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The Masters of Graphic Design

The Masters of Graphic Design

Mike Lenhart

I was thinking back at some of the iconic figures of graphic design through the years. Our design team has been involved in researching some the past styles of design for a huge project we landed. So, naturally, we went to some of these figures to brush-up on what their styles were and what they have done. I have chosen 3 of the masters that I feel have contributed immensely to the field.

Saul Bass

Saul Bass is known as the designer who produced some of the most classic corporate logos from the ’60s through the ’80s. Included in these are the original AT&T logo, the Quaker Oats identity, and United Airlines. Other than these classic designs, Bass is mostly remembered for his animated motion picture title sequences. “The Man with the Golden Arm” is a classic, as well as “West Side Story” and “Vertigo”. His stark, straight lines and text moving up and around the screen became trademark Bass. His use of line-art graphics and color was, and still is, amazing.

Milton Glaser

Milton Glaser is as also known as a fantastic logo designer. His Bob Dylan poster, which I’m sure you’ve all seen, is classic ‘70s. And, we’re all familiar with his “I Love New York” identity and logo. Glaser founded the world-famous Push Pin Studios in 1951 which is one of the most well-known and popular firms of that era and today. His style of directness and simplicity is useful to all of us to consider when thinking that we’re required to have elaborate, page-filling designs.

Paul Rand

Again, Paul Rand is known for his world-famous logo designs. Icons for corporations such as IBM, UPS, and ABC are a few of his most known. Rand was an extremely intelligent person who studied the theory of design, mostly self-taught, and forwarded his adapted ideas to others. He is known as somewhat of a reactionary and wasn’t too thrilled with hearing about new ideas in design. He worked pretty much as a recluse while in his creative process, which I’m sure helped him do his own thing while limiting the input from critics. Regardless, his designs stand the test of time.

There are many other masters that have come around the design world in our history. I know I will never aspire to be as successful or well-known as them, but, as a humble follower, I can learn from these masters and only get better if I remember them and, sometimes, get back to basics.


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