Wish You Were Here

“Wish You Were Here” is a new, individual assignment. I have to choose a designer from period 1911-1921 or 1981-1991 (my Timeline period) and to make research for him or her in depth. Then I have to start a correspondence with them in the form of a series of letters. Of course, this will not be a real correspondence, it will be a fiction and I need to create it based on my research.

This will be a difficult task and I’m not sure that I understand it very well, but I’ll try to do my best. So, first I need to pick a designer. At least I have a big choice especially for the period 1981-1991.


In the beginning I want to introduce my designer. Her name is Paula Scher, an American graphic designer, illustrator, typographer and painter. She was born in 1948 in Washington, graduated from Tyler School of Art, Elkins, Pennsylvania with degree a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1970.

First she worked for CBS Records, after that she became an art director in Atlantic Record where she designed her first album covers. A year later Scher returned to SBC and stayed there for the next 8 years. During this time she created a lot of album covers.Some of her iconic cover designs are Boston with “Boston”, Leonard Bernstein with “Poulenc Stranvinsky”, Eric Gale with “Ginseng Woman” and Bob James and Earl Klugh with “One on One”.

In 1979 Paula left CBS to work on her own. She develop typographic solution based on Art deco, Russian constructivism and old-fashioned typefaces into her work. She co-founded Koppel & Scher with editorial designer and fellow Tyler in 1984 and in 1991 joined Pentagram as a partner. In 1992 she started to teach at School of Visual Arts in New York. After that Paula Scher became the first designer who made a new identity for The Public Theater. Actually, she create a graphic system that was the turning point of identity in designs that influence much of the graphic design created for theatrical promotion at all.

Paula’s logo for the Public Theater:

Here some of her posters for The Public Theater:

In 1994 Scher has created the first poster campaign for the New York Shakespeare Festival in Central Park. During the years she continued working on their posters. She also redesigned The Public Theater logo twice (in 2005 and in 2008), created entire new system to modernize The Museum of Modern Art, designed a new identity and promotional campaign for the New York City Ballet and for the Metropolitan Opera. Her work appeared everywhere – magazines and newspapers, websites, bus shelter, subway poster.

In 2006, an exhibition at Maya Stendhal gallery in New York City, Paula Scher presented for first time his “mapping the world”. She painted two 9-by-12-foot maps, consisting a lot of texual details. Each of her atlases is made into layers related to the way what we usually think when we consider for Japan, Africa, Kenya or India. For example, Paula created The United States’ map in blocky print with white outlines and full with list of facts that comprehend when we think about cities.

This was Scher’s first solo exhibition as a fine artist and it was total success. Therefore she decided to continue producing more prints of “The World” that contained large-scale images of cities, states and continents marked with names and other information.

The United States

The Tsunami



The Map World

Her awards:
– American Book Award nominations for best book design, and for best compilation of written and graphic material, both 1981, both for The Honeymoon Book: A Tribute to the Last Ritual of Sexual Innocence
– The School of Visual Arts grants a Master Series Award, showcase of Make It Bigger
– Print’s Regional Design Annual 2011 for Shakespeare in the Park 2010 campaign

And now I am starting my correspondence with this magnificent person.

“Make It Bigger” 2002 by Paula Scher


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