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Areas of distinction: Identity design, packaging design,
publication design, environmental graphics
For more than three decades Paula Scher has been at the
forefront of graphic design. Iconic, smart and unabashedly
populist, her images have entered into the American vernacular.
Scher has been a principal in the New York office of the
distinguished international design consultancy Pentagram since
1991. She began her career as an art director in the 1970s and
early '80s, when her eclectic approach to typography became highly
influential. In the mid-1990s her landmark identity for The Public
Theater fused high and low into a wholly new symbology for cultural
institutions, and her recent architectural collaborations have
re-imagined the urban landscape as a dynamic environment of
dimensional graphic design. Her graphic identities for Citibank and
Tiffany & Co. have become case studies for the contemporary
regeneration of classic American brands.
Scher has developed identities, packaging for a broad range of
clients that includes, among others, The New York Times
Magazine, Perry Ellis, Bloomberg, Target, Jazz at Lincoln
Center, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the New Jersey Performing
Arts Center, the New 42nd Street, the New York Botanical Garden,
and The Daily Show With Jon Stewart. In 1996 Scher's widely
imitated identity for the Public Theater won the coveted Beacon
Award for integrated corporate design strategy. She serves on the
board of The Public Theater, and is a frequent design contributor
to The New York Times, GQ and other publications.
In 1998 Scher was named to the Art Directors Club Hall of Fame,
and in 2000 she received the prestigious Chrysler Award for
Innovation in Design. She has served on the national board of AIGA
and was president of its New York chapter from 1998 to 2000. In
2001 she received the profession's highest honor, the AIGA Medal,
in recognition of her distinguished achievements and contributions
to the field. She is a member of the Alliance Graphique
Internationale. Her work is represented in the permanent
collections of the Museum of Modern Art and the Cooper-Hewitt
National Design Museum, New York; the Library of Congress,
Washington, D.C.; the Museum für Gestaltung Zürich; the Denver Art
Museum; and the Bibliothèque nationale de France and the Centre
Georges Pompidou, Paris.
Scher holds a BFA from the Tyler School of Art and a Doctor of
Fine Arts Honoris Causa from the Corcoran College of Art and
Design. She has lectured and exhibited all over the world, and her
teaching career includes over two decades at the School of Visual
Arts, along with positions at the Cooper Union, Yale University and
the Tyler School of Art. She has authored numerous articles on
design-related subjects for the AIGA Journal of Graphic Design,
PRINT, Graphis and other publications, and in
2002 Princeton Architectural Press published her career monograph
Make It Bigger.
The distinguished AIGA Medal is awarded to individuals in recognition of their exceptional achievements in the field of design.
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