10 Famous Graphic Designers Whose Work is Art | Widewalls (2023)

Although the roots of activities similar to graphic design span the history of humankind, the field as we know it today is a rather new term first coined by William Addison Dwiggins in 1922. At the hand of famous graphic designers, the industry has been growing and changing ever since. At the turn of the 20th century, designers across the disciplines of architectural, fashion, graphic, and product design searched for new forms of expression. Fed by concerns of technological and industrial advances, they explored the potential of abstract and reductive drawing and design as they sought a new aesthetic philosophy to address the changing social, economic, and cultural conditions.

10 Famous Graphic Designers Whose Work is Art | Widewalls (1)

A Brief History of 20th-Century Graphic Design

First being a continuation of the 1890s poster, the European poster of the second decade of the century was largely influenced by new modern movements such as Cubism and Constructivism. Having a desire for expressive and symbolic images, but also interested in the total visual organization of the picture plane, graphic design artists created a dialogue between communicative imagery and design form that generated the energy of pictorial graphics. In the years after the World War I, visual arts moved beyond the threshold of pictorial imagery towards the invention of pure form. Frank Lloyd Wright, the Glasgow group, the Vienna Secession, Adolf Loos, Peter Behrens, and other graphic designers, architects, and product designers began challenging prevailing notions about form and function. The emergence of the Bauhaus allowed for the modern design aesthetic to emerge, and some of the most famous graphic designers to emerge.

In the years after World War II, aesthetics that dominated the graphic design landscape was the International Typographic Style, also known as the Swiss Style. Developed in Switzerland in the 1950s, its visual language was characterized by cleanliness, readability, and objectivity. Embodied by designers such as Ernst Keller, Armin Hofmann, Emil Ruder, Josef Müller-Brockmann, Max Bill and Otl Aicher, distinctive features of the style were asymmetric layouts, use of a grid, sans-serif typefaces like Akzidenz Grotesk, flush left, ragged right text, and the preference of photography instead of illustrations. In these post-war years, an idea that the good design meant good business also emerged. Many famous graphic designers such as Frank Stanton or William Golden started creating corporate identity for brands that still remain today. By the end of the 1960s, the majority of large corporations, but also Worlds' Fairs and Olympics, adopted design systems. In the second half of the 20th century, designers started introducing more personal images and pioneered individual styles and techniques. With the arrival of the digital age, computer graphic art experimentation allowed for the exploration of electronic techniques while moving through modern and postmodern design ideas, retro revivals, and eccentric work that brought a period of pluralism and diversity in design.

10 Famous Graphic Designers Whose Work is Art | Widewalls (2)

Famous Graphic Designers

The graphic design was shaped for centuries by brave pioneers who explored new forms of expression and visual communication. With so many styles of graphic design and different schools of thought, there are countless creatives who have done their part in shaping the industry in some way.

We have compiled a list of famous graphic designers working in different styles that were regarded pioneers of this profession, changing the way graphic design is seen in the contemporary world with their iconic works.

Featured images: Armin Hoffmann - Giselle, via jasonweinberger.com; Seymour Chwast - Design, via seymorchwastarchive.com; April Greiman - Poster from issue No. 133 Does It Make Sense of Design Quarterly magazine, via cultureofdesign.wordpress.com; Otl Aicher - For Olympics (detail), via pinterest.com; Milton Glaser - For Mad Men, via sethaddison.com

Saul Bass - The Creator of Iconic Movie Posters

A legend in the world of graphic design, Saul Bass is best known for his design of film posters, title sequences and corporate logos. During his 40-year career, Bass collaborated with some of Hollywood’s greatest filmmakers such as Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick, Otto Preminger, Billy Wilder, and Martin Scorsese, making him one of the most famous graphic designers of an era. His iconic 1950s movie posters and motion picture title sequences include Psycho, The Man with the Golden Arm, North by Northwest, and Spartacus, among others. He was also very successful as a logo designer, having designed a plethora of timeless corporate logos in North America such as Kleenex, Girl Scout, Continental Airlines, United Airlines or AT&T.

Featured images: Sual Bass, via knolaust.com; Left: Saul Bass - The Shining, via pinterest.com / Right: Saul Bass - Vertigo, via pinterest.com

(Video) 10 Greatest Graphic Designers of All Time!

