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Graphic Design Concepts The City College of New York Spring 2009

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38 44 Graphic Design Concepts Spring 2009 The City College of New York Professor Donald Partyka For educational use only All work reproduced retains its original copyright

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Figure/Ground  Ivan Chermayeff Jorge Merino Grid  Jan Tschichold Chan Park Diagram  Ladislav Sutnar Wesley Turner-Harris Hierarchy  Massimo Vignelli Lisa Galban Layers  Katherine McCoy Brenda Garcia Time and Motion  Saul Bass Theresa Callahan Typography  Zuzana Licko Francisco Taveras Scale  Paula Scher Daniel Levin Transparency  Bradbury Thompson Diana Perez Rhythm and Balance  Fred Woodward Binny Pakhiddey Color  Paul Rand Daniel Rose

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Color  Johannes Itten by Keitter Rosa



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in 1888, he took on a variety of different roles throughout his artistic career, such as being an expressionist painter, designer, writer, and theorists. Earlier on in his life, he worked as an elementary school teacher, followed by enrollment in art school, which he ultimately left due to his dissatisfaction with teaching methods. He then went on to teach in his own art school in 1916, which altogether with his previous experiences, greatly

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most, influential figure in the world of color. Born in Switzerland



Johannes Itten is considered by many to be one of, if not the

influenced his most significant work as a core member of Germany’s Bauhaus school from 1919 to 1922. During this time, Itten revolutionized how color was both used and perceived.

in the work of

Johannes Itten


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His color theory, taught as part of the introductory course at the Bauhaus, incorporated the at the time, rarely thought of, psychological and emotional aspects of color. Because of his interests in science, geometry, and mysticism, he believed color to be much more than just an element of art, stating “Color is life, for a world without color is dead.”. Itten devised a color wheel consisting of twelve colors, taking under consideration, questions that correlate with our present day associations of color properties. His color wheel reevaluated the concept of color harmony. Before Itten, harmony was thought of as a combination of two different colors of the same shade, and/or if they resulted in a different color when mixed. Itten, however, thought harmony was in place when the mixture of colors resulted in Grey, as oppose to any other color. He also believed that when we see a color, our eyes instinctively try to generalize things or make things whole, by searching for the colorless space beside that particular color, for which to find its counterpart or missing color.

The subjective feelings we have about a specific color’s temperature can also be seen through their relationships in the color wheel. Itten describes color as deriving from how light, which he deemed as the world’s first phenomenon, interacts with nature. One example being how the light given off by a flame or fire, would therefore make us associate the color given off with heat. Itten also devised a slightly more complex diagram that also showed the relationships between colors and shades. His color star also showed successful combinations of colors through “chords”, which were ways to tie specific colors together, making up varying compositions of colors within the star.


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After carefully examining how colors interact with one another, Itten developed seven methods of organization that forge successful color combinations in terms of hue properties. They were the contrasts between extension, light and dark, saturation, complements, hue, warm and cool, and simultaneous contrast. These studies, as well as the majority of his work, have been influential components that guide our creativity, and help us express ourselves through all forms of art.

However, Itten’s theory doesn’t only examine how the mechanics of light effect how we interpret colors, as well as the world around us. He felt that as individuals, we subjectively see the world in a dominant color that corresponds to our thoughts and emotions, whether it be in tones of red, yellow, or blue light, everything of course with respective accents of all three colors.

Painting by Johannes Itten


By 1960 their fame and attention grew when they started to design logos and identities for corporations. This began with the design of the Chase Logo, which is recongized worldwide. This design consist of large bold shapes. It is a strong identiy one that fits a bank like Chase.

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van Chermayeff was born in 1932 in London England. He is the son of an architect. In 1940 Ivan made his transition to the United States of America. He attended Harvard, The Institute of Design in Chicago and received a BFA from Yale. At around this time Ivan mat a man by the name of Tom Geismarand soon found out that they both had a common intersest for Typography. Not long after graduating Ivan, Tom and another man fromed the company they still run today, Chermayeff & Geismar.

