This is the first in what I hope will be an ongoing series in which I take a work of design that I like and explain why I like it. Not too hard, right? We’ll see. The goal is to remember to not only notice things, but to continually exercise the ability to articulate why I notice things.
This is a cover for the Czech magazine Zijeme by the visionary and information design pioneer, Ladislav Sutnar.
There are so many things to love about this cover. The first thing to grab my attention was the use of photomontage. The interplay between photography, typography and simple graphic elements creates such a paired down aesthetic that is relatively stark yet immensely arresting. This is not a piece of art the eye can ignore. The simple palette, the angled type, and the perfectly balanced, yet asymmetric, composition all make this a work of design that, although representative of a specific style, still appears fresh and exciting today. Of course that has a lot to do with designers knowingly or unknowingly being influenced by his work. I know some of my early work was influenced by this style.
Here’s a poster I designed while at Pratt.
Obviously, I was influenced by Constructivist design, but there’s also a bit of the 90’s type aesthetic happening in there, which I’m sure we’ll get to eventually.
Anyhow, if you haven’t heard of Ladislav Sutnar, definitely look him up. Not only is his work amazing, he’s responsible for a lot of ideas that are now essential to modern life and design. Fact: He was the man responsible for putting the parentheses around American telephone area-code numbers when they were first introduced.