Milton Glaser - An Embodiment of American Design

One of the most famous graphic designers in the United States, Milton Glaser has designed many posters, publications and even created architectural designs throughout his long career. An embodiment of American graphic design during the latter half of this century, Glaser is the creator of iconic I ♥ NY branding, logos for Target and JetBlue, the opening title sequence toMad Men, and poster designs for musician Bob Dylan. Glaser has transformed what it means to create a powerful, timeless design, emphasizing “the act between seeing and understanding is critical”. Immensely creative and articulate, this famous graphic designer brought a depth of understanding and conceptual thinking combined with a diverse richness of visual language into his unique body of work.

Be sure to check out works by Milton Glaser on our marketplace!

Featured image:Milton Glaser, via villageprint.com;Left:Milton Glaser - Mad Man Poster, via edpacheco16.wordpres.com / Right:Milton Glaser - Mahalia Jackson poster, 1967, via speckyboy.com;Milton Glaser -I Love NY, via eyeondesign.com

Alan Fletcher - The Father of British Graphic Design

Having developed a spirited, witty and very personal visual style, Alan Fletcher is among the most influential figures in British graphic design. The fusion of the cerebral European tradition with North America’s emerging pop culture in the formulation of his distinct approach made him a pioneer of independent graphic design in Britain during the late 1950s and 1960s. Through expressive typography, bold colors and strong visual language, Fletcher changed the way design was thought of, positioning it as a key element to businesses. Some of his most famous clients include Pirelli, Cunard, Penguin Books and Olivetti.

Featured images:Alan Fletcher, via phaidon.com;Left: Alan Fletcher - Parties, 1986, via bluefunkrainbows.com / Right: Adam Fletcher for Pirelli, via pinterest.com

Armin Hofmann - The Legend of Swiss Design

A legend of Swiss graphic design, Armin Hofmann is recognized for his immeasurable influence on generations of designers. A celebrated teacher at Allgemeine Gewerbeschule Basel School of Art and Craft, his teaching methods were unorthodox and broad-based. His timeless aesthetic was characterized by power and elegance of simplicity and clarity. This famous graphic designer consistently emphasized that design should have a context and meaning, making his work a paragon of effective, timeless and thoughtful design. Relying on the fundamental elements of graphic form - point, line, and shape, Hofmann created a body of work enormously varied - books, exhibitions, stage sets, logotypes, symbols, typography, posters, sign systems, and environmental graphics.

Featured images: Armin Hoffman, via swissdesignawards com; Left: Armin Hoffman - Equus, 1963, via pinterest.com / Right: Armin Hofmann - Giselle, via pinterest.com

(Video) Celebrating The Life Of The Greatest Graphic Designer-Paul Rand

Seymour Chwast - Combining Design and Illustration

A master of historical styles and movements, the graphic designer Seymour Chwast is known for his diverse body of work, and lasting influence on American visual culture. Founding Push Pin Studios with Milton Glaser and Edward Sorel, he triggered the shift from sentimental realism to comic expressionism. Shaping contemporary design and illustration, he has developed an expressive and iconic style that combined both disciplines in a playful way. Developing a new and unique way of approaching design, he created aneclectic oeuvre of magazines, posters, advertisements, book jackets, record covers, product packages, and children’s books. Designer's methods were unapologetically rooted in vintage-style decorative traditions, but his work has always synthesized, reinvented, and often parodied the past.

Featured images:Seymour Chwast by Ralph Vasquez, via ralph-vasquez.com;Left: Seymour Chwast - Push Pin Graphic magazine 67. Your Body and You, 1977, via design-is-fine.org / Right: Seymour Chwast - Design, via manishtama.com

April Greiman - A Pioneer of Digital Communications Design

During the 1980s, the idea of integrating the computer into design practice was intimidating to many. April Greiman was among few visionaries who recognized the vast potential of this new medium. She established herself as a pioneer of digital communications design, inspiring and encouraging the acceptance and use of technology in graphic design and the arts. Curious and fascinated with everything digital, she explored and inspired the cutting-edge design work that places her at the helm of integrated design at the close of the twentieth century. A thinker and artist, her transmedia projects, innovative ideas and projects, and hybrid-based approach, made her work influential worldwide over the last 30 years.

