Research Point – Graphic Designers

I divided the task of researching the work of graphic designers into two areas… the first was to look at some well known global designers and the second was to explore the websites of new and upcoming designers whose work I was attracted to through searches on Behance, Google and Pinterest. The following designers were of particular interest to me:

Saul Bass

Saul Bass’ emblematic posters are bold with simple images that make it clear to the observer what will be delivered. If you took the words away you would still know what you were getting. He uses incredibly striking colours and lines and a lot of the images in his posters use sharp angles which have a stunning impact visually and hold the eye. His use of typography is more subtle and doesn’t immediately cast aspersions on the project. This creates contrast to the images which generate a clear explantation of mood and message. The overall impression is often one of simplicity (in both layout and style) and Bass chooses to communicate through symbolism a lot which can be a much more inclusive and far-reaching universal visual language tool.

Milton Glaser

I like that Milton Glaser uses a diverse richness of visual language. His work explores and re-interprets the visual material of previous eras and many different iconic eras are reflected in his designs – a lot of the colour and motion hark back to the 1960’s. There is a unique simplicity to his work yet it is incredible expressive in the use of imagery and symbolism. Exploring his use of colour to convey mood and motion is something that could be a useful jumping off point for me. The fact that the strokes and sweeps of colour in his ‘Dylan’ poster have so much movement in them make it hard to look away from his work and invite an emotive/rhymic connection to the composition.

Alan Fletcher:

Alan Fletcher has a strong visual language with an emphasis on bold colours.The diverse range of hues, tints and shades evokes lots of different emotions in anyone looking at them. The fact that they are so bold is guaranteed to evoke a reaction. The use of colour in his pieces is a strong example of communicating emotively through a visual language. Fletcher’s expressive typography is very relatable… a lot of his chosen typefaces have a very hand written quality which makes an audience feel comfortable. I like the diversity of his work and his combinations of style through the use of imagery, collage, illustration and text  is incredibly magnetic as your eye is drawn to it and can explore around the composition. His images are often visually playful and this creates a welcoming feeling. You can almost lose yourself in the fun of his work and feel more cheery for having seen it. The use of simple lines emphasises his message and the balance of the elements means that there is no jarring or competition for the eye. The use of white space is something I can draw inspiration from.

Paula Scher

I am a big fan of typography based design work and love the way that Paula Scher illustrates with type. This is a strong visual language as being given words to look at takes a lot of the work out of understanding something. You are literally handed the thing that you need to think about and understand. Scher’s playful, colourful and energised designs reflect the action and chaos of life and the human mind and I think people would find this relatable…. it is a good tool for connecting to the audience and engaging them. The use of vivid colours and contrasting palettes in her work catches my eye and draws me in to explore all the elements.

Meaghan Li:

Meaghan’s bold expressive use of colour makes her designs very visually rich and I find them quite emotive. The use of iconic imagery with high chroma colours in her ‘New York’ piece creates a strong visual dynamic and feels modern and vibrant. She uses typography creatively to generate contrast in her designs.

Christopher Lee:

Christopher Lee uses line and colour to give his designs a illustrative feel and I like that I get the impression he is using visual language to express his personality. His use of bold colours and denoting shape through the almost symbolic use of simple lines challenges visual perception and I feel invited to explore and identify with his work on a personal level.

Adi Goodrich:

I like the way that Adi Goodrich mixes textured and flat colour to create her designs and this is definitely something I want to explore with in my own designs. Her compositions use line and shape to create movement and contrast which disrupts your perspective and makes you think. I like her use of black and white with bolder coloured hues and think this is quite visually striking.

Will Bryant:

Will Bryant uses colour, symbolic imagery and typography to convey a feeling of playfulness in his designs. He uses a mixed colour palette to bring fun and exuberance to his work and I like that his use of layout draws your eye to specific elements of the design.

Owen Phillips:

I think that Owen Phillips uses typography and layout very successful in his retro-style poster artwork. His posters have a feeling of balance and are visually stimulating while also being quite relaxing on the eye. I feel that I could use his work as inspiration and a guide when I begin experimenting with using different typefaces, weights and styles to create typographic hierarchies in my work.

Irina Yudina:

I like Irina Yudina’s use of white space in her designs and find it interesting how her limited colour palettes are used to emphasise and communicate the message of the piece.


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