Paula Scher, also known as America’s first design lady, is a graphic designer, illustrator and art educator. The Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia is where Paula Scher majored in illustration and finished her BFA in nineteen seventy. As a student Scher abstained from graphic design as she was short of the required tidiness artistry, and she did not like aligning Helvetica on a framework. “The act of organizing the Helvetica type-face on a grid reminded me of cleaning up my room,” she admitted. Drawing was her tender spot, so she adopted an approach which was to illustrate using type Stanislaw Zagorski who was her teacher.
He was the one to give her that advice which was profoundly substantial for her career. Shcer describes in her book “MAKE IT BIGGER” that the Zigzag rolling paper and album covers, especially the Beetles’ covers where her major inspiration during the sixties. This influence can be noted in some of the work she did at CBS, like the cover for Ralph MacDonald, fig:1, the way feet are place bears resemblance to the Beetles cover, fig:2. During the nineteen seventies, there was an increase in political awareness, which initially stared in 1960, along with the economic liberty of women and the dimming of the hipster movement.
Nineteen seventy was also the year Paula Scher graduated, it has been called the “golden days of illustration”. There were well established arts at that time, like Miltion Glaser, Seymour Chwast, James McMullen, Pual Davis whom Paula perceived as inspiration. Paula’s work doesn’t have many distinct features that display the influence of the artist above on her work, since she has a style of her own, but there are some corresponding color pallets. STYLE Common components of her work * Use of bright colors * Use of hand written text Use of bold strokes * Domination of type Paula Scher’s designs are intended to captivate the interest of modern public, it does so by the use of the components above along with pop icons, music, films and many others.
Conceiving images that communicates with the public’s feelings, the designs she made become observably equivalent to the New York retro movement. Retro art is a genre of pop art, is amplified during the nineteen forties and nineteen fifties, it was a reaction to the demand for courageous, attractive graphics.
Scher had an eye for bringing together different typing, leading, churning and coloring blended together in a bold and very astonishing way. The “BAM!!! ” effect to some extent has a flashing impact to the design which is her way of visualizing, expressing and exemplifying the retro by means of conventional methods. Fig:3 shows a poster done by Scher for the public theater, “A Retro Style”. Scher’s justification for her style and approach is plainly a counter for dissatisfaction with the type-face Helvetica along with her rebellious mind set, that differentiated her among other artist by breaking the so called “rules”.
Influence of the Dada movement Dada movement started in nineteen sixteen, by a poet and artist named Tristan Tzara and Hans Arp. As a response to the killing, propaganda and firstly the first world war. Individualist groups joint together by means of similar concepts, even though these groups did not share a universal style, but since they all rejected the idealism, stale artistic and intellectual conventions and modern society’s unchecked embrace of ‘rationalism’ and ‘progress’. Dada was anti-aesthetic, anti-rational and anti-idealistic.
Fig: 4 shows a poster that was done during the Dada movement, it is a blended combination between a collage and typography, these similar elements are found in the poster designed by Paula Shcer designed for the public theater fig: 5 which also has a very similar feel. This is not the only poster that shows the influence of the Dada movement on Scher’s work, most of the designs made portray a certain ideology and there is a concept that supports why certain elements are added, positioned and combined together to form the design.
The design feel of the art done in during the Dada movement and Scher both have the messy effect of being cluttered, yet the design is harmonious in a baldy manner. Both are known for their utilization of geometric elements. Even though they share enough similar features, Shcer brings out the pop art feel into the Dada inspired work, which is what identifies her designs from those done in the nineteen sixty. Conclusion Researching and viewing Paula Scher’s work and designs show me how two or more very different styles, can collide together to form a single artistic entity.
The relation to other artists and art movements like futurism and constructivism with resemblance to the Dadaism all reflect Scher’s point of view towards the art she constructed. It’s quite inspiring to blend and merge two or three of the styles together emerging with a beautiful piece of work, but scher’s work was based on taking completely unrelated topics such as collage and typography. This work is a true divine and virtuoso of art as we know it.
Courtney from Study Moose
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