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Ray’s Hand

Herman Miller Stock Certificate


When the Herman Miller Furniture Company incorporated in 1960, the need arose for a stock certificate that was as well designed as its furniture. For this, the entity now known as “Herman Miller Inc.” turned to the Eameses. When presented with this assignment, Ray contacted the secretary of Herman Miller Chairman D. J. De Pree, and asked her to gather fresh wildflowers from the fields nearby the HM headquarters in Zeeland, Michigan, and to pack those wildflowers in dry ice and ship them to the Eames Office. When the flowers arrived, Ray created the array, and had Charles photograph it. That’s the unique and very special concept for this stock certificate, which otherwise has standard stock certificate details common to all stock certificates of this time period. The document largely follows the graphic conventions of stock certificates, which, like paper currency, embrace complexity to prevent counterfeiting. To this end, the page is filled with intricate ornaments printed in green and blue. On the right, a grid of numbers that could be perforated to mark the purchased stock value ensured that number written in the middle of the form could not be altered without raising suspicion. Though conventional in many ways, this design was also tailored to Herman Miller: the company’s logo appears within a medallion at the top and the floral bouquet in the center, Ray’s concept, is composed of wildflowers from Zeeland, Michigan, where the firm is based.

  • Medium:Printed paper
  • Dimensions:7 1/2 x 11 1/8 in. (19.1 x 28.3 cm)
  • Item:A.2019.2.786