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this simple logotype, with its emphasis on the slanted letter elements, is again the focus of the company's identity.

Ivan Chermayeff is a world class graphic designer. Many of the designs that he has conceptualized are all around us. Most famously they are the Chase Logo, NBC Logo, and The Xerox Logo. What is most visbile in his designs is that he uses large bold graphics and lines like the example to the left of this text.

n 1985 the peacock was hatched anew, stylish and strikingly simple

Announcing free evening hours

Symbol to represent a large U.S.I.A. exhibition of American graphic arts that traveled throughout Eastern Europe during the Cold War

Using a stylized profile of the human face, which also recalls the initial P in the prior mark, it repeats the profile three times, playfully putting the "public" in public television.


Jan Ts


ld ( 4/2


/1902 ~ 8/11/19 74) . He was a t yp o g first de r a p he r , b c ad e s o ok d e of year signer, design s of 20 c teache was alm entur y, r a nd w ost o c c design c r e riter. O a t u ive refo rred by e r s ac h ver rmation m o de r ieved d ually, w n o e f a v g r e t r loping ho was aphic motion m o de r ’s effor not rela n t yp o g t , ted to B b u t few raphy d au h au s esign in . T he se dividdesign e r s re c ognize d

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n a




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reformation of visual and form, and applied this perception to graphic design. Jan Tschichold 1902~1974 was the one who introduced this new modern typography to many people. He was son of the Leipzig typography designer and sign writer in German. He was interested and trained in calligraphy earlier. He graduated the Leipzig Academy and worked in Insel Verlag (a publishing company). In August, 1923, when he was 21 years old, he visited first Weimar Bauhous exhibition and he received great influential impression. He immediately tried constructive concepts

became a leading advocate, outstanding modern designer. He explained and demonstrated asymmetrical typography to many printers, reformation of visual and form, and applied this perception to graphic design. Jan Tschichold 1902~1974 was the one who introduced this new modern typography to many people. He was son of the Leipzig typography designer and sign writer in German. He was interested and trained in calligraphy earlier. He graduated the Leipzig Academy and worked in Insel Verlag (a publishing company). In August, 1923, when he was 21 years old, he visited first Weimar Bauhous

Cover, 1955

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exhibition and he received great influential impression. He immediately tried constructive concepts of bauhaus to new typography and he became a leading advocate, outstanding modern designer. He explained and demonstrated asymmetrical typography to many printers, bookmakers and designer through his articles and books in 1920. In 1923, he published Die Neu Typographie. This book was great example of modern design that all fonts were san serif. He also non-centered design and created many Modernist design. He advocated use standardized paper sizes for all printed matter. And he published followed with a series of manuals on the principles of Modernist typography that first explain the effective use of all different sizes

and weights and type in order to quickly convey information. After Die Neu Typographie, he published Fotouge in 1929 Fototek in 1930 as well. Fotouge is 76 cut photography selection form of book, it contains only lower case letters. In 1933, He was removed from the teaching profession that he created anti-Germany typography by Nazi. Six weeks of care and custody , he move to Basel, Switzerland with all of his family. Although Die neue Typographie was his first and classic book, he slowly abandoned his beliefs from 1932 and later on, he referred that Die neu Typographie was too extreme, authoritarian and inherently fascistic. His work contains concepts of modern typography elements that it’s decorative, asymmetrical, contradistinction ( limitation of size, 5 fonts size limited in one page, and every contradistinction

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advocate, outstanding modern designer. He explained and demonstrated asymmetrical typography to many printers, reformation of visual and form, and applied this perception to graphic design. Jan Tschichold 1902~1974 was the one who introduced this new modern typography to many people. He was son of the Leipzig typography designer and sign writer in German. He was interested and trained in calligraphy earlier. He graduated the Leipzig Academy and worked in Insel Verlag (a publishing company). In August, 1923, when he was 21 years old, he visited first Weimar Bauhous exhibition and he received great influential impression. He immediately tried constructive concepts of bauhaus to new typography and he became a leading advocate, outstanding modern designer. He explained and demonstrated asymmetrical typography to many printers, bookmakers and designer through his articles and books in 1920. In 1923, he published Die Neu Typographie. This book was great example of