Featured images:April Greiman, via graphis.com;Left: April Greiman - Design, via pinterest.com / Right: April Greiman - Olympic Poster, via qbn.com

(Video) Top 5 famous graphic designer in the world

Peter Saville - The Creator of Iconic Record Covers

Ever since his first work for Factory Records in the late 1970s, Peter Saville has been a pivotal figure in graphic design and style culture. An iconic record and album cover designer, Saville helped establish a new standard by which album covers were to be judged. Having a bold, expressive and elegant style, he had a remarkable ability to identify images that epitomize the moment. His work included Joy Division’s iconic Unknown Pleasures cover, as well as work with New Order, Roxy Music, Fleetwood Mac, Suede, Pulp, and many other high profile names in music. Designs he created were so compelling that they struck the same emotional resonance as the music on these albums.

Featured images:Peter Saville, via anwarmontasir.com;Left: Peter Saville - for Joy Division (Unknown Pleasures), via creativeapplications.net / Right: Peter Saville - for New Order (Power, Corruption & Lies ), via whatdesigncando.com

Otl Aicher - The Creator of Public Signage System

A German graphic designer and typographer, Otl Aicher is best known for his work for the 1972 Summer Olympics. He created a stunning visual identity where he boldly used pictograms, a bright palette developed from the color of the Bavarian countryside and a strict grid system. A co-founder of the legendary Ulm School of Design in Germany, his work since the fifties of the last century presents a major achievement in the visual communication of our times. He is also famous for creating an influential public signage system that utilized simple stick figure graphic that has made a great impact on graphic design.

(Video) Making FAMOUS Graphic Designs Better!? (Before & After Graphic Design Ep7)

Featured images:Otl Aicher, via stuartshieldgardendesign.wordpress.com;Left: Otl Aicher - for the 1972 Olympics, via matthewwilliams.wordpress.com / Right: Otl Aicher - for the 1972 Olympics, via matthewwilliams.wordpress.com

Josef Muller-Brockmann - Developing the Grid System

A legendary Swiss designer, Joseph Müller-Brockmann was influenced by the ideas of several different design and artistic movements including Constructivism, De Stijl, Suprematism and Bauhaus. Capturing the essence of Swiss design, his work is characterized by the geometric shapes, clean sans-serifs and the vibrant colors. Among his most decisive work was the one done for the Zurich Town Hall as poster advertisements for its theater production. He had a seminal rolein the development and use of the grid system in graphic design, a tool which is widely used by contemporary graphic designers.

Featured images:Josef Muller-Brockmann, via coroflot.com;Left: Josef Muller - Brockmann Design, via famousgraphicdesigners.org / Right: Josef Muller - Brockmann Design, via wordsandeggs.wordpress.com

Erik Nitsche - Working in a Distinctly Modernist Aesthetics

Erik Nitsche left an unmistakable mark in the world of design in his 60-year long career. Having dabbled in just about every facet of the design industry, he worked as an art director, book designer, illustrator, typographer, graphic designer, photographer, advertiser, and packaging designer. His works are characterized by a distinctly modernist aesthetics and Laszlo Moholy-Nagy has described him as the “guy that is doing Bauhaus in New York”. His work included creative designs for promotional and advertising campaigns for a host of different clients including department stores, feature films, record companies, and the New York Transit Authority. His unique visual language had a great influence on the young generation of designers in America in the mid-20th century.

Featured images:Erik Nitsche, via adcglobal.com;Erik Nitsche - Posters, via quadraforce.com

(Video) What Kind Of Graphic Designer Are YOU!?

FAQs

Who is the No 1 graphic designer? ›

1. Benoy Sarkar. Benoy Kumar Sarkar was born in 1938 in Kolkata. He is a man with a great sense of design and has done admirable work in the field of graphic design.

Is graphic design an art? ›

According to the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA), graphic design is defined as “the art and practice of planning and projecting ideas and experiences with visual and textual content.” In other terms, graphic design communicates certain ideas or messages in a visual way.

Who is the best graphic designer in India? ›

Most Popular Indian Graphic Artists
  • Akshar Pathak. Akshar Pathak (born 20 September 1989) is an artist and a graphic designer who makes Bollywood films posters. ...
  • Benoy Sarkar. Benoy Kumar Sarkar was born in Kolkata in 1938. ...
  • Dashrath Patel. ...
  • Gopi Prassana. ...
  • Madhukar B Raju.
6 Feb 2021

Where are the best graphic designers? ›

These are top sites to find freelance graphic designers:
  • Toptal.
  • Upwork.
  • Dribbble.
  • Behance.
  • Working Not Working.

