Stephen Frykholm

Herman Miller Summer Picnic August 20, 1971 - Watermelon Screen Print 1971



Lacquer, Ink


Original Herman Miller Summer Picnic screen printed lacquer ink and lacquer finish print. August 20, 1971 annual company picnic poster is a close up graphic vector of a seeded watermelon in bright red and green. Framed in silver metal frame. In 1970, Herman Miller hired its first in-house graphic designer, a bright-eyed Cranbrook graduate named Steve Frykholm. Among his initial assignments was the task of designing a poster to promote the company’s annual picnic. Little did he know that the resulting poster would spark an ambitious series that has since made its way into countless museum collections and firmly landed him on the short list of Herman Miller’s illustrious design alumni. We sat down to chat with Frykhom about the benefits of being in house and the transformative quality of a really great poster.

Artist Biography

Stephen Frykholm was born in Seattle, Washington in 1942. His work with graphic design began in 1966 in Abu, Nigeria while serving in the Peace Corps at a trade school for girls where he taught students how to screen print. A useful skill for communication, especially at that time of political unrest and civil war in the nation. When he returned to the US he received an M.F.A. from Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Shortly after graduation he was hired as the first in-house graphic designer at Herman Miller, Inc. He’s still there today, and serves as the Vice President of Creative Design. For those who are not familiar, Herman Miller is a local West Michigan company that has produced some of the most notable furniture designs of the 20th century including works by Charles Eames, Isamu Noguchi, George Nelson, Irving Harper, Alexander Girard and many others. He has received many awards for his work over the years and became an AIGA (American Institute of Graphic Art) fellow in 2005. A selection of his renowned picnic posters are part of the permanent collections at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and the Library of Congress. Here is a link to a fantastic Design Observer interview with Debbie MiIlman that really gives you a sense of who Steve is.

Dimensions With Frame

H 39.25 in. x W 25.25 in. x D 0.75 in.

Dimensions Without Frame

H 39.5 in. x W 25 in.