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VOLUME 3 ISSUE 4 //$10
A MASTER OF IMAGE AND WORD The work of Michael Bierut, in addition to being visually appealing, displays what it truly means to problem-solve with graphic design. BY SOMMER FIGONE
It didn’t take me long to learn that Michael Bierut is more than just an award-winning graphic designer. He is also a design critic, an educator, and a visionary. As a versatile artist, he solves problems of all sorts through his use of color, words and imagery. Looking through his portfolio of work is an interesting journey. On one hand, you see subtle hints of “Michael-ness:” here and there—but on the other, he adapts to projects so well that the variety and uniqueness in his work may surprise you. It’s no wonder that he graduated with a degree in graphic design from University of Cincinnati’s College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning. Though the career was not common in his hometown of Cleveland, Ohio, Bierut persued his love of fine art, music and drawing after reading only two design books: the Graphic Design Manual by Armin Hofman and Milton Glaser: Graphic Design. Bierut began his career in 1980 when he began working at Vignelli Associates, rising to become vice president of design. His goal quickly became to make things people can and want to read, as he realized that people don’t always read the documents that designers make. After ten years with Vignelli, BIerut became a partner at the New York location of Pentagram, a design
studio. He has been there since 1990 and leads a team of designers that work on projects including identity design, environmental design and editorial design. Bierut has worked with prestigious clients including the Walt Disney Company, Motorola, Princeton University, Alfred A. Knopf and the New York Jets, among others. Itâ€™s clear that the world is receptive to his work. Bierut has won hundreds of design awards, including the professionâ€™s highest honor, the AIGA Medal, in 2006. His work spans many industries and companies, with some pieces even displayed in permanent collections including the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Library of Congress. He achieves these honors because he knows how to solve problems and grows with an ever-changing society. Itâ€™s no wonder that MIchael Bierut has become a wellknown name in the design world. His role goes beyond designer - he is an advice-giver, design consultant, teacher, writer - all pieces of him that contribute to his mastering of design.
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