Popular International Graphic Artists
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If you’re embarking on career plans with graphic design course or just interested in creating some great layouts, then there are some designers that you certainly need to know about.

These are the designers that have transformed the approach graphic design is seen in the contemporary world; the individualists; the intellectuals; those who have made a difference.

There are a lot of renowned graphic designers, who have made enormously significant contributions to the graphic design industry. We’ve focused on just 10 names. Know them, their work, their educational background and many other things! It’ll make you a whole designer. In our list we tried to give you a cross section of various pioneers of this profession. These are the men and women of graphic design, past and present, whom we think you should know. It can definitely make a positive impact in your life.

  • Alan Fletcher
  • Chip Kidd
  • David Carson
  • Michael Bierut
  • Milton Glaser
  • Neville Brody
  • Paul Rand
  • Paula Scher
  • Saul Bass
  • Stefan Sagmeister

1. Alan Fletcher​

Alan Fletcher
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About Him

Alan Gerard Fletcher (27 September 1931 – 21 September 2006) was a British graphic designer. He was a well-known name during the 20th century in the graphic designing arena. He was highly regarded by both, his generation of graphic designers and the subsequent ones, for his proficiency and an astonishing body of work. Alan Fletcher was the father figure of British graphic design.

Alan Fletcher’s Qualification

He studied at the Hammersmith School of Art from 1949. After that he joined Central School of Art, where he studied under noted typographer Anthony Froshaug and befriended Colin Forbes, Terence Conran, David Hicks, Peter Firmin, Theo Crosby, Derek Birdsall and Ken Garland. After teaching English for a year at Berlitz Language School in Barcelona, he returned to London to study at the Royal College of Art from 1953 to 1956, where he met Peter Blake, Joe Tilson, Len Deighton, Denis Bailey, David Gentleman and Dick Smith.

He took up a scholarship program to study at the Yale School of Art and Architecture at Yale University by Leo Lionni. He designed a cover for Fortune magazine in 1958. He returned to London in 1959, having worked temporarily for Saul Bass in Los Angeles and Pirelli in Milan.

Professional Life of Alan Fletcher

He founded a design firm called ‘Fletcher/Forbes/Gill’ with Colin Forbes and Bob Gill in 1962. His early product was 1963 book Graphic Design: A Visual Comparison in John Lewis’s Studio Paperbacks series.

He left Pentagram in 1992, and worked from home in Notting Hill that he had occupied since the early 1960s. He also worked for clients, such as Novartis. Much of his later work was as art director for the publisher Phaidon Press, which he joined in 1993. As per him, life and work were inseparable: “Design is not a thing you do. It’s a way of life.” (quoted in his obituary in The Times). He would continue working, even on holiday, drawing on a notepad with a pencil.

A book of his designs, Beware Wet Paint, was published by Jeremy Myerson in 1994. Fletcher also wrote numerous books about graphic design and visual thinking, most outstandingly The Art of Looking Sideways (2001), which took him 18 years to finish.

An exhibition of his life’s work was displayed at the Design Museum in London between 11 November 2006 until 18 February 2007, alongside the posthumous publication of a book, Picturing and Poeting. The exhibition went on tour in 2008. It was showcased at the Ginza Graphic Gallery in Tokyo between the 9 and 31 May 2008, and was showcased at the Pitzhanger Manor Gallery in Ealing, West London, between 14 November 2008 and 3 January 2009.

His Lifetime Achievements

  • He won the Prince Philip Designers Prize in 1993 and it was given by the Design Council, President of the D&AD (Designers and Art Directors Association)
  • In 1973 and International President of the Alliance Graphique Internationale from 1982 to 1985.
  • He was chosen to the Hall of Fame of the New York Art Directors Club in 1994 and became an honorary fellow of the London Institute in 2000.
  • The December 2006 limited-edition cover of Wallpaper magazine featured one of his last works neglecting his calligraphic signature in the compliments slip accompanying his completed work for he was too fragile by then.

Some of His Best Work:

2. Chip Kidd​​

Chip Kidd
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About Him

Charles or Chip Kidd was born on September 12, 1964 in Pennsylvania. He is an American graphic designer, mainly known for his inventive book covers.
He is based in New York City. Kidd has become one of the greatest well-known book cover designers to date. Chip Kidd is a modern American graphic designer, author and editor. Born in Shillington, Berks Country, Pennsylvania Kidd grew up being captivated and deeply stimulated by American popular culture.

Comic books were his doorway into graphic design, with Batman and Superman populating some of his earliest childhood memories. He wrote some of the DC and also designed their covers as he is a huge admirer of comic books.

