Graphic Icons Visionaries Who Shaped Modern Graphic Design

  • ISBN13:


  • ISBN10:


  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2013-08-30
  • Publisher: Peachpit Press

Note: Supplemental materials are not guaranteed with Rental or Used book purchases.

Purchase Benefits

  • Free Shipping On Orders Over $35!
    Your order must be $35 or more to qualify for free economy shipping. Bulk sales, PO's, Marketplace items, eBooks and apparel do not qualify for this offer.
  • Get Rewarded for Ordering Your Textbooks! Enroll Now
  • We Buy This Book Back!
    In-Store Credit: $2.10
    Check/Direct Deposit: $2.00
List Price: $39.99 Save up to $28.75
  • Rent Book $11.24
    Add to Cart Free Shipping


Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?

  • The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.
  • The Used, Rental and eBook copies of this book are not guaranteed to include any supplemental materials. Typically, only the book itself is included. This is true even if the title states it includes any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.


Who are history's most influential graphic designers?

In this fun, fast-paced introduction to the most iconic designers of our time, author John Clifford takes you on a visual history tour that’s packed with the posters, ads, logos, typefaces, covers, and multimedia work that have made these designers great. You’ll find examples of landmark work by such industry luminaries as El Lissitzky, Alexander Rodchenko, A.M. Cassandre, Alvin Lustig, Cipe Pineles, Paul Rand, Saul Bass, Milton Glaser, Wim Crouwel, Stefan Sagmeister, John Maeda, Paula Scher, and more. 

Who coined the term graphic design? Who turned film titles into an art? Who pioneered information design? Who was the first female art director of a mass-market American magazine? In Graphic Icons: Visionaries Who Shaped Modern Graphic Design, you start with the who and quickly learn the what, when, and why behind graphic design's most important breakthroughs and the impact their creators had, and continue to have, on the world we live in.

Your favorite designer didn't make the list? Join the conversation at www.graphiciconsbook.com .

Author Biography

John Clifford is an award-winning graphic designer/creative director, and principle at Think Studio, a New York City design firm. His recent projects include collateral for The World Financial Center, the L.L. Bean 100th-anniversary book, web design for Maine Road Management, packaging for Paul Labrecque Haircare, and books on architecture, photography, and popular culture for The Monacelli Press, Yale School of Architecture, and Abrams. Previously, Clifford worked at Doyle Partners, Platinum Design, William Stout Publishers, and Chronicle Books, as well as in marketing and sales in the entertainment industry. He has designed for notable clients like Pantone, Saks Fifth Avenue, Martha Stewart, Barnes & Noble, and David Byrne. Clifford has also taught at Parsons School of Design, judged the I.D. Annual Design Review, and written for The Designer's Review of Books.

Table of Contents

EARLY MODERN (1900-1935)
Lucian Bernhard
Forerunner of the Sachplakat, or object posters.
Style was also known as Plakatstil, or poster style.
Opened the way to a new kind of advertising image, with simple shapes and flat colors, no superfluous decorative elements, slogans, or explanatory text.
Font designer
Hans Rudi Erdt
Along with Lucian Bernhard, was one of the main representative artists of the Plakatstil movement.
Incorporated the brand name as an integral part of the layout
Ludwig Hohlwein
Enhanced the simplicity of Sachplakat posters, with rich textures and patterns.
Key designer for German propaganda posters during two world wars
Breakout: War Posters (6 pages on WWI posters from different countries, all from LOC, in public domain)
Filippo Tommaso Marinetti
Edward McKnight Kauffer
Revolutionized poster art in Britain with his 1919 poster for the Daily Herald, adapting cubism and futurism and vorticism to his design 
El Lissitzky
Greatly influenced the design of books, exhibitions, photomontage, and type
One of the first to effectively use the diagonal axis, asymmetry, white space, and bold,
sans serif type
Believed art and design can be catalysts for change

Breakout: Design for Good
Alexander Rodchenko
Soviet Constructivist with strong, direct style
Pioneer of photomontage
Stenberg Brothers
Russian cinema poster designers
work was a fusion of Constructivism, Dadaist photomontage, and evocative technique of recreating photographs by hand
Theo Van Doesburg
Designer, painter, architect, and poet was one of the leaders of Dutch De Stijl avant-garde movement
Consistent use of primary colors, rectangular forms, and asymmetrical composition.
Developed a universal language of geometric abstraction
Later experiments with the Dada movement
Breakout: The Bauhaus
Herbert Bayer
incorporated radical European modernist ideas into American corporate culture
Student and professor at the Bauhaus
designed signage, kiosks, posters, an all-lowercase typeface, bank notes, advertising

