Every Day's a Picnic

Herman Miller Summer Picnic Posters by Stephen Frykholm

For 20 years, graphic designer Steven Frykholm created Herman Miller's annual company picnic poster. The bold and colorful designs are festive celebrations of summer and its seasonal attributes such as watermelon, sweet corn, ice cream and more. 

In 1970, Herman Miller offered the young Cranbrook graduate a position as the company’s first in-house graphic designer. Frykholm accepted and went to work immediately on his first assignment, designing the poster for Herman Miller’s annual company picnic. Frykholm's impressive tenure at the company – nearly 50 years – stands as a testament to his exceptional creativity and singular design aesthetic.

Today, Frykholm's posters can be found in several museum collections including the Museum of Modern Art, New York and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Read more about Frykholm and the picnic posters.

A good poster—a poster that is really communicating an idea—is still relevant. There are so many different kinds of posters: informational posters, promotional posters, commemorative posters. To me, a poster is really nothing more than a postage stamp, except big. And I think posters should be large.

Stephen Frykholm

A Life Lived with Herman Miller

The Collection of Betty Gorecki

Betty Gorecki's husband Richard worked for Herman Miller from the mid-1950s to the late 1960s—a defining era in the company's history, when the designs of Charles and Ray Eames, George Nelson and Alexander Girard changed the look of modern American design. 

Richard Gorecki was a traveling salesman that worked for the interiors department, consulting offices on furnishing their spaces with the adaptable and optimistic furniture and textiles that would become iconic of the era. Betty, a hairstylist who owned a salon, fell in love with the modern designs of Herman Miller and outfitted their home with the colorful and inviting aesthetic (even making custom curtains and pillows out of Girard fabrics). 

Art is only art if it is synonymous with living.

Alexander Girard

Along with classic Herman Miller designs, Betty also decorated her home with items purchased from Girard's Textile & Objects shop, including the delightful handmade dolls of Marilyn Neuhart and folk art from South America. This collection also features Herman Miller Summer Picnic posters by Stephen Frykholm, timeless Nelson and Eames furniture, and Girard works ranging from an important collection of over six hundred fabric samples to his good-humored Environmental Enrichment panels.

Though Betty and Richard divorced in the early 1970s, Betty continued to live with these designs, seamlessly integrating their ease, optimism and resilience into her home and life for over forty years—just as Eames, Nelson and Girard had hoped they would be.

What makes a design unique, original, inventive, imaginative, and compelling? What are those attributes that really make your design really stand out amongst the crowd? I think the dimensionality comes from the person designing it, if that makes any sense. The design has to have presence.

Stephen Frykholm