Chip Kidd’s Qualification

Kidd graduated from Pennsylvania State University, in1986 with a degree in graphic design.

Professional Life of Chip Kidd

Throughout his life, Kidd has worked on various profiles, as a graphic designer, book designer, editor, author, lecturer and musician. According to Graphic Design: American Two, he has been credited with “helping to spawn a revolution in the art of America book packaging in the last ten years.” One of the utmost consistent characteristics of Kidd’s avant-garde style is the fact that his book covers don’t carry one signature look, as he states: “A signature look is crippling… because the simplest and effective solutions aren’t dictated by style.”

Kidd is presently the associate art director at Knopf, an imprint of Random House. He joined the Knopf design team in 1986, and worked as a junior assistant. Turning out jacket designs at an average of 75 covers a year, Kidd has freelanced for some of the prestigious firms like Amazon, Doubleday, Farrar Straus & Giroux, Grove Press, HarperCollins, Penguin/Putnam, Scribner and Columbia University Press, in addition to his work for Knopf. He also administered graphic novels at Pantheon, and in 2003 he collaborated with Art Spiegelman on a biography of cartoonist Jack Cole, Jack Cole and Plastic Man: Forms Stretched to Their Limits.

Kidd has also teamed up with writer Lisa Birnbach to work on True Prep, a follow-up to her 1980 book The Official Preppy Handbook.

In 2003, he worked with an American cartoonist and editor, Art Spiegelman, on Jack Cole’s biography, titled Jack Cole and Plastic Man: Forms Stretched to Their Limits. Jack Cole was a famous American cartoonist best recognized for his creation of comic superhero, Plastic Man. Additionally; Kidd created cover concepts for some of the most popular novelists and author of the generation. Some of his clientele included Bret Easton Ellis, Dean Koontz, Frank Miller, Mark Beyer, Donna Tartt and Alex Ross. The film adaptation of Michael Crichton’s Jurassic Park novel featured Kidd’s concept art for the novel. Eminent authors like Oliver Sacks and Lisa Birnbach, also requested his proficiency for their books’ covers.

Apart from graphic designing, Chip Kidd also wrote novels. He released his debut novel in 2001,The Cheese Monkeys which is an academic satire. It describes the coming-of-age tale about state college art students who were bullied by their graphic designing instructor. The book largely based upon Kidd’s real-life incidents. The sequel to the novel The Learners appeared in 2008. Kidd wrote the story for the original graphic novel, Batman: Death by Design (2012).

His Lifetime Achievements

  • AIGA medal (2014)
  • National Design Award for Communication (2007)
  • International Center of Photography’s Infinity Award for Design (1997)

Some of His Best Work:

3. David Carson

David Carson
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About Him

David Carson was born on September 8, 1954 is an American graphic designer, art director and surfer. He is mainly recognized for his pioneering magazine design, and usage of experimental typography. He was the art director for the Ray Gun magazine, in which he used ample amount typographic and layout style for which he is known for. In particular,  his broadly imitated aesthetic defined the so-called “grunge typography” era.

David Carson’s Qualification

 He did his graduation in Sociology from San Diego State University and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree. He learned about the basics of graphic designing briefly while attending a two-week commercial designing class at the University of Arizona, in 1980. Consequently, he joined the Oregon College of Commercial Art to study graphic designing and a 3-week workshop in Switzerland as a part of his degree. He taught for several years at a Californian high-school. Moreover, his many talents include professional surfing and in 1989, he was ranked 9th best surfer in the world. In 1983, Carson started to play around with graphic design and found himself engrossed in the artistic and bohemian culture of Southern California. He joined the Oregon College of Commercial Art for few months, before accepting an unpaid internship with Action Now magazine, which was formerly known as Skateboarder magazine. That year, he went to Switzerland to attend a 3-week workshop in graphic design. The trainer of the workshop, Hans-Rudolf Lutz, became his first great inspiration.

Professional Life of David Carson

From 1982 to 1987, Carson worked as a teacher in Torrey Pines High School in San Diego, California. Carson had his own signature model surfboard with Infinity surfboards, and his own signature model fin with rainbow fin co. He still surfs frequently at his property in Cane Garden Bay.

In the beginning, he worked as a designer for a magazine, Self and Musician, covering surfers’ interests. His early experiences also include working for Transworld Skateboarding magazine which cemented way for his experimental designing. He became the art director for the magazine in 1984 and reviewed its style and layout until his tenure ended. During his time at Transworld Skateboarding, he developed a signature style with the use of unconventional ‘dirty’ type photographic techniques. In 1987, he also gave his proficiency to the extension of the magazine, Transworld Snowboarding.