m a r iag



p hi c r n gr a o b h Czec r, and r is a a n ucato t d u e S , r v la s igne ost Ladis the m io n de t f i o b i e h n x op e a nd e a me o in Eur c s e r b e n . He de s ig rked writer a k in g e r He wo b . s d e n t u a ter t g ro ited S a nd la n r e U n e g de s i s e in and th g hou cator, n i u h d s e i l ork b as an f a pu New Y o o r t o t g n ec raveli as dir as an fore t e b 1939 e n i u r g i a a e ch Pr rld’s F he Cz o t r W o e f for th tayed igne r r he s n de s a o i t w i b e i exh to th pent . D ue n o i l i then s v d Pa n a a nd k r k in g w Yor o e w N e f n i i is l e. st of h g ther n i h the re c tea


Ladislav Sutnar was a forerunner of the current design style known as information graphics. Information graphics encompasses the organizing of information such as copy for an ad or book cover and laying it out on a page, making it as easy for the target audience to comprehend as possible. From book covers to advertisements and posters, Sutnar created graphic systems that simplified complex information, transforming business data into understandable units. He was attributed for being known as the man who put the parentheses around the area-code numbers in the United States when they were


Ladislav Sutnar: Praha–New York–Design in Action. Design Exhibition. Prague Castle, June — September, 2003.

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ar n t u s av ladisl

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Ladislav Sutnar, “Exhibition of the Harmonious Home,” poster, 1930. The Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague. © Ladislav Sutnar, reproduced with the permission of the Ladislav Sutnar Family.

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One of the meanings of diagram in particular is a “collective term for any visual information device, like the term ‘illustration’ often used as a representative term, to stand for the whole class of technical genres, including graphs and tables.” With this definition of diagram it is easier to see what kind of influence Sutnar has. He takes information such as pictures and text, simplifies the text and images, and converts that data into a usable and likable format, designed somewhat abstract but never in a way that obstructs the meaning or purpose of the layout itself. As previously stated, he is credited with the idea of putting parentheses around the area codvvve–something long forgotten, never mentioned, and highly used to structure the information in something as simple as a telephone number.

In book cover designs, we notice a simple abstract style that gives rise to his information graphics layouts. He used photo montage and juxtaposed words with pictures or used them as support. His style became widely recognizable and he quickly moved from Prague to New York and between with dexterity and ease. The general structure of his design thought was rational–juxtapositions, scale and color were curiously abstract–he used geometric forms to create ways that would attract and guide the eye of the viewer from one level of information to the next. He often included repeating symbols and forms helping him express an industrial sensibility. He developed strict, typographic grids in his magazine designs, framing sans-serif


first introduced. Having designed hundreds, Sutnar’s influence over the graphics world remains somewhat unrecognized but highly influential. It is his development of the diagram which many can attribute to his successor.

Direct mail advertisement for Addo-x. 1956-1959. Ladislav Sutnar.

modern typefaces witvh white space in a way that predated Swiss design. Sutnar was a constructivist in the purest sense.

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Cover design. Zijeme Magazine. Volume I-II. 1931. Ladislav Sutnar.

Cover design. On Living (O bydlenĂ­). 1932. Ladislav Sutnar.

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Cover design. Zijeme Magazine. Volume I-II. 1931. Ladislav Sutnar.

All in all, Ladislav Sutnar, had a great deal of influence on art and the world in general. His use of typography and manipulation of information fits the page in a way that invites its viewers. You can see many of his designs whether it be a book cover, a record cover, or a corporate identity brief. No longer can anyone look at the parenthesis used in telephone numbers the same again. Sutnar developed his designs with a distinct flair, and his legacy is that of the diagram or information graphics.



