The D5 Graphic Design Blog

This is a quick follow up article to a ten part blog series entitled ‘Most Influential Designers’, if you’re looking to start from the beginning, go here. The series was based on the 50th anniversary survey published by GDUSA which featured a top ten list of the most influential graphic designers working today (amongst other creative professions).The purpose of the series was to work in reverse order through each influential designer and establish just what it was that made them so great, outlining their road to success and analysing their greatest works. This week, we’re going to look at some designers who I personally feel should have made the list or at least would sit in my own list of designers who influence me.

Jessica Walsh

Being our #1 influential designer; Stefan Sagmeister’s partner is but one string on Jessica Walsh’s bow. Becoming a partner at a leading graphic design studio at just 25 is a a massive achievement and it doesn’t just happen overnight. Her work is outstandingly visceral, bold, recognisable and beautiful. Jessica has worked at Pentagram and Print Magazine, also hugely influential design positions, her work has accumulated more appreciations than I’ve ever seen on Behance and she has made international news with her latest project.

Like Sagmeister, Jessica Walsh is incredibly open about her work and personal life, she’s clearly achieving that same ‘self-branding’ thing Stefan has built for himself, whether on purpose or not, it’s genius. Jessica is quickly becoming, in my mind, not only the pin up girl of modern graphic design but one of the best new creative minds. But perhaps that’s just me, I was totally shocked to find that Jessica doesn’t even have a Wikipedia entry. Maybe I’ve spent too much time looking at her work and reading every article and interview that I’ve built her up to be more well-known than she really is. Anyway, none of that really matters, let’s look at some of her work:

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Noma Bar

In the history of graphic design we looked at old masters such as Alexey Brodovitch, the master of white space, Armin Hoffman and Joseph Müller Brockman who all used negative space to their advantage. If those guys were the old masters Noma Bar is certainly the new master. His influence is everywhere, I mean, how many bootleg ‘minimalist’ movie posters are cropping up all over the place? There seems to be a little corner of the internet that’s totally obsessed with this style. But none, I mean none, match the stylishness and visual quality carried by the negative space design of Noma Bar.

Graphic Design is all about efficient communication right? Well if a regular picture can tell a thousand words, Bar could write an entire novel with a rectangle. The Israeli born illustrator, designer and published artist now works as part of the Dutch Uncle collective of illustrators, he has produced over 500 works in this style and continues to do so. His work has been featured in Time Out London, BBC, Random House, The Observer, The Economist and Wallpaper*. Bar has published 2 books featuring his work and about his design techniques. Check it out:

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Mathias Augustyniak and Michael Amzalag

I can understand that Jessica Walsh and Noma Bar may only be 2 of the biggest names for me personally and not in the worlds eye. Therefore not included in GDUSA’s top ten list of the most influential graphic designers working today. But I cannot begin to comprehend why Mathias Augustyniak nor Michael Amzalag weren’t included, not even in the names of designers who ‘almost made the list’. I recently wrote about Mathias Augustyniak nor Michael Amzalag AKA M/M Paris when they won a grammy for their music packaging work for Björk’s Biophilia album. An achievement that kickstarted Sagmeister’s career. M/M Paris certainly don’t need a kickstart however, they’ve been working for almost 21 years as M/M, which, to me, is Europe’s most influential studio. I mean, come on, they had an exhibition in London of all their best works embroidered into carpets. Anyway, here’s some work:


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Jonathan Puckey

Design innovation is often more important than design itself. For example, where would modernism and the international style be without Helvetica? Where would Jonathan Ive be without the technical innovations of Apple? The new digital aesthetic is a key trend this year, we’re becoming more and more obsessed with technology, the internet, it’s glitches and short-fallings.  One of the styles greatest innovators is Jonathan Puckey, a hybrid designer and design tool developer. His influence can be seen in even the work of our most influential designer. Just compare the results of processing an image through Puckey’s Delaunay Raster  tool to Sagmeister’s Aishti identity and Casa Da Musica projects. I cant say for sure whether or not this resemblance is a direct result of Puckeys influence or a more organic ‘trend’ based influence but Puckey, for me anyway, certainly resembles a figurehead of NDA.

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Apparantly, when he lectured at Yale, they forgot to make him a poster, Hitler was angry:

 

Next week; enough with these inspiring designers, what about some inspired young guns?