Carson was hired by publisher Marvin Scott Jarrett to design Ray Gun, an alternative music and lifestyle magazine that debuted in 1992.

In 1995, Carson left Ray Gun to found his own studio, David Carson Design, in New York City. He started to attract major clients from all over the United States. During the next three years (1995–1998), Carson was doing work for some of the major brands like Pepsi-Cola, Ray Ban (orbs project), Nike, Microsoft, Budweiser, Giorgio Armani, NBC, American Airlines and Levi Strauss Jeans, and later worked for a variety of new clients, including AT&T Corporation, British Airways, Kodak, Lycra, Packard Bell, Sony, Suzuki, Toyota, Warner Bros., CNN, Cuervo Gold, Johnson AIDS Foundation, MTV Global, Prince, Lotus Software, Fox TV, Nissan, quicksilver, Intel, Mercedes-Benz, MGM Studios and Nine Inch Nails.

He named and designed the first issue of the adventure lifestyle magazine Blue, in 1997.

In 2004, Carson became the freelance Creative Director of the Gibbes Museum of Art in Charleston. That year, he also designed the special “Exploration” edition of Surfing Magazine and directed a variety of TV commercials, including Lucent Technologies, Budweiser, American Airlines, Xerox, UMPQUA Bank and numerous others.

His Lifetime Achievements

David Carson has won over 230 Awards for his work in graphic design, photography, advertising and branding. Some of these awards include:

  • Best Overall Design, Society of Publication Designers in New York.
  • Cover of the Year, Society of Publication Designers in New York.
  • Award of Best Use of Photography in Graphic Design, International Center of Photography
  • Designer of the Year (1998 and 1999), International Center of Photography
  • Master of Typography, Graphics magazine (NY)
  • The most famous graphic designer on the planet, April 2004 – London Creative Review magazine (London)
  • One of the 30 most influential Macintosh users over the 30-year history of the computer – Apple Inc. (January 2014)
  • AIGA medal – 2014

Some of His Best Work:

4. Michael Bierut

Michael Bierut
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About Him

Michael Bierut was on born 1957. He is a graphic designer, design critic and educator. Bierut has also worked as a vice president of graphic design at Vignelli Associates. Since 1990, he has been a partner in the New York office of Pentagram. According to his Pentagram online biography: Bierut “is responsible for leading a team of graphic designers who create identity design, environmental

graphic design and editorial design solutions. Bierut served as the national president of the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) from 1998 to 2001. Currently, Bierut is working a senior critic in graphic design at the Yale School of Art. He is also working as director of both Architectural League of New York and New Yorkers for Parks.

Bierut is handling the profile as the co-editor of three Looking Closer graphic design anthologies. He is also a founding writer of the Design Observer blog with Rick Poynor, William Drenttel and Jessica Helfand.

Bierut currently functions on the governing board of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists. In January 2007, he redesigned the Bulletin’s Doomsday Clock to give it a more modern feel. Bierut is also known for his contribution in the film Helvetica.

Michael Bierut’s Qualification

His love of fine art, music, and drawing that united was reflected in the form of album covers that led him to the only two books in the library at the time on design, the Graphic Design Manual by Armin Hofman and Milton Glaser: Graphic Design. He did not need any more convincing and took graphic design at the University of Cincinnati’s College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning. While studying in school, he did an internship that allowed him to study under Chris Pullman, another AIGA medalist. They worked as a team at a Boston public television station, WGBH. Michael Bierut was graduated in the year 1980 from the University of Cincinnati’s College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning. He worked for ten years at Vignelli Associates, as a vice president, before becoming partners with Pentagram in 1990

Professional Life of Michael Bierut

Recently he has developed a new identity for the expanded Morgan Library Museum. He has also developed the environmental graphics for the New York Times building, as well as designed for Phillip Johnson’s Glass House and redesigned the magazine The Atlantic. Along with that he has created marketing strategies for William Jefferson Clinton Foundation and developed a new brand strategy and packaging for Saks Fifth Avenue. He has also published a book called Seventy-Nine Short Essays on Design, which was published by Princeton Architectural Press in 2007. Bierut is a senior critic at the Yale School of Art in Graphic Design and co-edits the anthology series Looking Closer: Critical Writings on Graphic Design, published by Allworth Press. Bierut is the co-founder of the blog Design Observer and his commentaries about graphic design can be heard nationally on the Public Radio International program Studio 360. In 1998, he co-edited and designed a monograph Tibor Kalman: Perverse Optimist. His signage has helped millions of tourists navigate the streets of Lower Manhattan.

