Graphic designers shape the world. A great design can survive decades of change around it, even outliving it’s own creator. The first thing that comes to mind when you hear the words “graphic design” might be a Pepsi logo, or a website banner, maybe even an iPhone commercial. There are no set rules to what constitutes graphic design, and this allows creators to innovate in absolutely any industry. When it comes to the art of lasting imagery, these five great graphic designers inspire to this day.
In the business world, there is perhaps no more distinguished graphic designer than Paul Rand. A monolith of success, Rand is the driving force behind the way businesses view design to this day. There was a time when logos, ads, brand design were viewed as simply a way to bring your company into public view. With no special attention, these public offerings were plain, boring, and uninspired. It was Rand who successfully showed business that art and corporation could mix. He brought forth a new era of importance on how consumers feel when they see your name.
Not all graphic design is taking place in the business world. Sometimes, it’s a city that needs a new image. Milton Glaser is the renowned creator of the I Love New York design. Three letters and a heart, scribbled on a napkin in the backseat of a taxi, became the official rallying cry of a city in need. Glaser has spent his life focusing on the ethical side of art and design. He spends time teaching and showing exhibits to help others understand the world of design. Exemplifying how art can help and inspire others.
When technology met printed media, David Carson was there to shake it up. Showing us yet another form that graphic design can take, Carson used his talents to change magazine layouts and typography. Originally a teacher, but avid surfer, he mixed his professional ability with his hobbies to create a world in which typography was no longer stale. He transitioned the print media into an era of expression. While Carson calls his own work “subjective and self-indulgent”, the art community has time and time again placed him amongst the greats. Thanks to his work, we understand that any medium can be expressive. The only limit to this creativity is what we place on ourselves.
Here is a graphic designer that exemplifies what contemporary design can do. Scher has taken classic brands like Tiffany & Co as well as Citibank and brought them into the modern world. Her work has been influential enough to teach an entire new generation of creators what is possible to envision and renew. Never satisfied with the current trends, Scher’s vivid approach to design allows her to flow from project to project. Everything she touches along the way becoming refreshed and invigorated. We can see a new type of graphic designer in this modern world of fast-moving lifestyles, where one never needs to be locked into one subset of the field. Create posters, business identities, and images that reverberate throughout each other.
We end this list on yet another style of graphic design. Logic, precision, and keen attention to detail drove Nitsche to the fame that he claims today. While it might not seem immediately expressive, there’s something about Nitsche’s designs that satisfy immensely. His use of space and size relative to the information presented created an entire way of showing information that we still see in internet graphics today. This style of presenting detailed information in an eye-pleasing manner was captured in books, posters, magazines, and anywhere that caught wind of it. Nitsche, who was Swiss, even stated that he felt to be a “Swiss army knife” able to walk into any business and get to work. We owe an immense amount of time saved drudging through boring paragraphs to Nitsche’s helpful creations.
In closing, it is clear that there is no single key to becoming a great graphic designer. You can be creative or detailed. Your co-worker might be in love with typography while your passion is in imagery. Maybe you’ll help Apple sell the new iPhone, or you might just end up creating a slogan for a city you love. With graphic design, you really can shape the world.
Related Resource: Top 20 Best Affordable Graphic Design Degree Programs