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massimo vignelli


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Massimo Vignelli was born 1931 in Milan, Italy. Vignelli studied architecture in Milan and Venice; he has done designs for publication, furniture, packaging design, transportation and more. Hierarchy is an important part of Vignelli’s design; it concentrates on the message that is more important. His wife Lella and he co-founded the company Vignelli Associates in 1971. Vignelli’s style is more modernist - he uses geometric forms to design his works. Massimo founded the company Unimark and Knoll. He follows the grid system in all his designs. When Mr. Vignelli uses rules he uses hierarchy to help clarify the different parts in typography. When he wants to separate an important word or phrase he uses a 2pt bold rule, 1 pt light rule is used to separate “items within each part of the form.” He believes that no matter what typography someone uses it should always hang from ther rule even if the size is small or large. For instance, when it comes to headlines he likes to use a large font size with a 2pt bold rule to have the right amount space with other elements that are on a design. Any important message is like people who talk loud; therefore you would make the font size large and bold. Any white space in typography is white space in architecture for him; he made a rule to stick to one or two sizes. Massimo’s Knoll book design consisted of many texts and images; to distinguish what is more important on the page he used hierarchy to clairfy where your eyes should first look. A company letterhead should have a proper hierarchy and clearness. The Vignelli Canon book by Massimo states how every section in a letterhead has a place on a grid. There are two ways of writing a letterhead on a grid, either using central axes or a horizontal grid. “The overall look of the letterhead is accomplished when the letter is typed with the message, every component has its proper place, with the proper hierarchy and clarity.” The image of a response letter to Jessica from Massimo is an example of how her name and addresss appear on top, then the signature last. Everything is lined up and has a certain place to be; Jessica’s name is on top because it is important. The letter is being addressed to her.

Massimo’s Response Back to Jes-

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In order to have a better clarity of hierarchy, use white space. Vignelli stated in his book, black typography is not enough to clarify hierarchy oh a page, white space brings out the typography more. Therefore, white space is an important factor for any design. White space gives text a proper structure of organization and helps separate different messages on a page. “Tight margins establish a tension between text, images and the edges of the page. Wider margins deflate the tension and bring about a certain level of serenity to the page.” For example, in Massimo’s example of a book, there are multiple sections of text along with a picture. The white space on the page helps the bold text and images stick out more which indicates to look there first or that is more importatnt then the smaller text on the page is second or last. In Massimo’s 1972 New York City subway map, he used combination of hierarchy and white space. Each subway line is represented with a color; the train lines where curved in 45 and 90 degree angles. Each train stop was represented by a black dot, if there was single thin black line connecting the dots; it means you where able to transfer to another train line. This map had a similarity from Harry Beck’s London train map. The map had no messy angles and it was easier to navigate underground. The map has a plain white background, each express stop is in bold text, the name of the borough is written large and bold. When someone first glances at the map, the boroughs are the first you notice. The white background allows the text and train lines to stick out. Everything on the map is aligned even and neat. Massimo Vignelli uses hierarchy as part of all his designs- it helps him have a better understanding of which item or text on a page is more importatnt. The larger and bold text means it’s more important; anything in the beginning of a letterhead is important and anything below is less imporatant. White space brings out the important text more.

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Katherine Katherine McCoy McCoy

career in design at Unimark International in 1967. Having only a degree career in design at Unimark International in 1967. Having only a degree in industrial design from Michigan State University, Katherine states that in industrial design from Michigan State University, Katherine states that she “learned graphic design from several graphic designers at Unimark. she “learned graphic design from several graphic designers at Unimark.

A ers Y y a L E RS

It wasn’t the ideal training because there was no formal structure, but it It wasn’t the ideal training because there was no formal structure, but it

was very valuable because the designers were so good.” After her work was very valuable because the designers were so good.” After her work

at Unimark, McCoy worked as a graphic designer for Chrysler Corporaat Unimark, McCoy worked as a graphic designer for Chrysler Corpora-

tion’s Corporate Identity Office, Omnigraphics of Boston, and Designtion’s Corporate Identity Office, Omnigraphics of Boston, and Design-

ers and Partners of Detroit. In 1971, Katherine McCoy and her husband ers and Partners of Detroit. In 1971, Katherine McCoy and her husband

Michael McCoy, became the co-chairs at the Department of Design at Michael McCoy, became the co-chairs at the Department of Design at

Cranbrook’s Academy of Art in Michigan, where they worked until 1995. Cranbrook’s Academy of Art in Michigan, where they worked until 1995.