His Lifetime Achievements

With over 100 awards won his work is in permanent collections in various museums in New York, Washington D.C., Germany, and Montreal.

From 1988 to 1990 Michael Bierut served as president emeritus of the New York Chapter of the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) and is president of AIGA national.

  • He was elected to the Alliance Graphique Internationale in 1989, and in 2003 he was named to the Art Directors Club Hall of Fame.
  • He received the highest honor in the profession in 2006, the AIGA medal, which recognizes his illustrious achievements and contributions to the field.
  • He received the Design Mind Award in 2008, that was presented by the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, Smithsonian Institution.

Some of His Best Work:

5. Milton Glaser

Milton Glaser
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About Him

Milton Glaser is a protuberant 20th-century American graphic designer. His artworks had been displayed at the esteemed the Georges Pompidou Center and Museum of Modern Art. He is familiar with designing the logo of the century, I ♥ NY. His other outstanding designs comprise bullet logo that he designed for DC Comics and Bob Dylan poster. He founded Milton Glaser, Inc. in 1974 which is still successfully producing significant artwork.

Milton Glaser’s Qualification

He graduated from the Cooper Union in New York City and attended The High School of Music & Art. Fulbright scholarship, he also studied graphic design at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bologna, Italy.

Professional Life of Milton Glaser

Along with Reynold Ruffins, Seymour Chwast and Edward Sorel, Glaser founded Push Pin Studios in 1954. In 1957, the “Push Pin Monthly Graphic,” was sent out to friends and clients. They rejected tradition and favored “reinvigorated interpretations of historical styles.” The studio “redefined and expanded the imprimatur of the designer, illustrator, and visual culture at large.”

In 1966, Glaser designed a poster for Bob Dylan’s “Greatest Hits” LP. It was one of Glaser’s first posters. The poster depicts the profile of Bob’s face with psychedelic, swirly hair, with “Dylan” written at the bottom in one of Glaser’s typefaces. His inspiration for the poster was Marcel Duchamp’s 1957 Self-Portrait; and Art Nouveau, “That was an influence for the colors and shapes in the picture.” 6 million posters have been printed and distributed, and sells for hundreds of dollars, and has become a huge collectible. One of Glaser’s most recognizable works is his I Heart New York logo.

His Lifetime Achievements

  • In 2004, Glaser won a National Design Award Lifetime Achievement from the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum for his profound and meaningful long-term contributions to the contemporary practice of design.
  • In 2009, he was awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Barack Obama and Mrs. Michelle Obama at the White House. The award is managed by the National Endowment for the Arts, or NEA.

Some of His Best Work:

6. Neville Brody

Neville Brody
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About Him

Neville Brody was born on 23 April 1957. He is an English graphic designer, typographer and art director. Neville which also includes David Beckham in the poster, as well as for designing record covers for artists such as Cabaret Voltaire, The Bongos, and Depeche Mode. He made the company Research Studios in 1994 and is a founding member of Fontworks. He is the new Head of the Communication Art & Design department at the Royal College of Art.

Neville Brody’s Qualification

He was a lover of fine art and painting. He had an obsession with art in the 1960s and 1970s. He commented that he does not remember a time in his life when he was planning to do anything other than art or painting. He attended Minchenden Grammar school and studied A-Level Art. In 1975 Brody went on to do a Fine Art foundation course at Hornsey College of Art, now part of Middlesex University.

In 1976, Brody started a three-year B.A. course in graphics at the London College of Printing. His tutors often condemned his work as “Uncommercial” often putting a heavy emphasis on safe and tested economic strategies, as opposed to experimentation.

By 1977, punk rock was beginning to have a major effect upon London life and, while this had a great impact upon Brody’s work and motivation, was not well received by his tutors. At one point he was almost thrown out of the college for putting the Queen’s head sideways on a postage stamp design. He did, however, get the chance to design posters for student concerts at the college, most notably for Pere Ubu, supported by The Human League.

Professional Life of Neville Brody

He is known for his work on The Face magazine (1981–1986) and Arena magazine (1987–1990) .Brody’s experimentation with his self-made sans-serif typography, along with his Pop Art and Dadaism influence, caught the attention of music record companies such as Fetish Records and Stiff records after he left college. His CD covers lead toward a grudge and a punk scene. The album Micro-Phonies by Cabaret Voltaire was art directed by graphic design heavyweight Neville Brody in 1984. Brody’s infamous typography features on the front and a bandaged figure spouting liquid from the mouth stare blankly at the viewer.

