The Design Masters

In another new series, I wanted to write about some of histories design icons. Everything around us has at some point been designed. The designers who produce the worlds most recognised symbols, branding and packaging, play a role in our daily lives, but the designers themselves seldom get the notoriety or the similar celebrity that is awarded to those who work in the world of music, film, sport, fashion, art or even product design (Jonathan Ive, Philippe Stark). If you were to show an image of the identity for FedEx, the V&A, ABC, AT&T or the New York Subway to a member of the general public, they would more than likely be able to identify the brands, yet if you were to ask them who created the logo's they would probably have no idea. The likes of Alan Fletcher, Micheal Wolff, Micheal Bieruit, Lindon Leader are certainly recognised figures within the world of brand design but a lot less known by the general public. For the most part, us branding and packaging designers are happy to be the figures in the background and to let our work receive the notoriety, or at most, that any recognition we do attain is only from within our industry.

For the past three years I have had the great honor to be a mentor for Icograda and the Adobe Design Achievement Awards. It's one of my absolute loves to work with incredibly talented young designers and to impart knowledge gained from two-plus decades of being a commercial designer. I am sure that many of these talented young creatives will become the industry stars of tomorrow, yet I often find myself stressing the full importance of being well read on design and to know the work of the pioneers of our industry. I am often surprised when I meet college students that are unaware of the likes of Massimo Vignelli, Soul Bass or even more contemporary designers such as Vince Frost, David Carson and Neville Brody. These designers have shaped our industry and we can only gain by standing on the shoulders of these giants.

I am hoping that this series will help to inspire and give interest to those who are unaware of the great work from designs past masters. For others that know and love the work of the greats, I hope that this series will be a nostalgic look at the men and women who have helped shape our industry and inspire us to be better designers.

In the first edition of Design Icons I am going to feature Paul Rand, who is the closest that we have to to a household name from within our industry.


Todd Anderson is an award winning British designer, currently based in Cape Town he has worked with some of the worlds largest retailers and hosehold brand names.