Design Fundamentals: Paula Scher

This sentiment of “Designing the logo isn’t the hard job, it’s persuading a million people to use it” is basically exactly what Jonathan Hoefler said about his fontfaces in the last episode. It really does seem to be a common theme in the design world that artistic ability isn’t the end-all-be-all. There’s unfortunately quite a bit of bureaucracy and other humans to have to deal with.

Building off that, I found the bit where she was explaining the benefits of the logo for the Public Theater to be really interesting especially since it was visualized. It really displays her experience with having done this so many times, that she can break down what happens at each stage and already know what to expect long before the actual client meeting.

Another common theme that she shares with Hoefler is letting the feel of the graphics drive how the final piece will look like. The show did a good job of juxtaposing her descriptions of the emotions that a font instills in her with a video of the scenery it reminds her of. The visual of how changing the height of the crossbar on an E can drastically change the feel of the letter was another really good lens on the minute details of the typography world.

Her map projects were crazy cool! Seeing just one, I was like ok this must’ve taken a lot of time and attention to detail. But then when she revealed the whole other stack of similar projects I was blown away. I’ve experienced something similar while created drawings that take a few months of daily work to complete. While in the midst of it, I’d be thinking about how I’d love to do more of this style, but by the time of completion, I’m sick of the whole thing and want to move onto something new. That fact that she’s stuck with this theme for so long is really impressive.