Best of 2014

Fast Company’s Co.Design gave me 2 great honors. They named Graphic Icons one of The Best Design Books of 2014 (which also includes greats like Paul Rand and Abbott Miller), writing “In this crucial book for any design lover, Clifford takes readers on a history tour illustrated with the work of the world’s most famous graphic designers.” They also include my work among The Most Important Design Lessons of 2014 and write “John Clifford takes a spin through history to show how yesterday’s design pioneers have influenced, and continue to inspire, today’s designers.” It’s a thrill. Thank you, Fast Company!


Book Review

Nice review at The Book Design Blog: “Graphic Icons serves as a ‘leg-up’ into the broad and exhaustive field of design history, and is a relaxed, welcoming source of inspiration and a lead to other, more in-depth sources. This is simply an easy-to-pick-up, easy-to-read, well-designed book about graphic design and graphic designers…a design book that deserves a spot on your bookshelf.” Read the whole review

Graphic Icons Muller-Brockmann

10 Crucial Lessons From History’s Greatest Graphic Designers


Simplify, visualize, know your user: the lessons of these design pioneers, from El Lissitzky to Paula Scher, are as relevant as ever. Read my guest post, complete with slideshow, at Fast Company’s Co.Design.

Designers and Tech


Technology does not create good design – but it is an important tool, and can help designers develop something original.

While writing my book Graphic Icons: Visionaries Who Shaped Modern Graphic Design, profiling the field’s pioneering designers, I learned about several people whose embrace of technology enabled them to create innovative work. Read about a few of them at Creative Bloq

HOW Magazine

How page1_c-l

“A great big book of who’s who in the creative world, Graphic Icons: Visionaries Who Shaped Modern Graphic Design is a visual tour de force that features everything from posters to multimedia projects. Striking work from the likes of Paul Rand, Milton Glaser, Paula Scher and other greats provides the imagery that guides readers through the pages.” Thank you, HOW Magazine!

The Attractiveness Of Reality

CHARM page 174 September 1957 Cipe Pineles, art director.

Graphic Birdwatching is a new platform for women in graphic design. They are featuring an excerpt from Graphic Icons on Cipe Pineles, the first female art director of a major U.S. magazine, and the first female member of the Art Directors Club. There is also a photoset featuring some the women featured in Graphic Icons on Women in Graphic Design, a blog dedicated to exhibiting design work by women.

Recent Press


Aqua-Velvet calls Graphic Icons a “visually rich book…Brimming with a who’s who list of international graphic designers whose work has both shaped our industry in a significant and ongoing manner…the book seeks to serve as an entertaining primer.” It’s also great to be featured on grain edit, and included in their gift guide.

The fun thing about my book has been learning not only about design and typography, but about working and careers as well. I shared some insights from the icons in a guest post at The Creative Group’s blog: 5 Career Tips from Famous Graphic Designers.