Steven Heller is an author, editor and art director who specialises in graphic design. As a student I found his books to be an amazing commentary on type, advertising and graphic design. Particular favourites include Stop Think Go Do, Typography Sketchbook and Graphic and The Design Entrepreneur.
Ellen Lupton is amazing. Thinking With Type is the bible for typography. I love its simple, no waffle approach of explaining elements and concepts in typography. Every graphic designer should own it!
LETTERS & TYPOGRAPHERES
Jessica Hische is a letterer, typographer, illustrator and graphic design expert based in Brooklyn. Having seen her in 2010 at Semi-Permanent, her genuine love for her work is truly evident. Some projects Jessica has recently worked on include the ‘Penguin Drop Caps’ project, Tiffany & Co, Nike, The New York Times and more! Her style is seamless and her wonderful personality makes her an absolute rockstar for lettering. In 2012 she set up the Title Case design studio with fellow letterist Erik Marinovich #ErikLove.
Alex Trochut is one amazing typographer. I have admired his work for some time now. Clients include FILA, Arcade Fire, Creative Review, Katy Perry, Wall Paper, Puma, Aldi, Nike, LG, Cadbury and so many others. His talent and versatility is second to none. Definitely worth checking out.
Erik Spiekermann is a German typographer who describes himself as an obvious “typeomaniac, which is an incurable if not mortal disease.” He of this ‘disease’, “ I can’t explain it. I just love, I just like looking at type. I just get a total kick out of it: they are my friends. Other people look at bottles of wine or whatever, or, you know, girls’ bottoms. I get kicks out of looking at type. It’s a little worrying, I admit, but it’s a very nerdish thing to do.” He is well respected within the type industry and is most well known for his FF Meta typefaces and ITC Officina typefaces, as well as establishing the Font Font Foundry in the 1990s with Neville Brody.
Alison Carmichael is a London based graphic designer who is an extremely talented typographer and illustrator. Her website shows off her stunning work and her versatile client base.
Jan Tschihold is an early 20th Century German typographer and designer. He was a leading thinker of Modernist design and advocated strongly for use of san serif typefaces in his Die neue Typographie (The New Typography). Tschihold oversaw the redesign of hundreds of Penguin paperback books through the creation of standardisation. Later in his career he became less rigid in his modernist beliefs. Examples of this include his serif typeface designs (e.g. Sabon).
Spencer Charles is an amazing typographer, letterer and designer from NYC. I accidentally came across Spencer whilst doing some graphic design procrastination/research. He is simply amazing! He works for Louise Fili’s own studio in New York as a senior graphic designer. What can I say? I might just be in love!
Erik Marinovich is a letterist and designer from San Francisco. His clients have included the New York Times, Bloomberg Businessweek, Wired, GAP, Nike, Landor and more. In 2012 he co-founded the Title Case design studio with fellow letter Jessica Hische.
Gemma O’Brien is an up and coming letterer and illustrator based in good old Sydney. I’ve seen her at Semi-Permanent and at her hand lettering workshop.
Luke Lucas … I can’t help but have a typegasm when I look at his work. He’s sometimes called the ‘type guy’ but that’s not the only design he enjoys.
Jon Contino has a more rough and less systematic approach than I prefer, but I can still appreciate his creative abilities and amazing skill. Jon has worked with IBM, Coke, Jameson, Nike, Ford, Ray Ban and more!
Milton Glaser is one of America’s most esteemed graphic designers. He is best remembered for his iconic 1977 ‘I heart NY’, Bob Dylan records and the New York magazine. To this day Milton is creating and designing memorable brands in his distinctive style.
Massimo Vignelli is an Italian born designer who uses minimalism and simplicity throughout his design work. Clients have included Knoll, American Airlines and IBM. Sadly Massimo passed away in 2014 and during his last days, I was part of the campaign that sent best wishes cards to his NYC office. Vignelli was a believer of having a small range of typefaces.
Josef Muller-Brockmann was a Swiss graphic designer and teacher. His works use simple shapes and designs, clean type and the transitional sans serif Akzidenz-Grotesk.
Kelli Anderson is a Brooklyn based graphic designer with a flare for typography and infographics – her vector work is so awesome!
