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Swiss Army Knife of American Design

We tend to forget the vibrant origins of graphic design and the prodigious minds within its shadows.  While designers like Paula Scher or Saul Bass shined in the limelight, others were silently shaping the mold of innovations.

Queue Erik Nitsche.

Nitsche brought to American design what Pollock brought to abstract expressionism, a new context to visual aesthetics. His works incorporated modern design into a not so modern era. He dipped his hands into many different design fields, withdrawing their essence and applying it to the next. Graphic design is all about communication, whether we get the message or not, depends on the designer’s knowledge and creativity. A visually compelling image with no context is just eye candy while one with no aesthetics is just data. The right blend of both is needed to be a successful designer, but a pioneer requires innovation.

Imagine if the Bauhaus aesthetics were lost during World War II, would the design world be where it’s at today? Would our beloved webpages be so visually pleasing with its simplistic “flat” trend? It’s thanks to innovators like Nitsche who connected culture, society, and aesthetics, to usher in an era of avant-garde design.

One Comment

  1. Lucian Dragomir wrote:

    Good read. Reminds me of Carmon Collangelo’s work. He spoke at one of the Visual Voices lectures in Fall 2014. Like Nitche, Collangelo represents data and maps with a unique visual aesthetic.

    Monday, March 2, 2015 at 9:03 am | Permalink