25 Famous Graphic Designers of All Time

Arek Dvornechcuck
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If you want to know who are the best designers behind the most popular works of all time, here’s my list of 25 famous graphic designers.

Many reputable designers have contributed to the evolution of the graphic design industry over time.

Some of them are typographers, magazine and album cover designers, and political poster artists who left their mark on the world.

Who is the famous graphic designer?

Actually, there are hundreds of graphic designers all over the world, and many of them can be on the top 1 of my list.

However, since we have different preferences as creatives, I include the top 25 most popular graphic designers of all generations.

25 Famous Graphic Designers

These graphic designers are all experts in different field and category, such as typography, logo design, poster and magazine design, etc.

They all made a difference, and while some have passed, their designs live on as a legacy to the industry.

Whether you’re a professional designer or a beginner, it is important to familiarize yourself with these graphic designer names.

By observing and studying their work, you’ll be able to learn their principles and disciplines, which you can then apply to your career as well.

From the past generation until the present and definitely until the next generation, their names and designs will never be forgotten.

Famous graphic designers like Michael Bierut and Josef Muller-Brockmann have published books that will undoubtedly benefit any creative.

You can also check out my other article in which I featured the collection of the  best graphic design books.

So without further ado, let’s all be amazed and inspired by the lives and works of the most famous graphic designers of all time.

25 Famous Graphic Designers

  1. Michael Bierut
  2. Stefan Sagmeister
  3. Chip Kidd
  4. Massimo Vignelli
  5. Herb Lubalin
  6. Alexey Brodovitch
  7. Ladislav Sutnar
  8. David Carson
  9. Max Miedinger
  10. Saul Bass
  11. Susan Kare
  12. April Greiman
  13. Ivan Chermayeff
  14. John Maeda
  15. Hermann Zapf
  16. Lester Beall
  17. Claude Garamond
  18. Jan Tschichold
  19. William Golden
  20. Jacqueline Casey
  21. Cipe Pineles
  22. Abram Games
  23. Armin Hofman
  24. Josef Muller-Brockmann
  25. Seymour Chwast

Although some of them have passed away, their contributions to the design industry have remained and served as an inspiration to a new generation of designers.

1. Michael Bierut

A New York-based graphic designer, design critic, and educator who is well-known for being one of the best designers of all time is Michael Bierut.

He uses a distinctive and all-encompassing approach to graphic design.

Bierut pioneered accessible design, which simplifies difficult-to-understand text and makes it more appealing.

Michael Bierut famous graphic designer

He studied graphic design and graduated as summa cum laude at the University of Cincinnati’s College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning.

He is a senior critic in graphic design at the Yale School of Art and a lecturer in design and management at the Yale School of Management.

2. Stefan Sagmeister

Another iconic and most famous Australian graphic designer, story teller, and typographer is Stefan Sagmeister.

A famous graphic designer who uses humor and sexuality in his designs.

He is also a New York-based creative professional and is the founder and owner of Sagmeister Inc.

Stefan Sagmeister famous graphic designer

Stefan, 59, is a contemporary graphic designer who has worked with HBO, The Rolling Stones, and the Guggenheim Museum.

It is Sagmeister's work that excites and disturbs the design industry with comedy, sexuality, unconventionality, and meticulous detail.

3. Chip Kidd

Aside from being a professional designer, Chip Kidd is also a book designer, author, editor, lecturer, and musician based in America.

A well-known graphic designer who specializes in book cover design.

One of the most consistent characteristics of Kidd’s style is the fact that his book covers don’t carry one signature look.

Chip Kidd famous graphic designer

A "revolution in the art of American book packaging" is said to have started with him.

As a lifelong fan of comic books, he not only wrote for DC Comics but also designed their covers.

4. Massimo Vignelli

Although Massimo Vignelli passed away in 2014, his image still remains as one of the best personalities in the design industry.

The popular designer behind the subway map of the city of New York.

He is an Italian designer who worked in a number of areas, including packaging, housewares, furniture, public signage, and showroom design.

