Milton Glaser (b.1929) is among the most celebrated graphic designers in the United States. He has had the distinction of one-man-shows at the Museum of Modern Art and the Georges Pompidou Center. In 2004 he was selected for the lifetime achievement award of the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum. As a Fulbright scholar, Glaser studied with the painter, Giorgio Morandi in Bologna, and is an articulate spokesman for the ethical practice of design. He opened Milton Glaser, Inc. in 1974, and continues to produce work in many fields of design to this day.
'I Wonder' is a book that turns heads. As I read it on rail journeys to and from work, I notice many people around me sneaking glances at it, wondering what this sumptuously decorated tome was. Theirs is an entirely appropriate response to a book of essays by the Canadian artist Marian Bantjes, beginning with one on the sense of wonder, then turning into a journey of contemplation on subjects ranging from honour and remembrance to hideous signage in Saskatoon, a city in central Canada, and Santa Claus.
Renowned graphic designer Art Chantry is synonymous with Seattle’s subculture poster and album cover design that many have come to admire - and often imitate. Remaining as one of the few lo-tech designers in an industry that relies heavily on computers and software, Art looks to tangible materials and improvisation to inject that Chantry magic to his well-thought-out work. Chantry is an American icon that has had great impact on the history of graphic design.
Described by the publisher Phaidon Press as “the most famous book author you have never heard of,” Tomi Ungerer is a continental treasure in his native Europe, an artist whose life and work embody the epic forces of the late 20th century. Born in 1931 in Alsace, a region that soon became dominated by wartime Germany, Ungerer was raised under Nazi rule. His young adulthood was a mirror of postwar liberation, as he took to wandering the world before immersing himself in the invigorating climate of 1950s and 1960s New York. It was there that Ungerer made his reputation as an editorial and advertising illustrator and children’s book author, and where he became caught in the tumult of the antiwar and civil rights movements. In the early 1970s, seized by a back-to-the-land impulse, he left the States to farm in Nova Scotia. Five years later, he relocated again, this time to Ireland, where he has lived ever since.
Reza Abedini is one of the key figures who helped pave the way for contemporary graphic design in today’s Iran. In his work he...
Perhaps no one has had a greater affect on the way information—printed and electronic—is presented today than Muriel Cooper. As founder and co-director of MIT’s Visual Language Workshop, her explorations into the interactions between technology and design broke new ground in both graphic design and computer interface development. She designed covers for more than five hundred books, over one hundred of which have won design awards, and she was the second recipient of the American Institute of Graphic Design leadership award.
He has never made or produced a record, but Peter Saville is one of the most important people in British pop. Saville’s sleeve designs for OMD, Roxy Music and most famously, for Factory records have changed the way that we think about pop music. Along with his schoolfriend, Malcolm Garrett (the man responsible for the early Buzzcocks’ sleeves), Saville was a major player in a graphic design revolution that converged with the convulsions that were happening in pop at the end of the 1970s. If Jamie Reid’s cut and paste covers were the image equivalent of the punk sound, then Saville and Garrett’s more abstract, impersonal designs were the visual analogue of post-punk.
'I’ve been here for nine years. I’m art director of Rolling Stone, and for the last couple of years, I’ve been creative director of the whole company. We publish US and Men’s Journal and some books. I keep the other two magazines staffed, and last year I was involved with changing the format of US. Mens Journal is being redesigned by David Amario. Richard Baker is art director of US. I design about two books a year, and whatever Jann [Wenner] has in his head.'
Matthew Carter is one of the preeminent contemporary typographers. His work is both ubiquitous (his typefaces Georgia and Verdana were commissioned by Microsoft and now grace computer screens around the world) and revolutionary (his Walker Art Center commission resulted in the creation of a series of alphabets with “detachable” serifs). Carter has been involved in typography in one way or another for most of his life. He has lived through the passing of numerous typographic eras, and at each juncture he has embraced both the latest technology and the new forms created by young designers. In addition to teaching at Yale University School of Art in the Graphic Design department, Carter operates Carter & Cone, a typographic studio and consultancy based in Boston.
My position as a museum curator is a rare one—there are only a handful of design curators around the country, at institutions including the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. However, there are more and more opportunities for designers to develop and use their skills as writers/editors/publishers, and for literary people to engage the processes of design. This is a broader cultural development with relevance beyond my own particular experience.
Rational and responsive, the work of Richard Hollis exemplifies a very British kind of Modernism. 'The ideal situation is where you sit with the client and design with them. If anything is emphasised, it’s what they want to emphasise. I prefer collaborative effort to doing what I want. It’s diametrically opposite to being an artist.’
Massimo Vignelli, born in Milan, studied architecture in Milan and Venice. He came to the United States from 1957 to 1960 on fellowships from Towle Silversmiths in Massachusetts and the Institute of Design, Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago. In 1960, with Lella Vignelli, he established the Vignelli Office of Design and Architecture in Milan.