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Design Heroes

Posted: February 25, 2013 | No Comments »

I have wanted for a while now to compile a short list of my design heroes, those people who have influenced my work and my process, as well as being leaders in their fields.

Otl Aicher

Otl Aicher

Otl Aicher (May 13, 1922 – September 1, 1991) was one of the leading German graphic designers of the 20th century, and the designer of the identity of the 1972 Munich Olympics. I wrote an article about him in 2010:

Quote: “Good art inspires; Good design motivates.”


Raymond Loewy

Raymond Loewy
The father of industrial design, responsible for such product design behemoths as the slenderized Coca-Cola bottle, the streamlined Greyhound bus, the Lucky Strike cigarette package, as well as some of the most famous Identities, Exxon, Greyhound, Shell, and the U.S. Postal Service. Life Magazine selected Loewy as one of the 100 most influential Americans of the twentieth century.

Quote: “between two products equal in price, function, andquality, the better looking will outsell the other.”


Neville Brody

The reason I went to LCP, and the guy who introduced me to Bauhaus Inspired Typography. Known for his work on The Face and Arena magazines of the 80’s, as well as album covers for Depeche Mode and Cabaret Voltaire. Recently collaborated with the BBC to re-design the BBC online Global Visual Language

Quote: “An electrician isn’t an opinion former, but a graphic designer is. My argument is that all graphic designers hold high levels of responsibility in society. We take invisible ideas and make them tangible. That’s our job.”


Ralph McQuarrie

Ralph McQuarrie

There would, arguably have been no Star Wars without Ralph McQuarrie. When George Lucas was trying to sell Star Wars to the studios he realised that he needed some conceptual paintings to help green light the picture. He called on a commercial artist and designer whose career included stints at Boeing and Kaiser Graphic Arts and creating animations of Apollo space flights for CBS. Ralph McQuarrie came up with the look of Darth Vader, C-3PO, R2-D2, the Stormtroopers and many other characters, then going on to helping design such classics as Raiders of the Lost Ark, E.T, Back to the Future, Cocoon, Total Recall and the original TV series “Battlestar Galactica.

Ralph McQuarrie died in March 2012

Quote: “George had described Vader as having flowing black robes. In the script, Vader had to jump from one ship to another and, in order to survive the vacuum of space, I felt he needed some sort of breathing mask. George said, ‘OK,’ suggested adding a samurai helmet, and Darth Vader was born. Simple as that.”


Shigeru Miyamoto

Shigeru Miyamoto

The Father of modern videogames, and creator of Mario and Donkey Kong

Quote: “A delayed game is eventually good; a bad game is bad forever.”


Tom Eckersley

Tom Eckersly
English poster artist and design tutor, creator of most of my favourite posters. Tom Eckersley spent much of his childhood drawing. He was greatly inspired by the work of A. M. Cassandre and Edward Mcknight Kauffer. At college he met Eric Lombers, who shared his passion for progressive poster art. From 1934 they collaborated on a number of poster design for key patrons London Transport, Shell and the BBC. During the Second World War Eckersley produced propaganda posters for public service agencies including the Ministry of Information and the General Post Office. After the war, the bold simplicity and timeless quality of his designs led to prolonged international success. His teaching inspired new generations of progressive designers for over 30 years.

Quote:’that stimulating time when certain artists, supported by enlightened clients, saw opportunities to use their art and their vision to solve communication problems. They began to realise the many exciting visual possibilities that could be derived from the major art movements taking place in Europe between the wars’.


Dieter Rams

Dieter Rams
German über product designer and major influence on Apple design. Starting out in Architecture and moving on to product design for Braun. He came up with ten principles for good design

Quote: “My goal is to omit everything superfluous so that the essential is shown to best possible advantage.”

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