Where is graphic design most popular? ›

Best Major Cities for Graphic Designers by Location Quotient
CityPopulation 2019
1Minneapolis, MN3,640,043
2New York, NY19,216,182
3San Francisco, CA4,731,803
4Los Angeles, CA13,214,799
6 more rows
22 Apr 2022

What is a successful graphic designer? ›

A successful graphic designer has a very creative mind and is able to pull great ideas for even those projects he works on out of thin air. Ideally, you want to provide each client with a unique and creative idea for the project they need to be completed.

What is graphic design example? ›

Graphic design is the practice of composing and arranging the visual elements of a project. Designing the layout of a magazine, creating a poster for a theatre performance, and designing packaging for a product are all examples of graphic design.

What are graphics in art? ›

graphic arts in American English

1. any form of visual artistic representation, esp. painting, drawing, photography, etc. 2. those arts in which impressions are printed from various kinds of blocks, plates, screens, etc.

Which is one of the most important graphic designers of the 20th century? ›

Saul Bass

It sounds like hyperbole, but Bass was probably the most famous graphic designer of the 20th century. His work transcended graphic design, poster design, film titles, logos and more – with perhaps his most iconic work being opening sequences for Hitchcock.

How many graphic designers are there in the world? ›

The global graphic design market size is $43.4 billion. There are 507,690 graphic designers employed globally, and 265,000 in the US. 90% of graphic designers work freelance. 54% of graphic designers leave/change jobs in under 2 years, on average.

Is graphic design hard? ›

Is Graphic Design Hard to Learn? Learning graphic design is not hard, but it does require creative thinking, an aptitude towards art and design, and time and dedication. Graphic design requires learning the necessary tools, as well as understanding and applying the principles and theories of design.

What is another name for graphic designer? ›

What is another word for graphic designer?
designergraphic artist
artistfashioner

What is a design artist called? ›

A graphic designer is a professional within the graphic design and graphic arts industry who assembles together images, typography, or motion graphics to create a piece of design.

Who is the good designer? ›

A good designer does the design for the end user and not for herself. A good designer interviews the target group, builds personas. Another one of the typical characteristics of a great designer is that she cares to do interviews and talk to the users in person. She is able to put aside her own solutions.

Who is the best graphic designer in Nigeria? ›

Top Graphic Designers in Nigeria
  • DODO Design Agency. Design, Strategy and Innovation Firm. ...
  • Kiri Labs. Your Technology Partner For Digital Solutions. ...
  • DBO Agency. Building brands is our superpower. ...
  • Need help selecting a company? ...
  • DJEMTECH. ...
  • GoDigital, Inc. ...
  • SKWNAPP CREATIVE. ...
  • TMA Brand Consulting.

What is good design in art? ›

Good design is a concept defined by industrial designer Dieter Rams's principles: It makes a product useful and understandable, is innovative, aesthetic, unobtrusive, honest, long-lasting, thorough to the last detail, environmentally friendly, and involves as little design as possible. Designers strive for good design.

Can a graphic designer be an artist? ›

Graphic designers are also commercial artists, but they combine visual and text-based content to meet clients' needs. Graphic designers ensure readability and aesthetically pleasing layouts of material using a set of best practices that allow for effective communication strategies.

Is graphic design art or craft? ›

Graphic design is a craft where professionals create visual content to communicate messages.

How can I be a Graphic Designer? ›

  1. step 1Learn Graphic Design Principles. ...
  2. step 2Enroll In a Graphic Design Course. ...
  3. step 3Learn Key Graphic Design Tools. ...
  4. step 4Work On Your Own Projects to Develop Your Graphic Design Skills. ...
  5. step 5Develop a Portfolio to Showcase Your Graphic Design Work.

How many graphic designers are there in India? ›

The number of designers required by 2020 in India's industrial, graphic, communication, packaging and other design domains is potentially 62,000. There are around 7,000 qualified desginers in India with perhaps 5,000 studying design,” says expert.

Where is graphic design most popular? ›

Best Major Cities for Graphic Designers by Location Quotient
CityPopulation 2019
1Minneapolis, MN3,640,043
2New York, NY19,216,182
3San Francisco, CA4,731,803
4Los Angeles, CA13,214,799
6 more rows
22 Apr 2022

Is graphic design an art? ›

According to the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA), graphic design is defined as “the art and practice of planning and projecting ideas and experiences with visual and textual content.” In other terms, graphic design communicates certain ideas or messages in a visual way.

