Herman Miller relaunches iconic Hot Dog Picnic Poster

Herman Miller's 1973 Hot Dog Picnic Poster is a striking screen-print design that commemorates the American furniture brand’s long-established company culture

Herman Miller Hot Dog Picnic Poster
Left, the newly reissued Hot Dog Picnic Poster, conceived by Steve Frykholm in 1973. Right, the screen-printing process
(Image credit: Left, photo by Mariko Reed, courtesy of Herman Miller. Right, photo by Logan Zillmer, courtesy of Herman Miller)

Companies don’t survive for long without fostering a sense of community. A brand such as heritage furniture producer Herman Miller (now part of MillerKnoll) has thrived throughout its century-old existence thanks to the employees and illustrious designers it has kept close. A major part of the American manufacturer’s company history was the annual summer picnic it held near its headquarters in Zeeland, Michigan. 

From 1970 to 1989, in-house graphic designer Steve Frykholm designed unique posters announcing and commemorating the event, often frequented by long-time collaborators including Charles and Ray Eames. These striking artworks in their own right became highly anticipated keepsakes of the gatherings, including the recently reissued Watermelon poster. Many of the designs have gone into major collections like that of MoMA.  

Herman Miller Hot Dog Picnic Poster

(Image credit: Courtesy Herman Miller)

Reissued during this year’s New York Design Week (16 to 23 May 2024), the Hot Dog Picnic Poster was developed by Frykholm in 1973 and is as emblematic of the brand’s influence on 20th-century design as it is of American culture.

'Last year, Herman Miller celebrated its 100th anniversary, which gave us an opportunity to excavate stories, designs and discoveries from our legendary archive,' says Kelsey Keith, brand creative director.

Herman Miller Hot Dog Picnic Poster

Herman Miller picnic from the company's archives

(Image credit: Courtesy of Herman Miller Archives)

'One of those areas of focus was the Herman Miller graphics programme, and our research into those graphics has shown up in a few key places in 2024 as we refresh the Herman Miller brand for contemporary audiences.’ He mentions specifically, ‘the foundation of our new identity, done in collaboration with studio Order’, and ‘the newest poster additions for sale in our retail channel, [which] include designs by Tomoko Miho, Barbara Loveland, Linda Powell and John Massey'.

Herman Miller Hot Dog Picnic Poster

The screen-printing process for the Hot Dog Picnic poster

(Image credit: Photo by Logan Zillmer. Courtesy Herman Miller)

Available again to buy, the Hot Dog Picnic Poster is being carefully screen-printed using the same process Frykholm employed in the 1970s and 1980s: applying one colour at a time.

'The Hot Dog was the fourth instalment in his Herman Miller Picnic Poster series and offers another zoomed in, abstracted view of a classic dish,' says Amy Auscherman, MillerKnoll’s director of global archives and brand heritage.

Herman Miller Hot Dog Picnic Poster

A Frykholm design from the Herman Miller archives, a poster for the Sweetcorn Festival Summer Picnic, 1970

(Image credit: Courtesy of Herman Miller Archives)

'Frykholm would often use the real food itself in the design process to create his own perspective on the details of something otherwise familiar. Original Hot Dog poster examples from the Herman Miller Archives were referenced in the redevelopment process. I’m a frequent hot dog eater, so this poster is my personal favourite.' 

A unique ‘Picnic onPark’ activation and exhibition highlighting the design, among historical Herman Miller graphics, is being held at the brand’s 251 Park Avenue South showroom from 21 to 23 May 2024. Visitors will be able to sample traditional New York hot dogs from a bespoke cart every day from 12pm to 2pm.


Adrian Madlener is a Brussels-born, New York-based writer, curator, consultant, and artist. Over the past ten years, he’s held editorial positions at The Architect’s Newspaper, TLmag, and Frame magazine, while also contributing to publications such as Architectural Digest, Artnet News, Cultured, Domus, Dwell, Hypebeast, Galerie, and Metropolis. In 2023, He helped write the Vincenzo De Cotiis: Interiors monograph. With degrees from the Design Academy Eindhoven and Parsons School of Design, Adrian is particularly focused on topics that exemplify the best in craft-led experimentation and sustainability.