Highlighting Three Influential Graphic Designers

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Many graphic designers focus on learning the newest techniques and technologies to advance their career. However, in many ways, it is equally as important to have a solid understanding of where the roots of graphic design began and a familiarity with the designers who have forever changed the industry. By having a solid understanding of the evolution of design principles and trends, you will be better equipped to use current styles and techniques to produce effective designs.

Take some time to review the work of three influential graphic designers and learn about their impact on the industry as we know it today. Here are three designers that you should know about:

David Carson

Most graphic designers don’t find themselves the subject of a Newsweek cover story. But Carson’s contribution to typography has had such a far reaching effect on the field that he has been featured in many national publications and a 1996 Newsweek article declared that he changed the public face of graphic design. He started his career as a professional surfer and skateboarder and many of his early work was for magazines in the surfing and skateboarding industry. One of his contributions was using a disorganized layout and typographical elements to create interest in the page.

Stefan Sagmeister

Sagmeister was recently noted GD Magazine USA as the most influential graphic designer that is still working today His work pushes the envelope in every sense of the word. His work ranges from a headless chicken poster for the AIGA conference to the Rolling Stones’ 1997 Bridges to Babylon album. A 2008 NY Time article said “Sagmeister relies on instinct: deploying an eclectic repertoire of styles to elicit an emotional response, often shock or laughter.” His influence comes from the reactions that his work creates as well as the variety, including political, corporate and music.

Milton Glaser

One of Glaser’s best known designs is found on car bumpers and posters around the country – the I Love NY logo. But it’s more than just the famous logo that has makes him regarded as one of the most important designers of the 20th century. “The hallmarks of his work are its simplicity, wit and elegance; it may be commercial art, but with a capital A,” said Stephen Holden, New York Times. His importance has been well lauded as far as the White House, even earning him the 2009 National Medal of the Arts presented by President Obama.

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