Massimo Vignelli famous graphic designer

Together with his wife, Lella Vignelli, they established Vignelli Associates, which is a design firm in New York City.

They were firmly rooted in the modernist movement and made use of simple geometric shapes and typography.

As one of the most famous graphic designers of 20th-century, their work includes everything from graphic design to corporate identity to architecture and interiors.

5. Herb Lubalin

In collaboration with Ralph Ginzburg, Herb Lubalin designed three of Ginzburg's magazines—Eros, Fact, and Avant Garde.

A famous designer who created the ITC Avant Garde typeface.

He is an American graphic designer and was assigned to be responsible for the creative visual beauty of Ginzburg's magazines publications.

Herb Lubalin famous graphic designer

The ITC Avant Garde font that he designed became very popular and it can be widely seen in famous logos created in the 1990’s to 2000's.

His most notable works include the creation of the International Typographic Corporation and the typographic journal U & L.C.

6. Alexey Brodovitch

Known for art directing Harper's Bazaar from 1934 until 1958, Brodovitch was an American photographer, designer, and educator.

An influential designer who brings European design principles to America.

When he introduced new design ideas to America in the 1920s, a new generation of designers produced simpler and more modern designs.

Alexey Brodovitch famous graphic designer

During his 15 years at Harper's Bazaar, Brodovitch pushed the magazine's boundaries in photography, typography, and layout design.

Although he had already passed away at the age of 72, he was still recognized as one of the best and most famous graphic designers of all generations.

7. Ladislav Sutnar

Ladislav Sutnar, a notable graphic designer from Czechoslovakia, used design to make sense of the absurd.

A professional creative that uses design to convey a message.

To make information more accessible and consumable for the average viewer, he specialized in Information Design.

Ladislav Sutnar

One of Sutnar's approaches to improving design clarity was to limit his color and type palettes, which is a design technique that is still widely used today.

A defined palette for both color and font, like the Brown Cute Animals Charity Infographic template, adds a lot to your design.

8. David Carson

David Carson, called "the Godfather of Grunge," transformed the design business by employing a unique, rule-breaking approach to design.

Carson is best known for his innovative magazine design.

He is an American graphic designer who is well-known for creating one-of-a-kind magazine designs and using experimental typography.

David Carson famous graphic designer

He was the art director for the magazine Ray Gun, where he used much of his signature typographic and layout style.

His impressively torn, deformed, and sometimes unintelligible layout ideas continue to be a source of radical inspiration for designers all over the world.

9. Max Miedinger

Miedinger is a well-known Swiss typeface designer best known for creating the Neue Haas Grotesk typeface in 1957, renamed Helvetica in 1960.

The famous graphic designer behind Helvetica font.

His design, marketed as a sign of cutting-edge Swiss technology, became an instant global success.

Max Miedinger famous graphic designer

Max Miedinger designed numerous types during his lifetime, but Helvetica is his most well-known.

It's absolutely everywhere these days, from movie posters to product labels to word processing programs to street signs.

If any font has a cult following, it's Helvetica, and Miedinger would undoubtedly be pleased with its popularity-after all, that's what he developed it for.

10. Saul Bass

Aside from being one of the most famous graphic designers, Saul Bass is also a title designer and a filmmaker.

An American graphic designer and Oscar-winning filmmaker.

He is well known for his work on film title sequences, film posters, and corporate logos.

Saul Bass famous graphic designer

After designing the title sequence for Otto Preminger's The Man with the Golden Arm, Bass became well-known in the movie industry.

Saul Bass passed away at the age of 75, but his work remained remarkable and served as an inspiration to modern designers.

11. Susan Kare

Susan Kare is a contemporary designer who made a series of interface elements for the Apple Macintosh in the 1980s.

A pro designer that brings design to technology.

She has worked as a design consultant for Microsoft, IBM, Sony Pictures, Facebook, Pinterest, and Niantic Labs.

