Graphic design would not be where it is today without invaluable contributions from a number of graphic design legends. Artwork Abode is proud to recognize four of the legends that have inspired graphic artists everywhere.
Paul Rand was born in 1914 and died in 1996. He is especially well-known for corporate logo designs — UPS, ABC, IBM and NeXT are four prominent examples. While he attended highly ranked art schools such as the Parsons School of Design, Paul Rand viewed himself as self-taught.
He liked to use “visual puns” and sketchy drawings — he considered his business logos to be “characters” to be featured in ads rather than just including the logo in its traditional bottom location. Paul Rand’s artistic vision was for a logo to become a touchstone that would influence everything else.
Saul Bass was born in 1920 and also died in 1996. He spent much of his career in Los Angeles and often worked with Hollywood producers in designing film posters and title sequences — movie examples of his work include “North by Northwest” and “Psycho.”
One of his most famous corporate logos was the original Bell System “bell” logo — he later morphed that design into the equally famous “globe” logo for AT&T after the Bell System was broken up. As he approached the end of his career, Saul Bass was urged by James L. Brooks and Martin Scorcese to return to where he started — main title design for movies and television.
Alexey Brodovitch was born in 1898 and died in 1971. His illustrious graphic design career most notably included art direction at Harper’s Bazaar fashion magazine for 25 years.
When asked to organize design classes at the Philadelphia College of Art, he integrated avant-garde photography, illustration and typography. Alexey Brodovitch liked to crop photographs with an off-center appearance and then bring the image to the edge of the page.
His formative art years were in Paris. He took a job painting houses while he mingled with and learned from the extensive community of Parisian artists. Alexey Brodovitch later returned to Paris and became one of the most respected commercial art designers in the world.
Bradbury Thompson was born in 1911 and died in 1995. He is known for his talent involving color, composition and powerful letter forms. He always liked to blend photography, color and typography in creative ways — he was art director at Mademoiselle magazine for 15 years.
Bradbury Thompson regularly experimented with typefaces in his persistent effort to move graphic design along by creating new ways of expressing letters. A prominent example is “Alphabet 26” that he created in 1958 — this was a “monoalphabet” that used identical forms for both lowercase and uppercase letters.
One of the primary vehicles used by Bradbury Thompson to teach typographers and students was “Westvaco Inspirations” — he designed more than 60 issues of this promotional magazine between 1939 and 1962.
Who Is Your Favorite Legend?
Please share this brief Artwork Abode tribute to four graphic design legends and leave a comment below. Do you have a favorite legend?
– Artwork Abode