Which designers inspired you the most?

Hi! There are always moments where you have lacked inspiration in your career, whether you find yourself stucked in a bump through a project or you felt down for a long period. Which designer has inpsired you to keep on going and recover your greatness designer self? :slight_smile:


I see work I like all the time, but I rarely pay too much attention to the designers involved any longer. This wasn’t the case earlier in my career, when I definitely did look up to certain designers and followed their work.

So in no particular order:

  • John Casado
  • Paula Scher
  • Mathew Carter
  • Michael Schwab
  • April Greiman
  • David Lance Goines
  • Michael Manwaring
  • Woody Pirtle

Hatch Show Print (not a designer, a print shop that produces inspirational work)
Primo Angeli
Paul Rand
Herb Lubalin
Louise Fili
Saul Bass
Art Chantry
Michael Bierut
Chip Kidd


Some amazing names right there!


My career started with an interest in fine artists, Escher, Vallejo, Mead, Nagel in that order. By the time I transitioned towards commercial art, I didn’t know commercial artists by name. I was inspired by campaigns and brands that I didn’t know which artists or agency had worked on them.

For graphic design, I admire other people’s work, but that doesn’t get me past the creative slumps. It usually takes a problem worth solving that gets me past a slump. Over the years, I gradually have been losing interest in graphic design for consumerism, while gaining interest in graphic design for transhumanism. Infographics seem to support the latter more than the former. But I don’t know many by name other than Tufte.

In the early 2000’s I became more inspired by industrial artists than by graphic designers. Here again, I don’t know their names as much as I know their work. Most recently, I’ve been inspired by technocratic ideas. So in short, I’m much more inspired by great ideas than by the people who come up with the ideas. I usually don’t bother researching the designer/engineers who develop the ideas unless I encounter multiple great ideas from the same person on multiple occasions.


I too included a couple of illustrators on my list. But I could also include Patrick Nagel, as you did, along with Peter Max, J. C. Leyendecker and, maybe, Maxfield Parrish.

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Alphonse Mucha :sunglasses:


Thank you for sharing. Amazing names in this post.

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Paula Scher and Massimo Vignelli are my fav. Thanks for sharing yours. Reading some new biographies.

Aaron Draplin from DDC always keeps me inspired. I admire the great designers named in this post, but relate more to Draplin’s utilitarian approach and his desire to “make it in the little leagues”. I also appreciate his writing style, he’s funny and humble.

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Paul Rand

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I’ve never been inspired by designers. Maybe that’s why I do more production than design these days.
I do have some favorite illustrators that have inspired my personal art style.
Boris Vallejo
Edward Gorey
Mark Tansey
to name only a few.

Not to be confused with Rand Paul

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Rand Paul is not nearly as inspirational. Ask his next-door neighbor who physically attacked him and sent him to the hospital over a yard waste dispute. :thinking:

That says more about his neighbor than it does Rand Paul…

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I had to look it up to be sure. :joy:

Yeah, but my somewhat illogically stupid point was that Rand Paul failed to inspire him — or perhaps inspired him in the wrong way.

That implies even worse things about the neighbor.
I find the current trend of people being “inspired” to violence by someone else’s opposing views totally unacceptable, whatever those views may be.

I guess I need to think twice the next time I attempt to make a lame joke.


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