Susan Kare famous graphic designer

She designed the Monaco and Geneva typefaces, the Command key symbol for Apple keyboards, and icons like the garbage can.

Many of Kare's examples are still in use in some way, and the majority have inspired much of today's interface design.

She is considered one of the most influential modern technologists, having invented pixel art and the graphical computer interface.

12. April Greiman

In many aspects, April Greiman was instrumental in establishing the term "graphic design" as a distinct field of study.

One of the first designers to embrace computer technology as a design tool.

According to design historian Steven Heller, April was a bridge between the modern and postmodern, the analog and the digital.

April Greiman famous graphic designer

Graphic design and the arts in the 1980s were influenced and encouraged by Greiman's pioneering efforts to use technology.

As a result of Greiman's efforts, computers were no longer viewed as simply information-processing devices, but as creative instruments.

13. Ivan Chermayeff

Ivan Chermayeff, the son of Russian-born British architect Serge Chermayeff, is one of America's best graphic designers.

Best known for creating abstracted shape logos

He became an inspiration to the new generation of graphic designers because of his one-of-a-kind designs and artwork.

Ivan Chermayeff famous graphic designer

It's easy to call Ivan a renowned logo designer because of his work, which includes iconic logos such as the NBC peacock and the blue Pan Am globe.

As a result of Chermayeff's use of abstracted shapes rather than letterforms, he has become a legend in the design community.

14. John Maeda

John Maeda's work explores the area where business, design, and technology merge to make space for the "humanist technologist."

One of the most influential and famous graphic designers.

For more than a decade, he has worked to integrate technology, education, and the arts into a 21st-century synthesis of creativity and innovation.

John Maeda

Digital and analog media were equally important to Maeda's work, which pushed the limits of each.

It is because of this investigation and his subsequent work that interactive motion graphics have become so commonplace in modern graphic design.

15. Hermann Zapf

Hermann Zapf was a German type designer and calligrapher who lived in Darmstadt, Germany.

A famous graphic designer who transformed typography.

Zapf Dingbats, Palatino, and Optima are just a few of the well-known typefaces that he designed and created.

Hermann Zapf famous graphic designer

In addition to computerized typography, he was an outspoken proponent of the switch from press-printed to computer-generated designs.

Finally, he developed a typesetting tool that influenced many subsequent software developments, adding to his impressive resume.

16. Lester Beall

Beall created his iconic posters for the US Rural Electrification Administration to raise public awareness and acceptance of power in rural areas.

A leading proponent of modernist graphic design in the US.

It was Lester Beall's innovative designs and revolutionary approach to design that had a lasting impression on the world of design.

 Lester Beall

He taught graphic designers in America that they are creative problem solvers who should be more involved in marketing.

What makes his work ageless and a benchmark for current designers is Beall's attitude toward design, as well as his own stunning designs.

17. Claude Garamond

Claude Garamond, a French type designer who was born in 1505, had a significant impact on design from the beginning.

Claude is one of the leading type designers of all time.

He worked in the old-style serif design tradition, which generated letters with a structure similar to handwriting but more rigid and upright.

Claude Garamond

Garamond, Granjon, and Sabon typefaces, to name just a few, were all designed by Garamond during his career.

It was Garamond's pioneering work that laid the groundwork for the development of modern graphic design, as well.

18. Jan Tschichold

He was a German calligrapher, typographer, and book designer who played a significant role in the development of graphic design in the 20th century.

A designer who established guidelines on typographical hierarchy.

New typographic standards were developed in Tschichold's highly acclaimed book, Die Neue Typographie.

Jan Tschichold

Tschichold also designed the orange Penguin Books covers, which were printed over 500 times.

Tschichold's continued importance in graphic design is owed in part to his never-ending search for new methods and approaches.

19. William Golden

William Golden was a talented designer who influenced the business artistically with his strong, punchy work at CBS.

A famous designer behind the classic CBS eye design.

He also advocated for the distinction between an artist and a designer, helping to create the graphic design industry in a more defined way.

