As stated on influenceranalysis.com “An influencer is an individual who has an above-average impact on a specific niche process.” The graphic design niche brings many creative people together under one roof. Some of them become those whose impact has changed and sometimes completely reshaped graphic design forever.
If you have an interest in graphic design, or you are a professional working for a graphic design company and would like to discover who stands behind the layout, color palette, typefaces and styles you are going to use in your creation process, stay with us. We will show you five influencers who have made a difference.
Saul Bass: On Making Money vs Quality Work
Many experts consider Saul Bass to be the greatest professional designer/influencer in history. His minimal designs helped many major corporations back in the mid-50s of the last century. He was a maestro of executing strength and simplicity in his logo designs.
He was born back in 1920, in New York City. He started expressing his creativity and talent by constantly drawing, even as a little child. He got his degree by attending night classes at the Art Student League. The influence of György Kepes, an expert in functional Bauhaus aesthetic, his professor, and mentor can be clearly seen in his work.
His signature stands behind logos of many successful companies, such as Bell, Kleenex, AT&T, Kosé Cosmetics, Kibun, Warner Communications, Girl Scouts, Geffen Records and Continental Airlines. The average lifespan of the logos designed by Saul Bass is a staggering 34 years. He was also known for creating movie title credits for these Martin Scorsese movies: Casino, Cape Fear, The Age of Innocence and Goodfellas.
Big Think Interview with Milton Glaser
“The most important thing in design, it seems to me, is the consequence of your action, and whether you’re interested, fundamentally, in persuading people to do things that are in their interests” – M. Glaser.
Milton Glaser is a graphic designer awarded the National Medal of Art by President Barack Obama in 2009. He became famous after he completed his work on the logo which will promote tourism in the city of New York. Yes, the “I Love New York” logo is his doing, and it is still being used. Quick reminder folks, this logo is 40 years old. If you want to get familiar with his way of seeing things, you should check out his TED talk on the topic “How great design makes ideas new”.
He was born in 1929 in New York. He is famous as a graphic designer, illustrator, and co-founder of the Pushpin Studio – a graphic design company. After completion of his graduation from the Cooper Union, he studied printmaking in Italy. With his colleagues, he successfully forged an innovative and conceptual approach to graphic design. He started expressing ideas through simplified images of signs and symbols. He also made an impact in typeface design. The cover design for a Bob Dylan record he did back in 1967 features contoured lines and flat colors.
Paula Scher: Great design is serious (not solemn)
This female graphic designer, currently working at Pentagram, is on the very top of the list of influencers who changed the course of graphic design. You can find her work in the branding strategies of many companies, including NYC Transit, Microsoft, MOMA, Citibank, Coca-Cola, and NYC Ballet. She is a very talented designer, and one of her recent works was the Microsoft Windows 8 logo. She is also a TED speaker, so make sure to check her speech on “Great design is serious, not solemn”.
Paula Scher was born in 1948, in Washington D.C. After graduating from Tyler School of Art, she moved to New York where she started her career as aprofessional graphic designer. She brought changes in typography design. The masterpiece that she created for the Public Theatre still serves as aninspiration to many young typographers out there.
David Carson: Design, discovery and humor
David Carson was the most influential designer during the 1990s. His career peaked while he was the art director of the Ray Gun magazine. He is famous for his grunge typography. This ground-breaking design was something completely new in the eyes of the world, and it certainly opened the door for other typography designers to experiment with completely new typefaces.
He was born in 1955 in Corpus Christi, Texas. He got his degree in sociology from San Diego State University. He didn’t have any contact with graphic design up until 1980 when he attended a graphics course at the University of Arizona. He worked for Pepsi Cola, Ray Ban, Nike, Giorgio Armani, Kodak, Mercedes-Benz, etc.
Sadhguru: “Developing an Inclusive Consciousness” | Talks At Google
Google is not an individual, but its influence in the graphic design niche is overwhelming. That’s why it has to be on this list. When the company finished working on the project codenamed “Quantum Paper,” it was clear to all professional designers that the new paradigm in the graphic design world was created – Material Design. By analyzing user behavior and reaction to specific graphic design layouts, Google has made a perfect formula for the best user experience.
The material design incorporates using grid-based layouts, responsive animations, transitions, padding and shadows, and lighting effects. It is almost impossible to find a graphic design company that doesn’t have a material design expert on the team.
These individuals (and one corporation) stand as proof that anything is possible. This is why it is important to try and breach the boundaries set by the current graphic design paradigm. Nobody knows what the future holds; maybe you are the next professional graphic designer who is going to change the graphic design as we know it.