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While technology and new media continue to transform the process and delivery of visual communications, what hasn’t changed is the designer’s need to create compelling messages that connect with their intended audiences. On the following pages is a sampling of work and commentary from a few of the designers and firms we’ve profiled in the last 60 years. Much of the work continues to exude a vibrancy that transcends its moment in time.

Left: Anatomy of a Murder film poster, 1959. Saul Bass, designer; Saul Bass & Associates, design firm.
Right: Litton Industries annual report, 1960. Robert Miles Runyan & Associates, design firm.


“There must be a rapport between the client and the designer. Whether this rapport centers around an intellectual, professional or personal level doesn’t really matter—as long as there is a respect translated between two people.” —S. Neil Fujita, 1962


The Journal of Commercial Art front and back cover, 1960. Ivan Chermayeff, designer; Brownjohn, Chermayeff & Geismar, design firm.


“The most important factor in our work is the operation of a unique personality. The design should never be anonymous.
—Milton Glaser, Push Pin Studios, 1962 


The Sea Ranch supergraphics, 1968. Barbara Stauffacher Solomon, designer; Barbara Stauffacher Solomon, design firm.


“We’re selling concept and production capabilities. All that neatness and showy presentation hasn’t got a damn thing to do with how well you’ve solved the problem.” —David Ashton, Ashton-Worthington, 1973


Left: Avant Garde logotype, 1967. Herb Lubalin, art director/designer; Tom Carnase, lettering; Lubalin, Smith, Carnase, design firm.
Right: Bauhaus book cover, 1969. Muriel Cooper, designer; MIT Press, publisher.


“Excessive outputting can destroy anyone. You need inputs like information, solitude, observation, nature. You want to be a good designer, do good work, meet deadlines. But you also want to be a good human being.”
—Vance Jonson, 1977


Left: Yale Symphony Orchestra poster, 1973. Dan Friedman, designer.
Right: US Film Festival poster, 1973. Cap Pannell, art director/designer; Ron Sullivan, illustrator; The Richards Group, design firm.


“What you need to understand, if you’re going to understand the annual report business, is that they’re all problem-solving jobs. They’re not done for art’s sake, and they’re not done for our sake. They’re done to solve somebody’s problem.”
—Arnold Saks, 1978


Left: US Department of Transportation symbol signs, 1974. Cook and Shanosky Associates, design firm.
Right: Arts Council of Great Britain poster, 1974. Alan Fletcher, designer; Pentagram Design Partnership, design firm.


“Books are, as all of us know, labors of love anyway. No good designer can really afford to do them the way they ought to be done.” —Louise Fili, 1986


Left: Typographics poster announcing ITC Garamond, 1979. Jack Summerford, designer.
Right: Olympic graphics program for the Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee, 1983. Deborah Sussman/Paul Prejza, partners in charge; Mark Nelson, project manager; Debra Valencia, senior designer; Sussman/Prejza & Co., design firm.


“If you have a brilliant idea and it’s well executed, then the whole piece holds together. But a lot of stuff that’s just well produced presents itself as good design, and it’s not.” —Leslie Smolan, Carbone Smolan Associates, 1987


Left: Classico pasta sauce brand identity, 1985. Charles S. Anderson, designer; Charles S. Anderson/Lynn Schulte, illustrators; Duffy Design Group, design firm.
Right: Progressive Corporation annual report, 1988. Nesnadny & Schwartz, design firm.


“I think of my work as conceptual. The appeal may be to a different aesthetic, where preconceived notions of ‘pretty’ or ‘ugly’ have no real function. All that matters to me is concept combined with ink on paper.” —Art Chantry, 1988


Left: Laserscan poster, 1988. Thomas Wedell/Nancy Skolos, designers; Thomas Wedell/Kenneth Raynor, photographers; Skolos, Wedell + Raynor, design firm.
Right: The Earth Technology Corporation annual report, 1994. Lana Rigsby/Troy S. Ford, designers; JoAnn Stone, writer; Gary Faye, photographer; Rigsby Design, design firm.


“Design is seductive propaganda. I don’t think we can forget that we have a responsibility as a communication profession to make the most of that.”
—Jennifer Morla, Morla Design, 1993


Time Warner Inc. annual report, 1990. Aubrey Balkind/Kent Hunter, art directors; Kent Hunter/Riki Sethiadi, designers; Scott Morgan/Geof Kern/Chris Sanders, photographers; Frankfurt Gips Balkind, design firm.


