What other contributions have they made throughout their careers/lives? Look all around you and you will see art created by Graphic Designers and yet many people will not even take a moment to think about who created It and what the story Is behind them. From billboards to movie posters, packaging to TV and movies, Graphic Design Is everywhere.When you are in the movie theater lobby the next time take a moment to look at all the posters on the walls announcing the upcoming movies, each and every en of those was created by a Graphic Designer somewhere, they don't just magically appear.
All of this has become so commonplace to us that often we don't even stop to appreciate the work that goes Into it, or think about who worked to create that each piece. Yet looking into the masters of the Graphic Design world can be very fascinating.Many of them were Influential not Just In the Graphic Design field but also in general. Today we will take a look at two of these influential graphic designers George Olden and April Grimmer. George Olden Born In Birmingham, Alabama as George Elliot Olden to a Baptist minister named Reverend James Clarence Olden and his bride Sylvia ward Olden who worked as a music teacher, George olden was artistic from the start. At a young age George and his family moved to Washington, D.
C. So that his dad could serve at the Plymouth congregational Church.While George went to a segregated school his father got deeply into politics and ended up leaving his family to work full time to further the civil rights movement. As he was growing up George's talent and love for drawing flourished and he devoted his time to cartooning and working for the black magazine that his high school put out biweekly called Flash. George won many awards and trophies for his art but ended up having to take an extra year before he graduated because he failed many of his academic courses. In college he drew cartoons for their newspaper the Virginia Statesman.
While he made the dean's list George ended up dropping out of college not long after Pearl Harbor was attacked so that he could work at the Office of Strategic Services as an UN-enlisted Graphic Designer where he designed posters that promoted rationing and conservation. The team that he enthusiastically worked to learn from each of them. It was during this time that George decided to leave the "e" off the end of his name when he published cartoons in "National CIO News" and used an almost childlike signature to mark them.He explained that he chose to do these things to get noticed by others in the graphic design business but another explanation was given for this by Julie Lacks a Journalist who wrote an extensive article on George.
She says "... This Scandinavian spelling, along with his rendering of Caucasian cartoon fugues, served as much as a blind to racial identity as it did a vehicle to recognition. " George was the first black person to cake a successful name for himself in the graphics design field starting when he was hired on to work for CBS.The television at this time was not as popular as it is now Title Card from To Tell The Truth by George Olden (Vive got a secret.
) and the graphics had to work on very small black and white screens. George was responsible for making graphics for shows like Lassie and the Deed Sullivan Show he also made the title card that was shown on the game show To Tell The Truth. It was a simple black and white typographic sign with large sans serif letters in black, spelling out "VIVE GOT A. In the cross bar of the large A was spelled out in white "secret" that word flashed on and off rhythmically.There is also great speculation whether it was actually George Olden who designed the famous CBS "eye" logo or William Golden, the Director of Print Promotion and Advertising as many say.
Neither person has taken direct credit for the logo and one of the more plausible ideas that has been put out is that Golden's group came up with the idea initially but it was Olden and his staff were the ones to carry it out to completion. Many say that that is why Golden is more apt to get the credit CBS Logo CBS Logo for the logo and it still remains a mystery as to who really created it.That was one of many well-known and famous things that George had a hand in creating throughout his successful career as a graphic designer. Working as a black man in a world where segregation and racial discrimination was still commonplace it is notable that George was quoted in a 1963 version of Ebony magazine as saying "Acceptance is a matter of talent. In my work Vive never felt like a Negro. Maybe Vive been lucky.
"(v-seminars) He managed to climb the ladder to great renown in his career spite his race and helped to open the doors to other people of color to make their names in the graphic design field.One of those doors that he opened was when he became the very first African American to design a stamp for the United States Postal Service. The 5 cent stamp was made to celebrate the Emancipation Proclamation it showed Off black chain that was broken against a bright blue background to signify that the chains of slavery had been broken. President John F.