William Golden

AIGA describes him as "a renowned group of pioneers in the post-World War II era who gave structure to the growing field of graphic design."

Golden gained a reputation for always striving for perfection and simplicity, resulting in a distinctive and distinguished design to carry the message.

20. Jacqueline Casey

Jacqueline Casey was one of the most famous graphic designers, best known for her Swiss-inspired posters.

She is best known for the posters she created for MIT.

Casey worked as a graphic designer in the Office of Publications (later renamed the Office of Design Services) from 1955 to 1989.

Jacqueline Casey

Her work helped introduce the US and the MIT community to the new European Swiss typeface and style.

Casey's work is still recognized as a paradigm of what may be done when a good design is matched with a strong message.

21. Cipe Pineles

Cipe Pineles was an Austrian-born graphic designer and art director who made her career in New York working for magazines like Vogue.

A well-known first female graphic designer of major magazines.

She worked on numerous high-profile publications, from Vogue to Glamour to Seventeen and Charm, during the course of her design career.

Cipe Pineles

She was the first female designer to join the Art Directors Club in New York and was also the first female art director for a magazine.

She engaged the first professional illustrators to design mass-market periodicals, beginning a decades-long trend in magazine design.

22. Abram Games

Games was a British graphic designer who earned a place in the pantheon of the best 20th-century graphic designers.

He became famous because of his politically-charged posters.

He said that the message and communication should be strong, his design remains basic, clear, and straightforward.

Abram Games

Due to the length of his career, which spanned over six decades, his work is essentially a reflection of the social history of the era.

Games' work established the example for designers everywhere by exemplifying his own personal mantra of "maximum meaning, minimum means."

23. Armin Hofman

To combat the "trivialization of color," he created a slew of posters emphasizing the sparing use of color and typography.

Armin was labeled as the "legend of Swiss design."

The New York Museum of Modern Art, for example, has shown his posters as works of art.

Armin Hofman

Armin Hofmann's strong, clean, and purposeful designs have inspired generations of designers past and present.

As an example of effective, ageless, and conscientious Swiss design, Hofmann's work reflects these ideals.

24. Josef Muller-Brockmann

Josef Muller-Brockmann was a Swiss graphic designer, author, and educator. He was a principal at Muller-Brockmann & Co.

He is recognized for his simple yet impactful designs.

His work embodies the essence of Swiss design with geometric shapes, crisp sans-serif typefaces, and a vibrant color palette.

Josef Muller-Brockmann

One of Muller-Most Brockmann's important contributions to graphic design is the grid system, which he helped establish and popularize.

Designers throughout the world continue to rely on this design tool on a daily basis.

25. Seymour Chwast

Seymour Chwast is an American graphic designer, illustrator, and type designer who became famous because of his one-of-a-kind designs.

He is credited with shaping current design and illustration.

He sought to combine the two disciplines in bold, colorful ways, which contrasted sharply with the Swiss design aesthetic.

Seymour Chwast

According to AIGA, Chwast helped develop a new design philosophy based on "knowledge, admiration, and reapplication of prior styles and forms."

It's hard to overstate the significance of Chwast's contributions to graphic design, both in terms of his visual work and his unconventional approach.

Conclusions

There are a few people you must know if you want to work as a graphic designer.

These are the designers who have had a profound impact on the way the world views graphic design today.

They are the innovators, the visionaries, and the trailblazers in the field of design.

Who are the most popular graphic designers?

From well-known book cover artists to logo designers and everything in between, our roster of designers truly represents the breadth of the business.

Despite the fact that they came from different parts of the world, their names and works became widely known and recognized all over the world.

As a creative, I hope this list of the most famous graphic designers and their contributions to the industry has inspired you.

Remember that they don’t just get their popularity and reputation in a snap; instead, they work really hard for it.

Moreover, you can also check out my other article where I featured the best iconic logo designers to follow.

Now that I’m done highlighting the best graphic designers of all generations, which of them is your favorite?—Leave a comment below.

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