“There’s no office aesthetic here, really. I guess it’s because of the mix of people, but the result can sometimes be a kind of creative chaos.”
—Dana Arnett, VSA Partners, 1994


Opening titles for New Line Cinema’s Se7en, 1995. Kyle Cooper, director; Kyle Cooper/Jenny Shainin, designers; Angus Wall, editor; R/Greenberg Associates, design firm.


“We never deliberately make something difficult to read. We try to provoke people into reading things they might otherwise skip.” —John Plunkett, Plunkett + Kuhr, 1995


Left: The Public Theater poster, 1995. Lisa Mazur/Paula Scher, designers; Pentagram Design, design firm.
Right: David Byrne Feelings CD packaging, 1996. Stefan Sagmeister, art director; Stefan Sagmeister/Hjalti Karlsson, designers; David Byrne, writer; Tom Schierlitz, photographer; Yuji Yoshimoto, model maker; Sagmeister Inc., design firm.


“If we don’t create images for our client to grow into, then our work is of no lasting value.” —Jack Anderson, Hornall Anderson Design Works, 1996


Left: Sci-Arc Emerging Voices lecture series poster, 1999. Jennifer Sterling, art director/designer; Margi Reeves, writer; Jennifer Sterling/Amy Hayson, illustrators; Jennifer Sterling Design, design firm.
Right: Tazo Tea packaging, 2001. Steve Sandstrom, designer/art director; Steve Sandoz, writer; Sandstrom Design, design firm.


“I loved when you worked on projects in the old days; you sketched and photocopied and Scotch-taped. You arrived there; it didn’t just happen. You knew you had done the work.” —Sharon Werner, Werner Design Werks, 2002


Left: El Zanjon branding program, 2002. Frances Chen/Vanessa Eckstein/Stephanie Young, designers; blok design, design firm.
Right: Saks Fifth Avenue packaging, 2007. Michael Bierut/Jennifer Kinon/Kerrie Powell, designers; Joe Finocchiaro, typography; Pentagram Design, design firm.


“Most of us got into the field because we enjoy making things. But over the years, we discovered that the process of designing can be applied to more than just artifacts. It can be applied to an entire range of business activities.”  —Robert Stone, Stone Yamashita Partners, 2005


Left: Coca-Cola integrated branding program, 2008. Chris Garvey/Josh Michels/Radu Ranga/Jonathan Warner/Rebecca Williams, designers; Sarah Moffat, design director; Bruce Duckworth/David Turner, creative directors; Turner Duckworth, design firm.
Right: Canada Post Signs of the Zodiac stamps, 2011. François Leclerc/Daniel Robitaille, art directors; Louis Gagnon, creative director; Paprika, design firm.


“If you can’t get a concept down on a piece of paper, don’t bother with the execution. Our designers focus on the concept—not on what font or style of execution to use, but on what we’re trying to say.”
—Pum Lefebure, Design Army, 2009


Left: Wee Society identity program, 2013. Rob Alexander/Chris Mann, designers; Lisa Pemrick/Jill Robertson/Alexis Vogelgesang, writers; Rob Alexander/Jill Robertson/Jason Schulte, creative directors; Emily Bolls, producer; Office: Jason Schulte Design, design firm.
Right: Platform Summit identity, 2014. Ken Deegan/Pedro Mendes, designers; Eddie Opara, art director; Pentagram, design firm.


“We question assumptions. Maybe they don’t need a logo. Maybe they need to sit down and write some letters to their customers. Maybe it’s a really good holiday gift. We figure out what they don’t need as much as what they do need.”
—Jennifer Jerde, Elixir Design, 2009


Left: Spencer Museum of Art gala invitation, 2017. Rachel Roth/Morgan Stephens, designers; Ingred Sidie, art director; Design Ranch, design firm.
Right: Exploratorium After Dark identity, 2017. Kris Wong, lead designer; David Nguyen, design director; Karin Soukup, creative director; Matt Luckhurst, chief creative officer; Shea Jackson, producer; collins, design firm.


“Having something take root in a much more public, nondesigner forum is really what we aspire to do. Design is for people, not Pinterest.” —Eric Heiman, Volume Inc., 2014


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