With a career that fuses rock and roll, corporate identity creation, and impressionistic geography, Paula Scher is a master conjurer of the instantly familiar.
The tag "rock star" is recklessly applied to everyone from bloggers to biochemists, but in Paula Scher's case it couldn't be more appropriate. As a rock star designer, she's cooked up everything from Boston album covers to Elvis Costello posters, pausing somewhere in between to trash the ubiquitous visual authoritarianism of Helvetica. She's also created some of design's most iconic images, like the Citibank logo. She is a partner in the renowned design firm Pentagram, and in 2001 received the distinguished AIGA medal.
As a fine artist, Scher has also become increasingly well known for her microscopically detailed map paintings, densely latticed with hand-lettered text, that evoke not only place but the varied political, historical and cultural meanings (and preconceptions) brought to the world by the viewer.
“Find out what the next thing is that you can push, that you can invent, that you can be ignorant about, that you can be arrogant about, that you can fail with, and that you can be a fool with. Because in the end, that’s how you grow.”
“The best way to accomplish serious design … is to be totally and completely unqualified for the job.”