A.M. Cassandre
Striking designs were some of the earliest to interpret t modern painting ideas, like those of Picasso, Bracque, and Léger.
Emphasized the typographic arrangement of words as a key element.
Simplified forms that characterized much of design known as modern, or art deco
Compositions derived from geometrical base, more common in architecture than graphic design.
W.A. Dwiggins
Coined the term "graphic design"
celebrated a new kind of naturalistic ornamentation
Wrote the book Layout in Advertising, a manual for moving beyond established commercial art techniques.
In his late 40s, began a career in type design
Jan Tschichold
Defined "new typography" in 1920s in his classic book Die neue Typographie
Strict advocate of modernism in graphic design, softened by experience in 1930s
Type designer
Education: Layout Basics

Lester Beall
Art director of magazines, government posters, and corporate identities
One of the first Americans to incorporate European modernism and avant-garde ideas
Breakout: WPA Posters (6 pages on Works Project Administration, all from LOC in public domain)
Alexey Brodovitch
Defined modern magazine art direction at Harpers Bazaar
Renowned for fine sense of arrangement of word and image
Introduced leading modern photographers like Cartier-Bresson, Penn, and Avedon to America
Alex Steinweiss
Developed the custom album cover. Before then, music was sold in plain packaging
Designed over 2500 album covers
Breakout: Design for Music (4-6 past and present design of albums/CDs, posters, sites)
Herbert Matter
Designed innovative montage travel posters for Swiss National Tourist office
Worked for A.M. Cassandre and Alexey Brodovitch, and worked closely with Charles and Ray Eames
Consultant for modern furniture manufacturer Knoll for 20 years
Ladislav Sutnar
Czech avant-garde designer who explored Constructivism and abstraction
Moved from early modernism in central Europe to corporate design of US
Pioneering information designers
Wrote important studies of design for visual information
Breakout: Information Design
Alvin Lustig
Master of form and color
Used an intellectual approach to solve design problems
Well-known for design of books, magazines, and interiors
Cipe Pineles
First female Art Director of a mass-market U.S. magazine
First woman inducted into the New York Art Directors Club (1948), and to be elected to the Art Directors Club Hall of Fame (1975)
Hired fine artists to illustrate mainstream magazines
Breakout: Women in Design
Max Huber
Swiss designer who worked mostly in Milan
Well-known for his dynamic posters for the Monza races, and for jazz record covers
Bradbury Thompson
Innovative uses of color, type, and photography
Designed a single-case typeface that combined upper- and lower-case forms
Wrote the book The Art of Graphic Design
Education: Color Basics
Erik Nitsche
Low-key Swiss-born designer of corporate identity, annual reports, exhibits, packaging, and advertising.
Revolutionized the identity of engineering firm General Dynamics, and designed the abstract idea of 'Atoms for Peace'
Simplified complex information
Josef Muller-Brockmann
Central figure in Swiss modernist graphic design
Advocated use of grid, sans serif typography, and objective photography
Author of key books on graphic design
Armin Hofmann
Another central figure in Swiss modernist graphic design

Breakout: Swiss Style
Paul Rand
Classic design of logos and identity for IBM, ABC, and Westinghouse
Combined modernism with American corporate identity
One of the first American designers to write books on his design approach 
Saul Bass
First to elevate film title design as an evocative part of the film
Developed total identities for films, making the titles, posters, and advertising consistent
Designed iconic logos for AT&T, United Airlines, and Warner Brothers
Breakout: Motion Design (6 pages of contemporary broadcast and film titles)
Lou Dorfsman
Oversaw every aspect of advertising and corporate identity for CBS Television
Designed a 35-foot-wide mural called Gastrotypographicalassemblage for the CBS cafeteria that listed menu items in wood type
Georg Olden
Designer for television and advertising, pioneered broadcast graphics at CBS
Grandson of a slave, was the first prominent African-American graphic designer
Breakout: Diversity in Design Archie Boston, Gail Anderson, Venus Dennison, Eddie Opara, Rafael Esquer, Andy Cruz
George Lois
Best known for art direction of Esquire covers from 1962-1972
Created "I Want My MTV" ad campaign
Wrote books, including The Big Idea
Will Burtin
Art director of Fortune magazine
Art director of the house magazine of Upjohn pharmaceutical labs, where he made science comprehensible to a lay audience
Designed 3D walk-through science exhibitions

