Tobias Frere-Jones

Tobias Frere-Jones was born in 1970 in New York, and is noted as having been an artist since youth. As a son of an advertising copywriter and print buyer, he was surrounded with all forms of letterforms all his childhood, and his adolescence years saw him between the galleries of Manhattan and the dockyards of Brooklyn. At the age of fourteen years, he began exhibiting paintings, sculptures and photographs in New York galleries.

By the time he entered Rhode Island School of Design, type design had displaced most other interests. He graduated, receiving a BFA in Graphic Design, in 1992; and began full-time work for Font Bureau, where he was a Senior Designer for several years. In addition to his numerous contributions to the Font Bureau retail library and custom work, Frere-Jones made three fonts (“Reactor”, “Fibonacci”, and “Microphone”) for Fuse, a journal of experimental type design. He spent seven years at the Bureau and was mentored and directed by David Berlow, and also created typefaces; namely, “Interstate”, “Poynter Oldstyle” & “Gothic”.

interstate Frere-Jones, Interstate, Font Specimen, 1993

Frere-Jones joined the faculty of the Yale University School of Art, in 1996, teaching typeface design alongside Matthew Carter. In 1999, he returned to his native New York, leaving Font Bureau and joining a friend, Jonathan Hoefler, at his company (which was later renamed, Hoefler & Frere-Jones Typography). They served clients from varied fields, such as The New York Times, The Guardian, The Sun, The Times, Esquire, Apple, IBM, HP, Kodak, Sony; and also did work for Nike, Gucci and the presidential campaign of Barack Obama.

sept-09 Frere-Jones, GQ Magazine, Magazine cover, 2009

He is the founder of Frere-Jones Type, and is widely recognized as one of the world’s leading type designers. His work is in the permanent collections of the Victoria & Albert Museum in London and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. In 2006, The Royal Academy of Visual Arts (in The Hague) awarded him the Gerrit Noordzij Prijs for his contributions to typographic design, typography and type education. In 2013, he received the AIGA Medal in recognition of exceptional achievements in the field of design.

Works influenced/inspired by Frere-Jones

the_cardigans_by_tordo-d20byrx Luis Enrique Cuellar Peredo, The Cardigans, Wallpaper, 2009

aligned_and_centred___akkurat_by_nekohdot NekohDot, Aligned And Centred – Akkurat, Digital art, 2009


Frere-Jones Type. (2015). Retrieved October 26, 2015, from

Končal, P. (2010). Tobias Frere-Jones. Retrieved October 26, 2015, from

Tobias Frere-Jones. (2015). Retrieved October 26, 2015, from


De Stijl

Emerging from the Netherlands in 1917, De Stijl is explained as an art movement that involved an abstract yet simplified aesthetic; including geometric forms and primary colours. De Stijl (or “the style” in Dutch), was birthed in response to the horrors of World War I and the dream of remaking society, afterwards. Art was perceived as affording social and spiritual redemption, and “the members of De Stijl embraced a utopian vision of art and its transformative potential.” It was, in part, a reaction against the extravagance of Art Deco as well, and was intended to be a widely-used and appropriate visual language in the modern and highly spiritualized age.

42_destijl01 Piet Mondrian, Composition with Yellow, Blue, and Red, Painting, 1937-42

Led by its most celebrated proponents, painters Theo van Doesburg and Piet Mondrian, De Stijl artists worked with a variety of media and within diverse fields. “Promoting their innovative ideas in their journal of the same name, the members envisioned nothing less than the ideal fusion of form and function, thereby making De Stijl in effect the ultimate style.” As such, the movement’s artists engaged themselves in varying fine arts, as well as industrial design, typography, even literature and music. In architecture, which would include works by another key member, Gerrit Reitveld, De Stijl would realize its greatest influence, as it was embraced at the Bauhaus and also propelled the rise of the International Style of the 1920s and 1930s.

It was mainly architecture that realized both De Stijl’s stylistic aims and its goal of close collaboration among the arts. The Worker’s Housing Estate in Hoek van Holland (1924–27), designed by Jacobus Johannes Pieter Oud, expresses the same clarity, austerity, and order found in a Mondrian painting. Rietveld also applied its stylistic principles in his work; the Schröder House in Utrecht (1924), for example, resembles a Mondrian painting in the severe purity of its facade and in its interior plan.

1024px-Rietveld_Schröderhuis_HayKranen-20 Gerrit Reitveld, Schröder House, Architecture, 1924

Even though De Stijl artists created work embodying the movement’s utopian vision, their realization that this vision was unattainable in the real world essentially brought about the group’s demise. Ultimately, De Stijl’s continuing fame is largely the result of the enduring achievement of its best-known member and true modern master, Piet Mondrian.