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Katherine McCoy was born in Decatur, Illinois in 1945. She began her



Katherine McCoy was born in Decatur, Illinois in 1945. She began her

Katherine McCoy

yond their objective content. This concept is demonstrated by figure 1,Cranbrook Graduate Program Poster (1989,) and Figure 2, Cranbrook Fluxus exhibition poster (1989.) In these two designs, Katherine uses a lot of typography and images, overlapping them in

working as co-chairs at Cranbrook’s design department they were free to reinvent the programs in 2-D and 3-D design however they wanted. “Katherine recalls that she combined the “objective” typographic approach that she knew through professional practice with an interest in the social and cultural activism that was in the air in the late 60s,” according to Katherine McCoy’s approach to design transformed Cranbrook into a school of highlevel experimental design work.

Driven by her liberating, experimental outlook

ers in these posters really does engage the viewer, and forces the viewer to really look at the poster in order to find it’s meaning. Other examples of Katherine McCoy’s use of layers in designs are, Figure 3, the cover of her book Cranbook Design: The New Discourse (1990,) figure 4, her lithograph Artist-in-Residence, and Figure 5, Choice (1992.) These posters demonstrate McCoy’s belief that “a picture can be read, while written words can be objects of vision.”

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Graphic Design Concepts

When Katherine McCoy and her husband began



an almost illegible collage. The multiple lay-

on design, Katherine McCoy commonly uses multiple layers in her designs. According to her essay, “Typography as Discourse,” McCoy believes that “Layered images and textures continue the collage aesthetic

Katherine McCoy’s use of layers, and her innovative ideas in

begun by Cubism, Constructivism, and Dada.” Mc-

design have won her many awards, including the Society of Ty-

Coy argued that by layering and juxtaposing words

pographic Arts Educator Award(1987), and the Chrysler Award for

and pictures, designers construct compositions that

Innovation in Design, which she was jointly awarded with Michael

demand to be interpreted on their own terms, be-

McCoy in 1994.Katherine McCoy and her husband are currently teachers at Illinois Institute of Technology’s Institute of Design, partners in their design consultancy McCoy & McCoy, which they formed in 1971, and founders of High Ground.

Figure 1 Cranbrook Graduate Program Poster (1989)

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Figure 2 Cranbrook Fluxus exhibition poster (1989)

Figure 4 Artist-in-Residence, Design

Figure 3 Cranbook Design: The New Discourse (1990)

Figure 5 Choice (1992)

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Saul Bass


For the film “Bird Man of Alcatraz” Bass used time and motion to mimic frames of a film. This was used to show birds moving throughout the poster. He also uses the graphic image in a literal way. He shows birds, a man, and a jail cell. It is as if he is transforming the films title into a visual image.


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Saul Bass was born on May 8th 1920. In the Bronx. He started off designing symbols and logos. He began his career creating corporate identities for companies such as United Airlines ad the Olympic Games. He was then introduced into motion graphics, ultimately this credited him with the reputation of the Inventor of the Modern Film Title. Saul Bass created many animated motion picture sequences for some of the most famous Directors in Hollywoood. Bass won numerous awards throughout his career, and was highly recognized and demanded designer within the film industry. He worked for many film makers, but he also moved on to making his own short, and feature films. He states in an interview that he thinks as himself as a film maker. The opening credits that he creates ultimately sets the mood for the film that comes after it.

Time and Motion was often integreated into Bass’ designs. Weather it be in his logos, film credits, or movie posters. In Billy Wilders film “Love in the Afternoon” , Bass used motion by showing a hand pulling down a shade. This use of motion directs your eye through the poster.





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One of Bass’ most famous designs was for “The Man with the Golden Arm”. The way he executed this title was in a way that directly related to the subject matter of the movie. The jagged arm expressed the jarring, and disjointed existence of a drug addict. The way Bass chose to represent the film, was not to show the face of the stars to attract the audience, but to represent the film in a graphic way.

