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askerville Biography of Michael Bierut Editor and Designer Kajsa Swanson Graphic Design 1 2012


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able of Contents 6

Baskerville Style Types

15

Bierut’s Witty Style

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Michael Bierut: Introduction

17

Awards and Achievements

11

Biography

20

sources and conclusion


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Michael bierut was born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1957. His love of art, drawing, and music, lead him to start designing album covers. He attended the University of Cincinnati, where he studied design.

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Michael bierut was born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1957. His love of art, drawing, and music, lead him to start designing album covers. He attended the University of Cincinnati, where he studied design.

Michael bierut was born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1957. His love of art, drawing, and music, lead him to start designing album covers. He attended the University of Cincinnati, where he studied design.


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tyle Types SemiBold Italic

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Michael bierut was born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1957. His love of art, drawing, and music, lead him to start designing album covers. He attended the University of Cincinnati, where he studied design.

Michael bierut was born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1957. His love of art, drawing, and music, lead him to start designing album covers. He attended the University of Cincinnati, where he studied design.

Michael bierut was born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1957. His love of art, drawing, and music, lead him to start designing album covers. He attended the University of Cincinnati, where he studied design.


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abcdefghijklm nopqrstvwxyz A B C D E F G H J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

egular Imagine that you are in a room filled with 3,000 designers, and you are to give a presentation. While most people would give a powerpoint, show a film, or present a speech, Michael Bierut walked to center stage, and sang a song a cappella, which he had wrote himself. From posters, to logos, and packaging design, Michael Bierut has made his mark in the graphic design world. Originally from a small town, Bierut didn’t even know that graphic design had a name until he was in high school. Since then he has been creating innovative designs for top companies and firms, and receiving numerous prestigious awards.


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talic Michael bierut was born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1957. His love of art, drawing, and music, lead him to start designing album covers, and various logos for people in his town. He didn’t even know graphic design had a name until he was 15 years old. He then went to the library where he found two books on graphic design one by Milton Glaser and one by Armin Hofmann two designers with very different styles. Bierut could see himself with a future in graphic arts so he decided to attend the University of Cincinnati College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning. Right out of college he wanted to work for a big name designer. He worked for Massimo Vignelli for 10 years. Pentagram, one of the largest design firms,


abcdefghijklm nopqrstvwxyz A B C D E F G H J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

emiBold asked Bierut to partner with them. At Pentagram, Bierut has worked for clients such as the Walt Disney Company, Motorola, the Toy Industry Association, Princeton University, the Library of Congress, and the New York Jets, just to name a few. He also served as the president of the New York chapter of American Institute of Graphic Arts, or AIGA, from 1988 to 1990. He was also the president of AIGA National from 1998 to 2001. He is now a Senior Critic in Graphic Design at the Yale School of Art, and a Senior Faculty Fellow at the Yale School of Management. He frequently writes about design, he has recently published a book called 79 Short Essays on Design.


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abcdefghijklm nopqrstvwxyz A B C D E F G H J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

emiBold Italic Michael Bierut’s style combines functionality and fun. Most of his designs involve some sort of humor, and that makes sense once you know his personality. His work is clever and makes the viewer think outside the box. When first starting out at Pentagram, he experimented a lot with each new project, but he always found himself coming back to the reliable Vignelli structure he learned while working for him. Bierut’s work that he designed for the Brooklyn Academy of Music relies heavily on classic Vignelli style, which includes the rules, the grid, and the fonts, but the cut-off type displays the “Bierut wit.” In the words of Paula Sher, another Pentagram Partner and leader in the graphic design world, “Michael Bierut has taken pure European formalism, added a layer


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old of American populism and made it, through warm conversation, accessible to and appreciated by those who have listened to him. They in turn have made it accessible to everyone else. Formidable.�


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old Italics With his style and experience, Michael Bierut has made his mark on the design world. He has won several awards and has his work.His work is also displayed in permanent collections in the Museum of Modern Art, or MoMA, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Bierut was also elected to the Alliance Graphique Internationale in 1989, and to the Art Directors Club Hall of Fame in 2003. Bierut was awarded what is considered to be the profession’s highest honor, the AIGA Medal, in 2006. He has been the speaker at conventions and conferences. Bierut also appeared in the film Helvetica, discussing how companies would redesign their logos from busy hand drawn type to clean looking helvetica. It is often claimed to be the funniest segment of the documentary.


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“Only good work leads to doing more good work.� This saying by Michael Bierut is evident in his own work. From a midwestern town to the big city. From not knowing graphic design even existed, to being a leader in the field. His witty, innovative, and functional style has won him several awards. All this good work will only lead him to create more good work and to continue to be a leader in the graphic design world.


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ources “Eye Magazine.” Interview by Steven Heller. Eye Magazine.

N.p., 1997. Web. 07 Oct. 2012. <http://www.

eyemagazine.com/feature/article/michael-bierut>.

“Michael Bierut.” Design Observer. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Oct. 2012.

<http://designobserver.com/author/michael-

bierut/1047/>.

Walker, Alissa. “Michael Bierut.” AIGA. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Oct.

2012. <http://www.aiga.org/medalist-michaelbierut/>.



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