Most Influential Designer Figures in the History of Design (Part 2).

Still looking for an influential figure in design who might provide design inspiration? Here we provide 5 more names of influential designers throughout history.

6. Massimo Vignelli

The popular designer behind the New York City subway map.

He is an Italian designer who works in a number of fields, including packaging, home appliances, furniture, public signage, and showroom design.

With his wife, Lella Vignelli, they founded Vignelli Associates, which is a design firm in New York City.

They are deeply rooted in the modernist movement and make use of geometric shapes and simple typography.

As one of the most celebrated graphic designers of the 20th century, their work spans everything from graphic design to corporate identity to architecture and interiors.

In addition to art direction, Vignelli also wrote a book called Vignelli: From A to Z. The book details Vignelli’s ideas and visions regarding graphic design in the form of essays. The essays are arranged in alphabetical order as indicated in the title. In fact, they are based on the same courses that Vignelli gave while teaching at the Harvard School of Design and Architecture. In 2009, Vignelli launched a free e-book, The Vignelli Canon, with the aim of passing on his legacy and treasure of design knowledge to young designers.

Massimo Vignelli died on 27 May 2014, after a long illness. Despite that, his image still remains one of the best personalities in the design industry.

7. Alexey Brodovich

Alexey Cheslavovich Brodovitch was born to a wealthy family in 1898, in Ogolitchi, Russia. His family moved to Moscow during the Russo-Japanese War.

Brodovitch moved to France when the family reunited after being torn apart during the war.

In Paris, he met other emigrating Russian artists and this relationship led him to create more art works as a background painter for Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes.

Alexey Brodovitch’s fame continued to grow by displaying his art at the Paris International Exhibit of the Decorative Arts held in 1925. He presented five gold medals; for the Beck Fils “Amour de l’Art” pavilion, two silver medals for fabric design, and three gold medals for jewelry.

Known for directing the art of Harper’s Bazaar from 1934 to 1958. During his 15 years at Harper’s Bazaar, Brodovitch pushed the boundaries of magazines in photography, typography, and layout design.

Although he has passed away at the age of 72, he is still recognized as one of the best and most famous graphic designers of all generations.

8. Saul Bass

Apart from being one of the most famous graphic designers, Saul Bass is also a title designer and filmmaker.

An American graphic designer and Oscar-winning filmmaker. He is best known for his work on film title sequences, film posters, and company logos.

After designing the title sequence for Otto Preminger’s The Man with the Golden Arm, Bass rose to prominence in the film industry.

Saul Bass died at the age of 75, but his work remains extraordinary and an inspiration to modern designers.

It sounds like hyperbole but Bass is probably the most important graphic designer of the 20th century. His work extends beyond graphic design, poster design, film titles, logos, and more – with perhaps his most iconic work opening the sequence for Hitchcock. In fact, his opening work spanned five decades – until his death in 1996.

As a logo designer Bass is also prolific, designing signs for AT&T, Kleenex, United Airlines, Minolta, and many more.

9. Susan Kare

Susan Kare is a contemporary designer who created a series of interface elements for the Apple Macintosh in the 1980s. A pro designer who brings design to technology.

She has worked as a design consultant for Microsoft, IBM, Sony Pictures, Facebook, Pinterest, and Niantic Labs. She designed the Monaco and Geneva typography, the Command key symbol for the Apple keyboard, and icons such as the trash can.

Many of Kare’s examples are still used in some way, and most have inspired much of today’s interface designs. She is considered one of the most influential modern technologists, having invented pixel art and computer graphic interfaces.

While Mr. Hyperbole Jony is now in charge of all the icons you see on your Mac and iOS devices, we would never have gotten to this point without the inimitable Susan Kare – the designer responsible for the original icons and interface elements on Mac OS. A creative director at Apple in the 1980s, Kare paved the way for what we see on our desktop computers every day: trash cans, happy/sad Macs, Command key icons.

In our interview with Kare in 2013, he reflected on his time at Apple: “I really enjoyed working with Steve Jobs, both at Apple and later at NeXT (the company founded in 1985 by Steve Jobs after he was forced out of Apple). He pays close attention to every detail, is passionate about design and graphics, and challenges you to do your best work”.

10. April Greiman

In many aspects, April Greiman was instrumental in establishing the term “graphic design” as a distinct field of study.

One of the first designers to embrace computer technology as a design tool. According to design historian Steven Heller, April is a bridge between modern and postmodern, analog and digital. Graphic design and art in the 1980s were influenced and driven by Greiman’s pioneering efforts to use technology.

As a result of Greiman’s efforts, computers are no longer seen as mere information processing devices, but as creative instruments.

The California Institute of the Arts appointed him head of the design department, in 1981. In the following years, she lobbied the institute to rename the department to Visual Communications because Graphic Design seemed to limit the scope of the subject. While teaching there, he also researched in greater depth the effects of technology on her own work.

We still have several names of other characters, which we will present in the next article. Keep visiting our website for more information about design.


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