Works influenced/inspired by Art Deco

modern_destijl_by_violetgraphica-d38uc8w Bouchra, Modern Destilj, Digital art, 2010

icopy___modern_style_de_stijl_by_staticx99 Alex Lafleur Beauchemin, iCopy – Modern style De Stijl, Digital art, 2009


De Stijl. (2014). Retrieved November 2, 2015, from

De Stijl. (2015). Retrieved November 2, 2015, from

De Stijl. (n.d.). Retrieved November 2, 2015, from

Art Deco

Art Deco, also referred to as “style modern”, is a movement in the decorative arts and architecture that originated in the 1920s; spanning the boom of the roaring 1920s. As a major style, it developed in western Europe and the United States during the 1930s; in the midst of the Depression. Its name was derived from the Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes, held in Paris in 1925, where the style was first exhibited. Art Deco design represented modernism turned into fashion, and included individually crafted luxury items and mass-produced wares.

CIRC.526-1974_jar_1000px_custom_290x309_06200661 Enouch Boulton, Jazz jar and cover, Pottery, c. 1928

The actual term “Art Deco”, coined in the 1960s, affected all forms of design, from decorative arts like interior design, furniture, jewellery, textiles, fashion and industrial design, as well as to the applied art of architecture and the visual arts of film, photography, painting, graphics and product design. In every sense, the style drew on tradition and, at the same time, celebrated the mechanized, modern world. Often deeply nationalistic, it quickly spread around the world, dominating the skylines of cities from New York to Shanghai. It embraced both handcraft and machine production, exclusive works of high art and new products in affordable materials. Art Deco reflected the plurality of the contemporary world and, unlike its functionalist sibling, Modernism, responded to the human need for pleasure and escape.

34994_496197497081538_836990370_n Eric Rohman, “The Easiest Way”, Poster, 1931

Art Deco, like its forerunner Art Nouveau, was an eclectic style and drew on many sources; borrowing from historic European styles, contemporary Avant Garde art, the rich colours and exotic themes of the Ballets Russes, the urban imagery of the machine age, and more distant and ancient cultures (from the arts of Africa and East Asia). Archaeological discoveries fuelled a romantic fascination with early Egypt and Meso-America. But, in its application, the advance in resources would also play a significant part. Employing new building materials that were manipulated into stepped, radiating styles that contrasted sharply with the fluid motifs of Art Nouveau, Art Deco architecture represented scientific progress, and the consequent rise of commerce, technology, and speed (as exemplified in the Radio City Music Hall, in New York City’s theatre district and the ten-building complex of Rockefeller Center). This, together with its image as a modern, opulent style, made Art Deco designs especially suitable in varied applications. A three-dimensional example of Art Deco is found in the glass creations of the Frenchman, Rene Lalique. While he was a classic artist of Art Nouveau, he produced a special series of Art Deco glasses and bowls with geometric, floral, and stylized bird decorations.

Works influenced/inspired by Art Deco

art_deco_illuminating_clock_by_decoechoes Gilles Messier, Art Deco Illuminating Clock, Clock panel, 2010

art_deco_sky_light_by_muralsbylebold Michael LeBold, Art Deco Sky-light, Window with design, 1983


Art Deco. (2014). Retrieved October 26, 2015, from

Art Deco. (2015). Retrieved October 26, 2015, from

Art Deco: c. 1925-40. Retrieved November 2, 2015, from

Art Deco: Introduction to an Art Movement. (2014). Retrieved November 2, 2015, from

Paula Scher

Paula Scher was born on October 6, 1948 in Virginia, and grew up in Washington DC and Philadephia. Her father was a photogrammetric engineer for the US Geological Survey who invented a device that ensured the distortion-free aerial photography. That encouraged her to create hand-printed maps. Scher later went on to study at the Tyler School of Art, Elkins Park, Pennsylvania, where she collected her Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts in 1970; then travelling to New York where she began her professional career as a layout artist – working for children’s book division at Random House.

1007009 Paula Scher, Boston, Album cover, 1976

Afterwards, Scher worked in the advertisement and promotion department of the CBS Records and, in 1974, joined a competing label, Atlantic Records, as an art director; and where she used album cover art to expand her creativity and earned four Grammy nominations. Later, she returned to CBS Records and worked there for eight years producing over one hundred and fifty album covers, annually. These included Eric Gale’ “Ginseng Woman”, Bob James’ “H” and “One on One” and Boston’s “Boston”. Her contributions included reviving historical typefaces and design styles. In fact, she earned four Grammy nominations for her inspiring designs. She would, however, resign from CBS in 1982 and, along with former classmate, Terry Koppel, founded the firm of Koppel and Scher. For seven years flourished for seven years, during which time Scher developed corporate identities, book jackets, advertisement and packaging. The recession would lead to the dissolution of the firm, with Koppel leaving for the creative director position at Esquire Magazine. Scher joined the New York office of Pentagram, a world-leading design partnership, in 1991, as a partner. Scher worked in consultancy and eventually earned the post of principal; the first female to do so. Her expertise would also include teaching, as she had accepted a position at the School of Visual Arts. In addition to her work there for over two decades, Scher also taught intermittently at the Yale University, Tyler School of Art and Cooper Union, to name a few. Scher is also credited with the new identity creation of The Public Theater, where her promotional graphic system for the program became highly influential in theatrical promotion.