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r o t


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Until Bass, who revolutionized the title sequences of films, the credits would not be shown in theaters. Usually, the projectionist would pull the curtains back after the credits rolled. But, in Otto Premingers film “The Man with the Golden Arm” (1955) , a note was placed along with the film canisters for the projectionist, directing them to pull the curtain before, and not after, the titles. Bass believed that the titles were essential to the movie, and set the mood for the film.

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In mad mad mad mad world, Bass used time and motion in order to stretch the idea of a joke, and to push a joke as far past the resonable point as possible. He used the simple image of a man with a globe to create multiple images. The use of motion was centered around the globe, which moved throughout the screen, while transforming into different objects.


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Bass’ transition in his career was from graphics to live action. Working with motion graphics forced him to come to grips with the live action image, which was to be centered around the subject of the film. He felt that content was the key issue, and simple direct ideas could be used to display a point, or multiple ideas. He used a basic image, and made the most he could out f it, representing it in as many different forms as possible. His movie posters would often mimic the style of the film titles.




the work of


“ f the alphabet conveys words, a typeface conveys their tone, style, and attitude.


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ypeface is the ornamental manifestation of the alphabet.







migre’s development replicated the evolution of digital technology while questioning conventional ideas of legibility and layout. Licko’s well structured typefaces counterbalance VanderLans’ organic compositions. By the late 1980s had moved beyond alternative pop cult status into the mainstream (The New York Times, ABC and Nike). The graphic design establishment has since recognised Licko and VanderLans with a 1994 Chrysler Award, the 1997 AIGA (American Institute of Graphic Arts) gold medal and the 1998 Charles Nypels Award for Innovation in Typography. Zuzana Licko’s designs continue to be a major influence on typographic communication worldwide.

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orn in Czechoslovakia, Licko emigrated to the US with her family in 1968. She graduated in graphic communications from the University of California at Berkeley in 1984. Her father, a biomathematician led to licko’s introduction computers which then enabled her to establish digital type design with the Macintosh computer.


hen Rudy VanderLans, her partner and later husband, launched Emigre, she began to contribute fonts. Rather than replicate (on a dot matrix printer) typographic forms already adapted from calligraphy, lead and photosetting, Licko used public domain software to create bitmap fonts.



er most significant achievements to date are her two playful text families, Filosofia and Mrs Eaves Mrs Eaves, named for the Baskerville font revival known for its excess of colorful ligatures and “petite caps�, a unique variation on the theme of small caps.

ilosofia is Bodoni revival with many alternate characters.

Mrs Eaves

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aula Scher is considered by many to be a living legend. Since the 1970s she has been creating influential work all across the graphic design world. From her beginnings in album art, to her poster designs, personal work, and integration of typography into architecture, she has been setting standards and opening avenues of exploration. Of all the elements of design, one that is distinct in much of her work is scale. Some of her most known work exists on a massive scale, while even her printed material incorporate juxtaposition of scale within the type.




Paula Scher

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Graphic Design Concepts


he next increase in the scale of her work was one that could prove difficult to surpass: integration of massive typography and graphics into architecture. Her work in the Bloomberg Building consists of gigantic level numbers in the stairwell, as well as very large numbers placed elsewhere in the building. She was given a limitless canvas to work with when she blanketed the Symphony Space with type, and she problem solved her way around a tight budget and a big project at a performing arts school in Newark by blowing up the scale of type that might be found on a brochure for the school, and arranging it within the space of the buildings exterior.




he design of Paula Scher has consistently, though not exclusively, increased in size throughout her career. She started out working for a record label designing album art, moved on to magazines, and eventually found herself painting large maps with detailed patterning of the names. These maps are mostly realistic representations of the land mass, with a lot of hand painted type that arbitrarily places the names of the locations on the map all over, creating a textured affect from the tight type. She also created large signs and posters for cultural institutions, such as the New York Ballet, Jazz at Lincoln Center, and The Public Theater. Her work for these institutions varied. Using the identity she created for them, she designed all printed materials for the Public Theater; among them were posters that changed the idea of an acceptable play poster, some of which became billboards.