Kennedy invited Olden to a ceremony at the Whitehorse where he stated that the stamp was "a reminder of seminars) 5 Cent Stamp designed by George OldenThough George opened many doors for other people of color in the graphic field and enjoyed and incredibly successful and bright career in which he made a huge name for himself his star sadly faded when he was let go from the advertising firm McCann Erickson given the crash of the economy as a reason for his termination. George however thought that he had been let go because of his race and he filed a lawsuit against the agency but it was later decided by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that there had been no racial cause for the end of his employment and the case was dismissed.He spent the rest of his days working off ND on as a freelance artist and TV director until he died in a tragic case when his live in girlfriend shot him, though the reason is not really known. To this day his legacy still remains however in the many famous pieces that he produced as well as the statue that he designed for the famous Clio Awards, which is an organization that gives recognition to the best works in advertising , something which George himself won many times.CLIO Award Statue designed by George Olden April Grecian April Grecian was born in 1948 in New York and graduated from the Basel School of Design as well as the Kansas City Art Institute.
She then began simultaneously working as a graphic designer in New York and teaching through the Philadelphia College of Art. At the age of 28 April moved to California, she had begun to feel tied down to the more traditional design style that had been influenced by the European culture and was seeking a freer market that would allow her to really spread her design wings.California really didn't have an established sense of art and design at that time, something that could make it a somewhat foreboding place for a graphic designer. April however, found that that lack of structure and tradition set her design parity free and allowed her to take chances and experiment in more areas.
After her move to California one of Aprils friends, Jaime Codgers a fellow graphic designer and giant in the typography field, invited her to go on a trip to Death Valley, and April agreed though she thought it sounded rather bleak and dull.It didn't take long for her to fall in love with the desert and April describes that trip by saying; "The desert is its own educational vehicle...
While most processes occur at an invisible or microscopic level, the desert reveals its evolution in its very existence. I felt as if, for he first time, my eyes were wide open to the process of evolution, to growth, to change. "(AlGA) experiment in her graphic design and art that allowed April to open up her graphic design studio named Made in Space, Inc. Where she made a name for herself and her quirky mix of American Postmodernism and more traditional design characteristics.
It was during this time that she began working with Jaime Codgers the friend who had invited her to Death Valley to experience the desert. His strong point was typography but he held the same kind of postmodern sensibilities that April did ND they made a good team. Codgers Joined Made in Space, Inc and they collaborated on a poster for the 1984 Olympics that were being held in Los Angles where they lived. The poster featured a pair of runners legs in mid run coming out off blue box with a background of clouds.
Behind the blue box is a sort of graffiti style pattern in pinks, corals, yellows, white, and red.The front foot appears to be stepping out of the serene blue box with the clouds and onto a pale aqua floor. The poster has a great sense of dimension and truly gives the viewer a feeling of space. It really does give a ensue of movement and impart the feeling that the Olympic Games gives people even though it is rather simply designed. 1984 Olympic Poster designed by April Grecian and Jaime Codgers 1984 Olympic Poster designed by April Grecian and Jaime Codgers It was during this time she struck up a friendship with a man named Harry Marks who is one of the founders of the TED conferences.
TED is described on its website as; "TED was born in 1984 out of the observation by Richard Saul Warrant of a powerful convergence between Technology, Entertainment and Design. The first TED included demos of the Sony compact disc and new AD graphics from Localism, while authentication Benefit Mandelbrot demonstrated how to map coastlines with his newly discovered fractals. Several influential members of the digerati community were there, including Nicholas Negatron and Stewart Brand. (History) April Grecian was also one of those in attendance at that first conference when her friend Harry Marks invited her to come along.