What is a successful graphic designer? ›

A successful graphic designer has a very creative mind and is able to pull great ideas for even those projects he works on out of thin air. Ideally, you want to provide each client with a unique and creative idea for the project they need to be completed.

Who is the richest female designer? ›

The wife of Patrizio Bertelli, Miuccia Prada, is the wealthiest fashion designers on the planet today. The woman enjoys an impressive net worth of $11.1 billion. The designer took over her family's luxury goods manufacturing business in 1978 which was previously owned by the Prada brothers.

Is graphic arts a good career? ›

Graphic design is a great career for people who are creative thinkers and enjoy art, technology, and communication. There are design needs across every industry, so Graphic Designers have many opportunities to take on a range of new and exciting projects.

Who are the top 10 graphic designers on Fiverr? ›

Hire the Best Graphic illustration Experts
  • angelicavelasco. Level 2 Seller 5.0 (1k+) ...
  • nuxxiv. Level 2 Seller 5.0 (2k+) ...
  • brymezhd. 4.9 (482) ...
  • husignart. Level 1 Seller 4.9 (249) ...
  • mfaizan02. Level 2 Seller 4.9 (550) ...
  • mertfidan454. Level 2 Seller 4.9 (827) ...
  • hamzadeswali. Level 2 Seller 4.9 (1k+) ...
  • zoeqiao. 4.9 (152) View Profile.

Who designed the Apple logo? ›

The original Apple logo was designed in 1976 by Ronald Wayne, one of Apple's co-founders.

Who is a famous designer? ›

Most Creative & Famous Fashion Designers Of This Century (Male & Female)
RANKNAMECOUNTRY / YEARS
1.Coco ChanelFrance (1883-1971)
2.Christian DiorFrance (1905-1957)
3.Karl LagerfeldGermany (1933-2019)
4.Alexander McQueenUK (1969-2010)
16 more rows
17 Apr 2022

Who is the best graphic designer in India? ›

Most Popular Indian Graphic Artists
  • Akshar Pathak. Akshar Pathak (born 20 September 1989) is an artist and a graphic designer who makes Bollywood films posters. ...
  • Benoy Sarkar. Benoy Kumar Sarkar was born in Kolkata in 1938. ...
  • Dashrath Patel. ...
  • Gopi Prassana. ...
  • Madhukar B Raju.
6 Feb 2021

How many graphic designers are there in the world? ›

The global graphic design market size is $43.4 billion. There are 507,690 graphic designers employed globally, and 265,000 in the US. 90% of graphic designers work freelance. 54% of graphic designers leave/change jobs in under 2 years, on average.

How can I be a graphic designer? ›

  1. step 1Learn Graphic Design Principles. ...
  2. step 2Enroll In a Graphic Design Course. ...
  3. step 3Learn Key Graphic Design Tools. ...
  4. step 4Work On Your Own Projects to Develop Your Graphic Design Skills. ...
  5. step 5Develop a Portfolio to Showcase Your Graphic Design Work.

Videos

1. 7 Ways to Make Passive Income as a Graphic Designer
(Jesse Nyberg)
2. AMATEUR vs. PRO GRAPHIC DESIGNER
(Lizzie Peirce)
3. Abstract: The Art of Design | Paula Scher: Graphic Design | FULL EPISODE | Netflix
(Netflix)
4. A Brief History of Graphic Design
(Ben G Kaiser)
5. Top 10 Graphic Designers in the World - 10 famous graphic designers
(DeeDesign Graphics)
6. Graphic Designer Vs Graphic Artist - Which job title is best?
(Adrian Boysel)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Tyson Zemlak

Last Updated: 11/24/2022

Views: 6660

Rating: 4.2 / 5 (43 voted)

Reviews: 82% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Tyson Zemlak

Birthday: 1992-03-17

Address: Apt. 662 96191 Quigley Dam, Kubview, MA 42013

Phone: +441678032891

Job: Community-Services Orchestrator

Hobby: Coffee roasting, Calligraphy, Metalworking, Fashion, Vehicle restoration, Shopping, Photography

Introduction: My name is Tyson Zemlak, I am a excited, light, sparkling, super, open, fair, magnificent person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.