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he driving force of scale in Scher’s work is based, to some extent, on the unexpected. She began developing her style as a response to the modern trend of strict Helvetica and minimal graphics. Her poster for the show bring in da noise, bring in da funk is energetic and lively, qualities the contemporary play poster did not possess. They are represented through large, bold type that varies in weight and size, radiates out from the movements of the figure on the pages, and varies in level of compression. This was unexpected, new, a little edgy, certainly embraced, celebrated, and copied.

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Transp a


ry bu ad Br bu Brad ry n n o o s s p p m m o o h h TT

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Liberty spread by Bradbury Thompson.


ROCK ROLL spread by Bradbury Thompson.

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Bradbury Thompson on the USA stamp.


Bradbury Thompson (1911-1995) was an American graphic designer and art director that influnced today’s artists and art directors. He played in to the Graphic Design Industry who blended typography, photography, modern art and colors in his work. In 1934, Bradbury Thompson graduated at the Washburn College in Topeka, Kansas where he was born. He also designed Washburn College’s mascot called “The Ichabod” in 1937. After designing the mascot for his former college he decided to move to New York City for work. There he was hired to work for Rogers-Kellogg & Stillson designing graphic arts for Westvaco Inspirations. This position made him become a known graphic designer because his cover designs were striking and amazing. Working for Westvaco Inspirations was where Thompson started to establish his Monoalphabet or Alphabet 26.

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Another image is that has transparency is a spread of a women with two letters Os on her face and four women in yellow, blue, red and black. The spread has no name also. They are caring umbrellas I like how typography was used to represent the rain and how the women’s raincoat or trechcoats overlaps eachother to create another color.

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Thompson designed postage stamps for the United States Postal Service in 1958. the idea of adding the USA logo in stamps to make for unify was Thompson’s idea. Thompson also written a book called The Art of Graphic Design. For being one of the best known, hardworking and most influential graphic designer he has received many awards such as the National Society of Art Directors of the Year award, the AIGA Gold Metal award and in 1977, and was appointed to the Art Directors Hall of Fame.


In 1945 Thompson became Mademoiselle’s art director lasting for fifth teen years working for the magazine. Thompson loved working for magazines he also worked for ARTnews magazine for 27 years, he created and worked for about ten years creating the Washburn College Bible in 1969, and later in 1986 he was given a Type Directors Club of New York for this project. He also designed covers for the Smithsonian magazine, trademarks and edition books.

Transparency is important to his work because he focuses his attention of how humans value themselves as human beings and their beliefs. In some of his overlapping works he also combines different color and color tints into his images and he also does this with typefaces. In his R STANDS FOR RIGHTEOUS spread he uses the letter R with different colors overlapping eachother. He also uses primary colors and black, and he inserted two small images inside of the two big Rs. The left blue R in the left spread over laps the yellow R, which is in the bottom left, both R creates a dark yellowish color. It is like when a person is painting and mixing colors but he would instead use color on an image and typography to create that effect. In the ROCK ROLL spread there are two Vinyl records. On the left side it’s a negative of a man playing the saxophone inside of the black vinyl, it is like an X-ray of the man. On the right it’s the same guy but instead Thompson overlap the image of the musician with different colors with primary colors all around the pinkish vinyl record. It is like looking at a color wheel the overlap images of the musician creates very dark colors in the middle but out side the middle is light colors surrounding the vinyl.