In 1991, Neville Brody and Jon Wozencroft created the FUSE project. FUSE is an interactive magazine that sets out to challenge our current ideas about typographic and visual language in an age of ever-changing communications technology and media. Brody was also partly responsible for instigating the fusion between a magazine, graphics design and typeface design.

Neville Brody still also continues to work as a graphic designer and together with business partner Fwa Richards launched his own design practice, Research Studios, in London in 1994. Since then studios have been opened in Paris, Berlin and Barcelona. The company is best known for its ability to create new visual languages for a variety of applications ranging from publishing to film.

His Lifetime Achievements

  • Design for Tribeca Issey Miyake in New York with Frank Gehry
  • Major contributor to FUSE, an influential publication on experimental typography
  • London’s Victoria & Albert Museum hosted an exhibition of Brody’s work
  • D&AD President’s Award 2011

Some of His Best Work:

7. Paul Rand

Paul Rand
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About Him

Paul Rand was born on August 15, 1914. He was an American art director and graphic designer, best known for his corporate logo designs. He was one of the first American commercial artists to embrace and practice the Swiss Style of graphic design.

Pual Rand’s Qualification

Paul Rand (Peretz Rosenbaum) design at a very young age, painting signs for his father’s grocery store as well as for school events at P.S. 109.Rand’s father did not believe art could provide his son with a sufficient livelihood, and so he required Paul to attend Manhattan’s Haaren High School while taking night classes at the Pratt Institute. Rand was largely “self-taught” as a designer, learning about the works of Cassandre and Moholy-Nagy from European magazines such as Gebrauchsgraphik.” Rand Also attended Parsons the New School for Design and the Art Students League of New York.

Professional Life of Paul Rand

His career began with humble assignments, starting with a part-time position creating stock images for a syndicate that supplied graphics to various newspapers and magazines. Between his class assignments and his work, Rand was able to amass a fairly large portfolio, largely influenced by the German advertising style Sachplakat (object poster) as well as the works of Gustav Jensen. It was around this time that he decided to camouflage the overtly Jewish identity conveyed by his name, Peretz Rosenbaum, shortening his forename to ‘Paul’ and taking ‘Rand’ from an uncle to form a Madison Avenue-friendly surname. Morris Wyszogrod, a friend and associate of Rand, noted that “he figured that ‘Paul Rand,’ four letters here, four letters there, would create a nice symbol. So he became Paul Rand. His designs on the covers of Direction magazine, which Rand produced for no fee in exchange for full artistic freedom.

Rand was a professor emeritus of graphic design at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut from 1956 to 1969, and from 1974 to 1985. He was inducted into the New York Art Directors Club Hall of Fame in 1972.

His Lifetime Achievements

  • In 1972, he was inducted into the New York Art Directors Club Hall of Fame.

Some of His Best Work:

8. Paula Scher

Paula Scher
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About Her

Paula Scher was born on October 6, 1948, Washington D.C. She is an American graphic designer, painter and art educator in design, and the first female principal at Pentagram, which she joined in 1991.

Paula Scher’s Qualification

Paula Scher studied at the Tyler School of Art, Elkins Park, Pennsylvania and earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1970.

Professional Life of Paula Scher

She started a job in the advertisement and promotion department of the CBS Records. Two years later she joined a competing label, Atlantic Records, as an art director. There she designed her first cover for an album. After acquiring some cover designing experience, she returned to CBS Records and worked there for eight years creating over 150 album covers annually. The album covers she designed included Eric Gale’ Ginseng Woman, Bob James’s H and One on One and Boston’s Boston. Her contributions comprised reviving historical typefaces and design styles. In 1982, she resigned from CBS to discover graphic designing on her own. Based on Art deco and Russian constructivism, she established a typographic solution. The solution employed outmoded typefaces into her designs.

Her Lifetime Achievements

  • Art Directors Club Hall of Fame 1998
  • Chrysler Award for Innovation in Design 2000
  • AIGA Medal 2001
  • National Design Award (Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian) 2013 Honorary Doctorates from Corcoran School of Art, Maryland Institute of Art and Moore college of Art.
  • Awards for graphic design; American Book Award nominations for best book design, and for best compilation of written and graphic material, both 1981, both for The Honeymoon Book: A Tribute to the Last Ritual of Sexual Innocence.
  • Awards: Print’s Regional Design Annual 2011 for Shakespeare in the Park 2010 campaign, Map Murals for Queens Metropolitan Campus, and Environmental Graphic for Parking Garage at 13-17 East 54th Street.
  • She earned four Grammy nominations for her inspiring designs.

Some of Her Best Work: