A Visual History of Numbers
Price: $1,000 (a few copies remain)
© 1972, New York, NY
This is a poster printed offset in two colors, 61 x 61 cm. The project originated when the international firm Peat Marwick Mitchell & Co. commissioned Tom to add a few graphic images to an 8-page article on the history of numbers written for its World Magazine. Tom submitted a single illustration: a spiraling diagram of that history. The editor, thrilled by this capture of the article’s content and its dynamic presentation, then decided to drop the original 8-page text and use only the diagram for the issue’s centerfold spread. (Incidentally, this proved Tom’s theory of the huge power visible language has over verbal texts, and exactly what concrete poetry offers as its foundation!) The editor’s decision caused that issue to become so popular it ran out almost instantly. World Magazine then decided to republish the diagram in a poster size version (which also ran out soon after). A private set of this poster was made available through TOE. With very few copies left each poster is signed by Tom.