windows-8-branding Paula Scher, Windows 8 Branding, Brand identity, 2012

Scher has received more than three hundred awards by several international associations, AIGA, the Package Design Council and The Type Directors Club. Her collection of work is showcased at New York MoMA, the Museum für Gestaltung and the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. Scher’s style evokes bold imagery and uses typography in an almost illustrative rather than print style; and her work has included corporate identity and branding for the likes of Citibank, Coca Cola and Bausch + Lomb, as well as in the arts (with clients like Museum of Modern Art, New York Ballet, Metropolitan Opera and New York Philharmonic).

Works influenced/inspired by Scher

6a00d834522c5069e201157024ba4b970c-500wi Joanne Maguire, Artist Research, Poster, 2011

paula_scher_psalm_poster_by_delusionzofgrandeur-d510hyt Sara Christensen, Paula Scher Psalm Poster, Poster, 2012


Contemporary Graphic Designers – Paula Scher. Retrieved October 26, 2015, from

Famous Graphic Designers – Paula Scher. Retrieved October 26, 2015, from

Paula Scher. Retrieved October 26, 2015, from

Carol Twombly

Carol Twombly, born in 1959, spent much of her childhood in New England exploring various artistic disciplines, and settled on sculpture. She was a well-respected type designer, but she retired in 1999 in order to pursue other artistic interests. Prior, Twombly studied at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD); following her brother who pursued studies in architecture. She opted for graphic design, as she viewed it as being useful and easily applicable discipline. Though graphic design became her career focus, Twombly had not abandoned her other artistic pursuits, which included basket-weaving. While at RISD, and under the tutelage of Professor Charles Bigelow (the designer of the Lucida, Apple Chicago, Apple Geneva, Wingdings and other types) and his partner, Kris Holmes, she became interested in type design and typography; and worked during summer months in their studio.

After graduation from RISD and a year spent working in a Boston graphic design studio, Twombly accepted an invitation from Bigelow to join a small group of students in a newly formed digital typography program at Stanford University. Carol continued to work for the Bigelow and Holmes studio for the next four years and, in 1984, entered her first type design in the Morisawa Typeface Design Competition (sponsored by Morisawa Ltd., a Japanese manufacturer of typesetting equipment). She won for the typeface, “Mirarae”, which went on to be licensed and released by Bitstream.

Mirarae Twombly, Mirarae, Font Specimen, 1984

Since 1988, she had been a staff designer at Adobe Systems, and during more than eleven years with Adobe, Twombly designed a number of very popular text and display typefaces. Designs like “Trajan”, “Charlemagne”, “Lithos”, and “Adobe Caslon” are inspired by classic letterforms of the past – from early Greek inscriptions, circa 400 B.C., to William Caslon’s typefaces of the 1700s – while “Viva” and “Nueva” explore new territory while maintaining traditional roots. In 1994, she received the prestigious Prix Charles Peignot award from the Association Typographique Internationale for outstanding contributions to type design (and given to outstanding type designers under the age of thirty five). She was the first woman and only the second American to receive this prestigious honour. In a time when most of the notable typeface designers have been men, Twombly is recognised as one of the 20th Century’s most influential designers. As a matter of fact, she would work, for years, in the type design department at Adobe, when many of the Adobe Originals typefaces were planned and carried out in the 1990s. But, since retiring and leaving Adobe, Twombly has continued to explore other non-computer-based arts including weaving, natural-object sculpture, silk painting, and more.

TwomblyFaces Twombly, Specimen of Typefaces, Fonts, date unknown

Works influenced/inspired by Twombly

d02cc7a10f76099652516adfd89c4d57 Jorge Martinez, Carol Twombly Trajan 1989 Poster, Poster, 2013

roscover-coke-tweets photo-3-675x900 Dylan Roscover, Coke Tweets, Illustration, date unknown


Carol Twombly. Retrieved October 26, 2015, from

Carol Twombly. Retrieved October 26, 2015, from

Friedlander, J. (2010). Carol Twombly, An Extraordinary Type Designer. Retrieved October 26, 2015, from