Every great designer has been inspired by another. So if you’re keen on a creative career in graphic design, then you need to know just who the leaders are. And who better to ask than our international team of lecturers?
As practising professionals and acclaimed designers in their own right, our teachers at our campuses across the world in London, Manchester, New York, Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane have shared their personal favourites and revealed to us just who inspires them. And it’s a passion that they pass onto each and every one of our students. Our guest lecturers and teachers ensure our students graduate Shillington’s intensive three or nine month beginner’s graphic design course not only with a polished portfolio but tangible skills and a real thirst to carve out their own creative, inspirational niche.
So whether you’re moved by the mavericks that challenge the norm, or designers with their own distinctive flair, here’s our expert’s view, a ‘who’s who’ that every novice designer should know.
1. Fred Woodward
Photograph via AIGA
Steph Ransom, head of Shillington’s part-time course, says: “The stars aligned when Nirvana and Fred Woodward happened together as far as I’m concerned.”
Fred Woodward became art director of Rolling Stone magazine in 1987, and since 2001 has been design director of GQ magazine. While David Carson and Neville Brody were playing the designer rock stars, Fred Woodward was showing what could be done with beautiful typography, fantastic photography and good copy. He made Rolling Stone a benchmark for editorial design in that period – a legacy that remains with the publication to this day.
2. Alan Fletcher
Photo by Martin Dunkerton
“Alan Fletcher is my design hero,” says Steve House, part-time lecturer at Shillington Sydney. “I can think of no one else who comes close to his ability to create simple, vivid, and witty visual communication.”
Alan Fletcher’s career was extraordinary – amongst his many achievements, he founded D&AD, set up Fletcher, Forbes and Gill, and was a founding partner of Pentagram. In his later years he developed his own creative practice and was an inspirational design educator. He wrote and published books, two of which should be on every designer’s bookshelf. One of his most famous quotes is: “Design is not a thing you do. It’s a way of life.”
3. Julien Vallee
Still from If You Could Collaborate exhibition
Julien Vallee is a designer and director based in Montreal, Canada. He has worked with an impressive array of commercial clients, from Lacoste to Google and MTV, who favour his fun and humorous style of design. Vallee has teamed up with visual artist Eve Duhamel to set up studio Vallee Duhamel, which creates images and videos that champion experimentation and playfulness.
4. Bob Gill
Photo via Skillshare
Bob Gill is an American illustrator and graphic designer famous for his ‘cheeky’ style. After moving to London in 1960, he went to work for advertising agency Charles Hobson, alongside forming Fletcher, Forbes and Gill – a forerunner of Pentagram. Gill also co-wrote and co-designed Beatlemania, a multi-media and live history of the sixties that had a three-year run on Broadway.
5. Paula Scher
Photo via London Design Festival
American graphic designer, painter and design lecturer Paula Scher was the first female principal at Pentagram. Her non-conformist attitude translates to her work creating something new, unexpected and delightful. Scher is all about finding the ‘play’ in design work, no matter how dry or corporate.
These are the first five, but do you want to see the full list? Head on over to Creative Boom to read all 20 influential designers.