Influences

Check out my latest post at AIGA and find out who influences icons (and future icons) like John Maeda, David Airey, George Lois, Jan Wilker, and Paula Scher.

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Everything is Design

Must-see when in New York: Paul Rand: Everything is Design, an exhibition where you can see more than 150 posters, ads, books, brochures, and sketches by the legendary American modernist. It’s inspiring work, and it’s always great to see these designs in person rather than just online. At the Museum of the City of New York through September 7.

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Sutnar’s Design in Action

You can help put Ladislav Sutnar’s iconic 1961 book Design in Action back in print with Kickstarter, organized by Designers & Books. “The book in which he laid out his graphic design principles — grounded in rationality, with a focus on type and a sharply edited palette — is Ladislav Sutnar: Visual Design in Action. Published in 1961 to accompany an exhibition of the same name, the book was was precisely designed by Sutnar himself and illustrated using his own work. The result was a publication that was not only rational but beautiful. ” Learn more about Sutnar in my post on Fast Company‘s Co.Design: 10 Lessons from History’s Greatest Graphic Designers.

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Cooper Hewitt Design Museum

When you’re in New York, a trip to the renovated Cooper Hewitt Design Museum is a must. It’s a much more lively and engaging experience than most museums. The new interactive Pen allows you to collect the pieces you love, learn more, and create your own designs. I love seeing works from my book in real life, and saw Herbert Bayer’s 1953 Olivetti poster and Milton Glaser’s 1960s Dylan poster, among others. Read more about the museum in my article in ArtDesk magazine.

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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!

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12 Days of Designers

Designing for the holidays can be a tough. How can you create a greeting each year that looks appropriate yet hasn’t been done a million times before? I dug through the archives of the designers featured in Graphic Icons and am sharing an assortment of their holiday designs for your inspiration. Watch for #12DaysOfDesigners on twitter. I’ll share one image each day, beginning on December 12th and wrapping up on the 23rd. I’ll also post the images here each day. Get inspired and share some of your favorites.

Last day! Saul Bass, 1968. Thanks to AIGA Design Archives.

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Day 11: early Josef Müller-Brockmann for Bally. Thanks to Swann Galleries.

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Day 10: Seasons Greetings from Paul Rand, 1957. Thanks to Aaron Cohen at Project Object.

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Day 9: Seymour Chwast, 2014. Thanks to Chwast’s Quote at Print Magazine.

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Day 8: Ed Fella, 2011-12, by hand. Thanks to Bijan Berahimi.

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Day 7: no clichés here: Edward McKnight Kauffer, holiday greeting for Ric Gregory, 1936.

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Day 6: Alex Steinweiss, album cover for Mantovani Christmas Carols, 1950s. You can buy this at New Documents.

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Day 5: Max Huber, best wishes from Il Giorno, 1957. From Designspiration.

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Day 4: Milton Glaser for New York magazine, 1974. Thanks to Bob Caruthers on flickr.

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Day 3: Brownjohn, Chermayeff & Geismar, late 1950s. Thanks to MoMA.

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Day 2: Candy Christmas tree by Herbert Matter for House & Garden, 1953. Thanks to Conde Nast.

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Day 1: Herbert Bayer, 1942. Via flickr: Playing Futures: Applied Nomadology.

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AIGA DC Design Week

I’ll be speaking at AIGA DC on October 21 as part of their Design Week. AIGA is celebrating its 100th anniversary, and the DC chapter is celebrating its 30th, so it’s a perfect time to discuss Lessons from the Design Icons, wisdom on design, creativity, work and life I learned from the legendary designers profiled in my book. Register online, and check out the Q&A I did with AIGA’s Scott Kirkwood. Hope to see you there!

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