IXD101- Group project research, Paula Scher

I chose to look into Paula Scher, one of the most influential graphic designers, as I wanted a deeper look into the field. One of my group projects is a presentation about postmodernism graphic design, so I am trying to gain more information about the subject and it is an area I am greatly interested in and am eager to learn more about. For that group project I feel Paula Scher is a very important pioneer within the graphic design industry.

The Netflix series called ‘Abstract’ is about the most influential, innovative artists in todays society and I watched the episode about graphic design and Paula Scher. Paula Scher is the queen of graphic design and she is known for her typography work and her graphic design talents. The episode began with Scher explaining how she works and that she is constantly moving and collaborating with her team of designers. Her company ‘Pentagram’ usually designs identity systems and Scher talked about how she always tries to push a project as far as it can be pushed, explaining the importance of thinking outside of the box and pushing boundaries.

‘Design needs to take human behaviour into account.’

Paula Schers’ project ‘Bring in da noise, Bring in da funk’ put her name on the map. This piece of work was all over New York City and it started a new typography craze, it was a very impactful design with crazy type that was in your face. No designer had played with type in this way before until Scher, it was new and very exciting.


Scher illustrated how she uses her surroundings for her inspiration in her work, she talked about how she gets her best ideas sitting in taxi cabs driving around New York City. It showed clips of her driving around New York sketching and I found this method riveting and a great way to get new and innovative ideas, it is something I would enjoy trying at some stage.

Paula Scher mentioned her great interest in typography and quoted, ‘Typography is painting with words’. I have added in some of her type work that I really like. The typography is so playful, each poster has a different style and each type has its’ own personality. They dance across the page in a bold, dramatic way.




‘You need to be in a state of play to design’

The episode concluded with Paula Scher talking about how she is motivated by the idea that she is yet to make her best work and how she doesn’t know what she is going to make next. She is driven by this mindset, that her best is still yet to come which I find a great motivational thought. I particularly like the quote mentioned at the end which was, ‘Making stuff is the heart of everything’.

What I learned from this episode:

  • I should use my surroundings for my design inspiration.
  • I should try and push the boundaries of my projects.
  • I should try to be open and be in a ‘state of play’ when I go to design something.
  • I should always be motivated and driven by the idea of ‘what’s next?’.

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