• kirstymacleoddesigns

Visual and Cultural Hierarchies

Updated: Mar 21, 2019

For this post I will be outlining my top ten favourite graphic designers, and what I value in their work.

1. Stefan Sagmeister

Sagmeister inspires an expressive, conceptual and controversial type of design. My favourite piece of his and undoubtedly his most famous work, is a poster, for the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA), in which Sagmeister asked an intern to cut all the text onto his own torso with an craft knife and photograph the result. Its aim was to express the pain often endured during design projects, and is exemplary of his striking style.

2. David Carson

Best known for being the art director of music and lifestyle magazine 'Ray Gun', Carson was the most influential graphic designer of the 90's, with his experimental style of typography, grunge typography, kickstarting a new era of design.

It is his messy yet highly effective style of design that draws me to his work, and his typographic innovation is inspiring.

3. Saul Bass

Saul Bass was an American graphic designer and Academy Award -winning filmmaker, best known for his design of motion-picture title sequences, film posters and corporate logos.

I like how his film posters carry a strong design theme of bold colours and simplified shapes throughout, and despite their simplicity, they effectively capture the message of the films through this imagery.

4. Kessel Kramer

This graphic design company combines humour and sarcasm to create effective and memorable design. One example of this is their work for Hans Brinker Hostels, where they advertised the hostel to be disgusting, contrary to what the hostel actually is, attracting the masses and making it one of the best known hostels in Amsterdam, and one that I have visited myself.

5. Noma Bar

Noma Bar illustrates clear themes and ideas in his images with little to no use of words and often little detail.

Bar’s work has been featured in magazines and newspapers on several occasions, such as Here London, and The Guardian, so his work is reaching a wide audience, and I feel it is inspiring to see an artist combine two concepts or elements so seamlessly and cleverly, and it encourages me to think more carefully about the little details in my own designs, and how I could more cleverly work them to similar results.

6. Kate Moross

Moross works in a range of creative practices including music videos, working on the new Nike logo for New York and Nike interactive, redesigning the subway map in one colour, poster design and zine design.

The work of Kate Moross has reminded me to be more open with my design process, to be experimental even if the outcomes aren’t what I had intended, and to take control of my own learning more.

7. David Shrigley

Shrigley is a British visual artist, best known for his illustrations, which often incorporate elements of humour.

His work reminds me to not take design too seriously, as fun and simple can sometimes be just as effective.

8. David Foldvari

My favourite work by David Foldvari is his videos, which incorporates digital animation and illustration with strong typographic elements and bold colours. My favourite piece of his is his Donald Trump Rant, which pokes fun at the politicians plans to build a wall, whilst delivering an effective message on the his destructive presidency.

9. Paula Scher

Paula Scher's application of graphic design into spaces in her 'Philadelphia explained' inspires me to think outside the box with my designing. Encouraging me to think outside the confines of a page, and how my work might effect an audience in a different, more consuming way.

10. Banksy

Living in Bristol, my love of Banksy has grown. I admire his strong design style and the political narrative he creates through his powerful imagery, and the fame he has earnt despite his anonymity is a demonstration of the captivation his work creates in its audiences.


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