LATE/POST-MODERN (1960-1980)
Wim Crouwel
Leader in modern Dutch design
Developed "new alphabet" for computer reading
Otl Aicher
As designer for the 1972 Munich Olympics, he created a new set of pictograms that paved the way for the standard stick figures currently used in public signs
Type designer
Breakout: Pictograms in Design
Tadanoori Yokoo
Japanese graphic designer and artist often linked with 1960s pop culture
complex and multi-layered imagery
Yusaku Kamekura
Influenced by Bauhaus and traditional Japanese heritage, his long career is marked by a colorful yet minimalist look
Ivan Chermayeff and Tom Geismar
Leading corporate identity designers
Designed logos for Mobil, Chase, and PBS
Also known for the exhibits and environmental art installations
Breakout: Logo Designs
Herb Lubalin
Master of expressive typography
Type designer
Used type as image
Education: Type Basics (4 pages on classification [serif vs. sans], anatomy, hierarchy)
Milton Glaser and Seymour Chwast (were partners in Push Pin Studio, but I'd like to feature them separately)
Part of illustration revival
Rejected cold modernism in favor of historical references, humor, and surrealism
Muriel Cooper
Pioneer of digital media
Co-founded Visible Language Workshop at MIT
Designed many books and logos
Walter Landor
Brand design pioneer who started Landor Associates
Used consumer research techniques and strategic thinking
Created designs with broad appeal

Breakout: Big Brand Design
Massimo Vignelli
Brought Italian modernism to US
Redesigned NYC subway map
Designed unified system for brochures for National Park Service

DIGITAL ERA (1980-today)
April Greiman
Leader in computer-generated design
Combined Swiss influences with California experience
Wolfgang Weingart
Swiss graphic designer who rebelled against strict Swiss style
Pioneer in deconstructed typography
Peter Saville
Best known for designing for post-punk music in the early 80s
Combined early modern typographic influences with classical art history references, along with the technology of his era
Focused on non-band imagery to make an emotional connection
Tibor Kalman
Controversial editor-in-chief and art director of Benetton magazine Colors
Used provocative imagery to make a point
Education: Image Basics
Karel Martens
Dutch designer and teacher
Specializes in typography
In addition to commissioned work, he makes prints and 3D work.
Émigré (Rudy VanderLans and Zuzana Licko)
Started influential digital type foundry and magazine
Embraced limitations and opportunities of digital design
Breakout: Font Design
Ed Fella
professional commercial artist for 30 years before getting a master's in Design
Now teaches and self-publishes his experimental designs
Produces everything by hand
David Carson
Leader of 90s deconstructive typography
Combined surf culture with design
Paula Scher
Pentagram partner
Combines bold imagery with illustrative typography
Known for work as diverse as Elvis Costello, The Public Theatre, and Citibank
-Pentagram sidebar-
Michael Beirut
Pentagram partner
Known for design of identity, environmental, and editorial design
Erik Spiekermann (maybe not-hard to show)
Influential typographer, writer, and information designer
Started FontShop, the first mail-order distributor for digital fonts
Launched design firms MetaDesign, UDN United Designers Networks, and Edenspiekermann
Steven Heller
Author of over 130 books on graphic design
Co-chair of the MFA Design program at the School of Visual Arts and co-founder of the MFA Design Criticism program
Breakout: Design Writers (Ellen Lupton, Drenttel/Helfand)
Stephen Doyle
Expert use of color and classic typography
Balances design for mass market with fine art
Hillman Curtis
Pioneering web designer, author and filmmaker
Designed sites for Yahoo! And Adobe Systems
Early master of Flash, used for high-quality animation on the web
Breakout: Web Design (4 pages)
Bruce Mau
Canadian designer who collaborated with architect Rem Koolhaas on S, M, L, XL book
Co-founded the Massive Change Network, based on ways design can help solve social, economic and political problems
Chip Kidd
Influential book-jacket designer
Has written novels about graphic design, as well as books about comic books
Breakout: Book Cover Designs (Henry Sene Yee, Helen Yentus, Mark Abrams)
Stefan Sagmeister
Austrian-born, New York-based designer
Emphasis on concept over style
Known for carving type into his body, nudity, and design for musicians like Lou Reed and David Byrne
John Maeda
Graphic designer and computer scientist who integrates technology, design, and creativity
President of Rhode Island School of Design
Was Associate Director of Research at the MIT Media Lab
Among other books, he published Laws of Simplicity, based on a research project to find ways for people to simplify their lives in an increasingly complex world.

Rewards Program

Write a Review