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Graphic Design Icons – Lestor Beall

Pioneering American designer in modernist graphic design, Lester Beall believed that designer’s creativity should be present at every step of the process. Beall said, “the designer’s role in the development, application and protection of the trademark may be described as pre-creative, creative and post-creative.” Born in Kansas, Missouri at the beginning of the 20th century, Lester Beall grew up to succeed in a dazzling design career that lasted 44 years.

Just like every graphic designer aims for, Beall had an extremely definitive style that included a constant use of primary colors, illustrative arrows and lines as well as concise typography that was critically acclaimed worldwide. Clients included in his portfolio were the Chicago Tribune, The Art Directors, Club of New York, Time Magazine, Abbott Laboratories and Huram Walker.

One of his greatest achievements occurred in 1937 when he became the first American designer to have a one man show at the Museum of Modern Art, where his posters for the Rural Electrification Administration were displayed. But in the design world of the 30s and 40s, he was best known for understanding how to communicate ideas and go above and beyond for corporate clients. Something we all want!

On the subject of creating designs for clients, Beall said, “If we can produce the kind of art which harnesses the power of the human instinct for that harmony of form, beauty and cleanness, that seems inevitable when you see it – then I think we may be doing a job for our clients.” Wise words. Perhaps something to think about next time you get a brief from a client.

Posted on March 22, 2012

Category: General

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