Graphic Design Concepts

Graphic Design Concepts




Fred Woodward was born on 1953 in Louisville, MS. He is a graphic designer who has worked for few of the very prestigious magazines in united state such as Rolling Stone and GQ. Fred Woodward was a creative director for rolling stone for nearly one and a half decades. He is currently a creative designer for GQ. Fred works with the front cover as well as the spreads. This covers are one of a kind they are completely original with use of typography and photography. The same can be said about the spreads they are rhythmic as well as Balanced. Neither sides topography or photographs take over a spread, sometimes they are proportionate by the amount of space they take up or just combining the type and the photo in to a

Graphic Design Concepts

Graphic Design Concepts



the size of the other letters. One side caries five letters when the other side of the spread consists of only two letters, Even though these letters are close together they don’t feel congested, that give

completely different thing where you cant Identify which is which. In the midst of Woodward’s brilliant spreads, there is one in which he combined typography with photography, this is the one with Arnold Schwarzenegger, Woodward

has placed the headline across a photograph of the actor sitting in a giant pipe so that the pipe becomes the “O” in the title “Big Shot.” In this spread he used proportion very appropriately the size of S and H are similar to the size of T, and the word BIG is half

Graphic Design Concepts

Graphic Design Concepts

it an easy flow feeling. Another Spread for Rolling Stone article was on Leonardo DiCaprio, its once again an example of how he used type combined with photo in this spread half of the page is filled with the letter O in block lettering and the other side has same size letter L as the and the space that was left over was is filled by the letter E. And the space in the center of O is filled with a photo of Leonardo DiCaprio. Along with bold type he used the colors he used it gives the spread a calm earthy feeling.



Fred Woodward uses different types of techniques in his spreads to make it balance and all of them have a soft flow so your eyes don’t get dissertated by what happening on one side of the page and your mind can’t connects what’s happening with the other side and the relationship between them is clear.

The use of color has many powerful elements that describe ones identity. Paul Rand’s works is very important because in his designs, he clearly explain how color can be use to define ones identity. However there is one main element which he describes on how the uses of color that can also show the identity of his works to developed a system by using color to stand out and to draw ones interest to his designs by demonstrates ones emotions, knowledge, and vision.

68 Graphic Design Concepts

Graphic Design Concepts

by Paul Rand design by Daniel Rose


f o e s u the y t i t n e d i e n fi e d r o l co

The contrast theme is carried out further by the drastic variation in the size of the letters. The roughness of the edges of the large A emphasizes the sharpness of those of the smaller A’s, and the extreme diagonals of the letters are counteracted by the right angles of the book itself. . .” (Rand, 17 paragraph,

70 Graphic Design Concepts

Graphic Design Concepts

In Rand’s typography designs, he design a cover for Arensberg Collection cover for the Art Institute of Chicago in 1949 which he illustrate by adding white and black to the design will developed two main corresponding colors in art will build up a common form. He also stated, “The tension between black and white in the cover is heightened by opposing a large area of black to a small area of white.


In an article, from the book of Graphic Forms: The Arts as Related to the Book which he wrote “Black in Visual Arts”, Rand clearly explain the misuse of the color black. For example he stated, “In these lines the French poet, Rimbaud, uses the word black to describe and symbolize carnality, death, and decay. This traditional association of the color black with death and sin is long standing and has led to the widespread conviction in both art and lay circles that black is depressing and sinister and therefore, if possible, must be avoided. As a result, the power and usefulness of black has been limited or misunderstood. During this century many individual artists, architects, and designers have rebelled against the conventional use and misuse of black. . .” (Rand, 16 paragraph, thoughts_black.shtml)

Graphic Design Concepts

72 Graphic Design Concepts


In 1956 Rand designs a children’s book title “I KNOW A LOT OF THINGS” with the help of his wife Ann to draw children in to reading. However in the use of color to show identity, clearly explain visually on the cover the book show the pieces of shapes of colors described as thoughts or identified it’s self as knowledge cycling around the child’s head. In addition to the book cover, the use of different colors describes the colors being as powerful element to draw children to read and remember what they read. As a child reading the book and seeing the different colors cause his or her mind to dream or grow.

In conclusion of Paul Rand’s designs, each one of his designs in the use of color describe their identity. Also in each of his designs show the use of color can be use to describe ones strength, vision, power, or awareness to draw people to his work or to influence. However some of the designs in the use of color may be different, each one of the designs illustrate ones indivisible identity by using color.

Graphic Design Concepts Book  

Final Project City College Spring 2009

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