exhibition at the Cooper-Hewitt Museum in New York as well as for sale to the outside public. Although Dreyfuss is relatively unknown outside design circles, his work is familiar to many. Our primary objective was to create a compelling object that would get people involved in this fascinating and very readable account of a man whose work revolutionized industrial design principles.

Dreyfuss always wore a brown suit and was reputed to own a brown tuxedo, thus the brown jacket. The Big Ben alarm clock on the front and back covers and typography of the title evoke the aura and era of a 1940s detective novel. We lifted some of this typographic detailing from Dreyfuss’s own work.

We used large images to open each chapter and highlight some of the more significant projects and clients of Dreyfuss’s career. Small references images cut directly into the text blocks so that they occur exactly where the text mentions them.

Collections: 50 Books | 50 Covers of 1997
Discipline: Book design
Format: Book cover


Design firm
Hahn Smith Design
Art directors
Alison Hahn, Nigel Smith
Graphic designers
Alison Hahn, Nigel Smith
Dennis Cowby
Kaufman, Scala, Abadi
Russell Flinchum
80# Repap Matte
Rizzoli International Publications, Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, Smithsonian Institution