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Biography and Impact of Paula Scher

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Design
Wordcount: 1535 words Published: 18th May 2020

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Paula Scher, born in 1948 Washington DC whose father is a photo-grammetric engineer, in my opinion is an influential yet wonderful and talented person who has received a degree in art in 1970 from the Tyler School of Art specialising in Graphic Design. From that point onwards, Scher had persisted in creating many of her design work, granting herself to become a prominent modern American graphic designer that had greatly influenced America’s industry of design for over forty years and will continue to develop more of her great work through teaching and more in-depth design work; that will widen her influence due to Scher’s persistence in pushing design to its highest potential. Scher’s passion and hard efforts within her work and profession as a well-known graphic designer along being an illustrator and educator, Scher had greatly helped placed an influence to others who are aspiring to become graphic designers themselves.

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Carved and shaped by abstract ideas for her design style in approaching identity and branding for different businesses, Paula Scher has been one of the influential designers worldwide whether others agree or not. She is considered to be one of the utmost figures looked up upon by all others aspiring to become a graphic designer like herself. Within Scher’s career as a graphic designer, she provided a few key lessons that may influence and help others in pursuing a career path that will benefit them in the future.  One of her lessons is her philosophy in design belief that design is not considered as art. From the foundation of Scher’s work experience in her career as a graphic designer, she departs from the philosophy that practice makes perfect. Her extensive approach and experience to typography and graphic design continues to mould contemporary designs today. Her way of thinking under the philosophical sense is that the only thing that is in any way important is the way the client sees the design and depends how they see and acknowledge it with the confirmation that it will work. Regardless of whether the design that Scher had created takes some time from hours to months to work out as intended; all that is significant is that the design plan had been overall completed. Graphics design tends to be fast paced. Designers are always rapidly working, moving around, corresponding with different collaborators and consultants making the career very social. In the event that you are making a design, you are to figure out what, where, and when you’re going to produce it and must draw in with the customer. Lastly the other lesson Scher believes in is that all people pursuing graphic design should believe in themselves in reaching that personal goal. It is beneficial for them to listen to themselves than to listen to what others have to say because if they will not try, they will be dragged down causing sadness, self doubt, and regret. Pursuing what you want to do as a career in life is just a leap of faith.

A large portion of her time, over the span of four decades to be exact, she dedicated her time in enjoying what she loves to do as a graphic designer; and had worked with a vast span of popular popular organisations within the business and cultural sector from past to present such as CBS records and Pentagram and certain individuals. Other than that, Scher had been characteristically recognised for her gigantic scaling of ecological illustrations on different city structures and still maintains that experience and progress of practising that certain style until now. Titled as the “master conjurer of the instantly familiar,” Scher straddles the line between popular culture and compelling artwork within her  designs (Pentagram 2019).  Notable, shrewd, and open, her designs were able to influence jargon of american design. As a result of all her notable works, including those that were to come in the future compared to before, that she had done from the 70s to the 90s and the present day, Scher also received the title of ‘Postmodern graphic designer. Scher’s poster works were inspired by the 1930s, Art Nouveau, Art Deco and Constructivism.

However, Scher ended up being less interested with illustration and simply focused on just purely typography. Regardless of the way that 90 percent of what she does now is type however there were situations where she will take up outside of what she likes. Her style directly inclines toward symbolism and typography that is essentially increasingly illustrative instead of print style. Working in the music business had helped Scher to become better in presenting her work, allowing her to adapt and learn rapidly, adjusting to the best way in explaining and showing her work to other individuals helping them to comprehend it all the more altogether to see a clearer understanding. This has been a huge step for Scher’s work and all through her career since she has gained everything to immerse others to like her work.

In 1994, amongst her most impressive accomplishments was working with the institutional business named the New York Public Theater, where she had planned a few limited time posters for various theatrical shows while working with Pentagram since her debut in CBS records. She also received numerous honorary awards, for example, the 2006 AIGA medal.

Comprehensively contrasted with all other design work she had done throughout the years of her career, Scher noticeable element was the point at which she changed the branding logo designs and typography for different businesses such as Microsoft all the way to the Museum of Modern Art; letting her to turn into an attestation for communicative power and one of the individuals to arrive at the most elevated apex of visual depiction, empowering Scher to be a gifted designer.

In conclusion, Paula Scher is both another strong willed and talented graphic designer of our time today who had worked extremely hard to where she is now on the career that she loved doing, collaborating with other popular designers and businesses and being as an influential person for other small designers to follow through how she approaches graphic design and work ethic. It is better to be strongly inspired by others than to struggle on your own in getting there.


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-          Cannon, M. (2014). Creative Titans: How Paula Scher Helped Shape Graphic Design – Works Design Group. Retrieved 4 August 2019, from http://www.worksdesigngroup.com/paula-scher-graphic-design-and-typography/

-          Dunne, C. (2015). Graphic Designer Paula Scher: “I Figured Out Every Identity I’ve Ever Done In A Taxicab”. Retrieved from https://www.fastcompany.com/3043997/graphic-designer-paula-scher-i-figured-out-every-identity-ive-ever-done-in-a-taxicab

-          Lupton, E. (1998). Awards > ADC Hall Of Fame > Paula Scher. Retrieved from http://adcglobal.org/hall-of-fame/paula-scher/

-          Paula Scher | Biography, Designs and Facts. Retrieved 7 August 2019, from https://www.famousgraphicdesigners.org/paula-scher

-          Paula Scher — Pentagram. (2019). Retrieved from https://www.pentagram.com/about/paula-scher

-          Paula Scher | Biography, Designs and Facts. Retrieved from https://www.famousgraphicdesigners.org/paula-scher

-          Paula Scher Biography – Paula Scher on artnet. Retrieved from http://www.artnet.com/artists/paula-scher/biography

-          The Influential Empress of Intelligent and Playful Graphic Design: Paula Scher Story. Retrieved from https://successstory.com/people/paula-scher

-          Santiago Cortes, M. (2018). Legendary Designer Paula Scher on How to Get Started in Graphic Design. Retrieved 4 August 2019, from https://www.artsy.net/article/artsy-editorial-legendary-designer-paula-scher-started-graphic-design

-          Walters, J. (2010). Eye Magazine | Feature | Reputations: Paula Scher. Retrieved from http://www.eyemagazine.com/feature/article/reputations-paula-scher


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