She tells of how Marks insisted on taking her to a Macy's store after the conference was over to show her one of the Mac computers that one of the presenters at the TED conference, Alan Kay, had been talking about. April explains about how she was hesitant at first because her first try tit a computer had not really piqued her interest because it really couldn't do much of anything.She gave in though because Marks was very much a mentor to her and was a big inventor of software and other technology that helped to promote motion graphics. It was that prodding that caused April to see the excitement and possibility that the computer held in the realm of graphic design and art and she bought one right there and then. With that April began to explore with, and work the computer into her graphic design and art works and found that she loved what could be done with it.
While the charity of graphic designers were shunning and didn't approve of using a computer April had been.They thought that it was cheating or would be unable to produce proper work like could be done manually through customary methods. April on the other hand found that it drastically expanded her horizons and what she could do and opened up her work even farther. April says "The digital landscape fascinates me in the same way as the desert," (GAGA) this lead to April becoming one of the first pioneers in the use of computers and software to digitally communicate her ideas and create graphic design for others.Not only that but she was a woman in a field mainly made up of men. That didn't stop her though; April enthusiastically worked to promote the use of digital means in graphic design and artwork, in fact, she was a huge part of advancing the use of computers and software in the area of art and graphic design.
April was now directing the design program at California Institute of the Arts and was working to incorporate other medias like computers and video into the graphic design program.She tried to campaign to get the school to change the name of the program from graphic design, which she felt applied only to print design ark and thought that the term visual communications was a better one to use so that it could encompass all of the types of media that were now being used. The school approved and the department name was changed to Visual Communications to reflect these new exciting mediums. This push helped to further the importance of these medias like video and computer in the design field as did the fact that April was actively teaching new graphic designers how to work with these mediums.Aprils work has a definite unique edge utilizing lots of different textures, shapes, fonts and mediums in her work.
She also plays a lot with the feelings of depth and space through the use of perspective and size. Her work doesn't often fit within the normal grid structure that traditional graphic design teaches as she plays with different layouts and looks. "Hand Holding A Bowl Of Rice" Mixed-Use Bldg + Metro Station 8200 sq Ft Designed by April Grecian in Korean, Los Angles, Ca April also works with many kinds of design and art.For instance with her piece hand holding a bowl of rice which consists of a massive image from a video of a hand holding a bowl full of rice, that has been made into a huge mosaic that looks almost isolated and was then painted onto the ends of two buildings in Korean in Los Angles. She made this such a big installation because of the huge impact that rice has on the world with the majority of the world consuming it more than any other cereal grain. Postage Stamp by April Grimmer (GAGA) In 1995 April was contracted by the U.
S.Postal Service to design a stamp to commemorate the 19th Amendment which gave women the right to vote and prohibits anyone from being denied a vote due to their sex. Having April design the stamp was very symbolic as she was a woman who had made a real name for herself n a field where there were not many women present much less making such strides and enthusiastically throwing herself into this whole new world of digital media in regards to graphic design and art. It is no coincidence that these two artists/graphic designers George Olden and April Grecian were chosen to do such symbolic and memorable stamps for the U.S.
Postal Service. George made such strides in the graphic design field and opened so many doors for other people of color at a time when so many doors were closed to them making it practically impossible for them to succeed. Because of the success that he ad and the places that he worked in it opened many people's minds to the fact that there was a place for other people of color so having him design a stamp celebrating the Emancipation Proclamation was a wonderful symbol of the strides he helped people of color make.April Grecian as a woman was a true pioneer in the area of embracing the new technologies of video and computers in her art and graphic design work. She helped to open the graphic design world to a whole new world and ushered in the digital age that we now live in. There were not many other women who fully embraced these mediums in the same way and the work she did to aiming for their inclusion into design programs went far to opening more doors for other women in the graphic design field to step into this new digital world.
Not only did George and April help to create a new and better environment for graphic designers and artists, but they also helped to open doors for people of color and for women all over the world Just by the success that they had in their lives. Their legacies go far beyond the art they have done and reach out beyond to the world as a whole. Citations "April Grecian. " GAGA I the professional association for design.