Louise Fili is simply one of the most amazing designers ever! I fell in love with Louise Fili after reading her text ‘Elegantissima’ The Design and Typography of Louise Fili. Her career has included being the art director at Pantheon Books and running her own design studio. Her love for all things Italian, food and typography is evident in her extensive career. Plus she’s married to Steven Heller – what a stellar design couple!
Vince Frost established his own design firm in Sydney. Frost has completed work for the State Library, Central Park on Broadway, City of Sydney just to name a few!. Vince Frost is an icon of Australian graphic design and has brought much knowledge and credibility to the industry. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing him speak about his career at Semi-Permanent Sydney and his Design Your Life talk.
Nicholas Felton … AKA Feltron. Nothing quite compares to an infographic by Nicholas. His infographics are less illustrative and entertaining, but more data and numerically based. His infographics are so neatly and perfectly designed that they are an artwork in themselves.
Henry Wilson designs beautiful Australian furniture and homewares. The simplicity and rawness of materials allows his designs to speak for themselves. #LetTheDesignDoTheTalking
Paul Rand is pretty much summed up by this job advert from the New York Times 1953 “Wanted: Art Director with a modern, creative touch. Need not be a Rand but must be able to inspire an art department”. There is no other like Paul Rand. Rand was the creator of ABC, IBM, UPS and Westinghouse logos.
Julia Jacque is a graphic designer who’s worked with many up and coming Sydney restaurants. Some of the restaurants she’s designed for include SoCal, The Butler, Bondi Hardware and The Botanist.
Steve McCurry is an American photographer whose most famous photograph is of an Afghan girl who lived in a refugee camp during the Soviet invasion of the 1980s, Afghan Girl (1984) – featured on the cover of National Geographic 1985. He explains, “I have learnt how to be patient. If you wait long enough, people forget about the camera and their souls start to open to you.”
Henri Cartier-Bresson was a 20th Century French photographer deemed the godfather of photojournalism. He captured moments in history such as his “Behind the Gare Saint-Lazare” photographed in Paris in 1933. He happened to be looking through the gap in the fence when the man jumped over the puddle. This photo metaphorically represented Europe’s fate of jumping into the unknown and the death and destruction that was soon to come.
I love brands – they’re like an extra family you’ve grown up with that you see on every street corner or shopping aisle. You come to know what to expect and when a brand does something unexpected, it’s something quite fantastic.
Although I don’t drink vodka, Absolut Vodka, is a favourite brand of mine – minimalist, elegant and their advertising is simply amazing, incorporating icons from cities to literature. Their typeface is bold and elegant, just like the vodka within.
Aside from being my favourite chocolate to snack on, Cadbury is a brand that definitely sells the sizzle, not the sausage with it’s ultra iconic purple – you don’t even need the chocolate to know exactly what you’re looking at – pure joy (which is, after all, exactly what chocolate is!)
Kellogg’s has become an Aussie cultural icon. It’s distinctive red typography would look odd in any other typeface! The branding has lifted it from being just another breakfast item, to the refreshing and light Cereal of Australia. I love the legacy and history behind this brand!
ILLUSTRATORS & ARTISTS
Dr Seuss is a fantastic American cartoonist and children’s book writer. Some of his many celebrated works include Green Eggs and Ham (my favourite) and the Cat in the Hat. I have been very fortunate to have been given a ‘Would you, could you’ print from Green and Eggs and Ham!
Edward Hopper is a realist American artist whose main works were oil based paintings. His artworks depict American lifestyles and scenes of the 1940s. One of my personal favourites is ‘Night Hawks’ (1942) which hangs in my apartment.
AGDA is the Australian Graphic Design Association. This fantastic organisation is actively working with designers around the country to advance the field of graphic design. I’ve been a member since 2012.
Semi-Permanent is an international creative conference that features some of the best creatives in the business. I annually attend the Sydney conferences to be inspired, network and fall in love with design all over again.
Design Observer is a collective of professional creatives who publish their writings on design and culture. Since it’s establishment in 2003, it has been one of the most influential and credible design resources online.
Designspiration is by far one of my favourite websites to browse through for new and trending designs. I love getting lost in the endless news feed of designs. It features artworks from a wide range of artists, movements and mediums and more, making it one of the best places for design inspiration.