Aarron first met Paula Scher as a grad student in Philadelphia. He worked at the Temple University gallery and was hanging an exhibition of her posters when they first spoke about her work. He didn’t know at the time how significant her influence on graphic design was, but her work made an impression on him.
Paula’s work and kinetic typography sits in the canon of graphic design history. Described as the “master conjurer of the instantly familiar,” Scher straddles the line between pop culture and fine art in her work.
She’s been a partner at Pentagram since 1991 where she has led the redesign of numerous major brands including Citi and Tiffany & Co.
One other fun story from the show…we learn the real backstory behind the Citibank logo that Paula created, and the story isn’t the same one you’ll find if you Google it.
This is the second episode of our series on design history, to be followed by interviews with legendary designers like Jonathan Hoefler, design curators like Paola Antonelli, and design historians like Barry Katz.
After the interview, stay tuned for another special conversation with Heath Ceramics, which was founded by Edith Heath in the 1940s and played a major role in defining the mid-century modern aesthetic.
Learn about the origins of Heath Ceramics and bring the history home with a special discount that we'll share at the end of the conversation.
Heath Ceramics is one of our sponsors for this series on design history. Bring Heath home and take 15% off your online order using code “DesignBetter” between now and October 31st.
Paula Scher is one of the most influential graphic designers in the world. Described as the “master conjurer of the instantly familiar,” Scher straddles the line between pop culture and fine art in her work. Iconic, smart, and accessible, her images have entered into the American vernacular.
Scher has been a partner in the New York office of Pentagram since 1991. She began her career as an art director in the 1970s and early 80s, when her eclectic approach to typography became highly influential. In the mid-1990s her landmark identity for The Public Theater fused high and low into a wholly new symbology for cultural institutions, and her recent architectural collaborations have re-imagined the urban landscape as a dynamic environment of dimensional graphic design. Her graphic identities for Citibank and Tiffany & Co. have become case studies for the contemporary regeneration of American brands.
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