Critical Design Thinking: 10 The Best Typography Practitioners

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  1. Sister Corita Kent

I’m so happy I’ve found her! Thank you Google! That lady is just generously amazing! You can’t really find that many artists nowadays who would work so hard and love it that much.

Anyway talking about Sisters Coritas style – it is just so optimistic. Every quote stands for a good reason: against war and discrimination, fighting for love and happiness etc.

Her screen prints are really colourful. And I really like how she uses different typography styles. It kind of looks messy, but messy in a really organised way. I really like that vibe of an old-school art also.

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2. Jenny Holzer

Another typography artist is Jenny Holzer – American neo-conceptual artist. The main focus of her work is the delivery of words and ideas in public spaces. I see it really exiting. It is a really different way of expressing word and feeling. Compare to Sisters Coritas work, Jenny’s expressions are so much simpler and darker. But it doesn’t mean that is worse. I really like Jennys quotes in a really simple style and they all are really different: it begins from religion and finishes with love.

Also Jenny Holzen prints quotes and phrases on packs of condoms such as : ‘Men don’t protect you anymore’. It is quite a strong thing to say on condom packet! I really like how she combines places or things and phrases.

I would totally would love to see her work live!

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3. Stefan Sagmeister

The thing I really like about this artist is that he makes incredible typography and optical illusions on bodies and faces. The interesting thing is that he uses different kind of techniques. The letters are made of hay, grass, banana peels, watermelon some of them even made of octopus tentacles or meat! His art gives me really different emotions. Some of his art pieces are really pleasing to look at while some of them looks disgusting.

This is what art is for and in my opinion good artist is the one that gan give you different kind of emotions.

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4. Lakwena

I saw this lady’s art piece that says: ‘Be bad until you’re good, and good until you’re great’ for the first time in Shoreditch a year ago and I really loved it! Not even a quote but the presentation is amazing! The lines in her work are incredibly symmetric and neat (I really love symmetrical things), while colours are really bright and African looking. In my opinion she’s really talented woman who has her own unique style. The phrases she includes with her bright and really optimistic work are really inspiring as well. She’s just one of these artists that can make people feel positive with her art.

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5. Milton Glaser

This guy is just a legend. Who doesn’t know logo that says ‘I (heart) NY’? And that’s not everything! Milton had made lots of other iconic logos such as: DC Shoes, IBM, Brooklyn Brewery, abc, UPS etc.

Commercial logos are not the only thing he does. Glaser does a lot of political, musical and social illustrations.I really like the colours he uses because they’re really bright and solid, maybe that’s why some of his work looks a bit feminine.

Milton’s Glaser’s work looks so simple, but it’s so good and pleasant to looks it!

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6. Anthony Burrill

Simple, bright, meaningful.

In my opinion all of Anthony’s work is just so simple looking, but it’s so well made. Most of his work is really inspiring. I could imagine most of the prints are hanging in schools or offices. They just make you feel positive.

His illustrations again are really colourful and peaceful!

Anthony’s ideas I think are really simple, but incredible well presented.

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7. Ralph Steadman

One of my most favourite artists, ladies and gentlemen – Ralph Steadman!

His illustrations are just unbelievably well – presented. Ralph’s black and red work is always on point. It jus has everything: some intense horror, that’s quite disturbing to look at, irony, some fun. His technique of splashing ink is something I really would love to learn.

Steadman did a lot of great illustrations, including Alice In Worderland and Fair And Loathing In Las Vegas books, Breaking Bad characters, beer labels for Flying Dog brewery etc.

I was lucky enough to see his Breaking Bad characters exhibition and that was just mind – blowing. His perfectly messy typography, ink splashing and always weird-looking creatures in his work makes Ralph Steadman so unique and different.

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8. Jamie Reid

Jamie’s work is soaked in punk worldview. He did so many nice illustrations, that are quite provoking and disturbing, for example his God Save The Queen or Fuck Forever pieces are really riot. Jamies art is based on politics and society, that I think is really interesting theme to talk about. He’s got really similar point of view as I do as well, so I think that’s one of the main things why I like Reid’s art.

Also I work in the bar in Shoreditch (Strongroom Bar), that has been designed by Jamie Reid. Knowing his art better gave me a bigger passion for punk culture.

Other thing, colours in his art, again, are really bright and solid, and that’s a strong criteria for me most of the times.

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9. Marion Deuchars

What I like about Marion is how she plays with letters and illustrations. Even though her typography style looks really not professional at some points, it actually is really strong and organised. I really like how she uses different shadings, colours and designs or letters and make a really playful pieces. She express lots of inspiring ideas as well!

Deuchars work is just really positive!

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10. Bob and Roberta Smith

Last, but not the least is Mr. Patrick Brill (Bob and Roberta Smith). Interesting fact is that artist is a professor at The Cass.

Talking about his typography style, it is pretty simple looking, but strong. He mostly uses the same style of lettering, but changes their colour and size. I could see his work somewhere in children books, even though he’s talking a lot about politics and human rights. I guess it is easier to react more optimistic, when you see serious things written in colourful and cheeky letters!

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