As a teenager, Art Paul had a rebellious nature, so he was surprised
when his high school art teacher submitted his work to a scholarship
competition—that he won—for the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
His education was interrupted when he volunteered for Air Corps Service
in World War II. On his return, Paul chose instead to attend the
Institute of Design at the Illinois Institute of Technology.
He was working as a freelance illustrator when Hugh Hefner offered
him artistic autonomy in starting a magazine from scratch—Paul accepted,
and Playboy was born. At the beginning, Hefner and Paul were the
only two employees and had what Paul describes as an ideal editor–art
director relationship of mutual respect and flexibility.
His design of the Playboy rabbit is said to be so successful
because it was a symbol rather than a trademark. It is a testament to
Paul’s design acumen that the rabbit invokes universal recognition even
without the Playboy name.
Paul led what Print magazine called the “Illustration
Liberation Movement,” and in so doing, made Playboy the most
visually exciting magazine of the day. At first, because Playboy
was financially limited, Paul turned to lesser-known Chicago artists in
whose work he had faith. He is credited with supporting many well-known
artists early in their careers, artists such as Brad Holland, Paul
Davis, Ed Paschke, Kinuko Craft and Robert Lostutter, to name a few.
Paul has earned numerous awards for his work for Playboy and
for his own illustration, photography and design, including a number of
special awards: from the Society of Typographic Arts, the Art Directors
Club of Boston, the Art Directors of Philadelphia, the Polycube Award
from the City of Milan, Italy, and, from the IIT Institute of Design,
the Professional Achievement Award.
Paul once stated, “Good design principles should apply to bubble gum
wrappers as well as museum posters.”
Each year, the AIGA Medal is awarded to individuals in recognition of their distinguished achievements, services or other contributions to the field of design. The contribution may be in the practice of design, teaching, writing or leadership of the profession. Read on to learn more about how Medalists are chosen, selection criteria and the awards process.
Section: Inspiration -
Using graphic designers’ median salary, cost of living, and location quotient, ValuePenguin determines the best U.S. cities for graphic designers. Life as a designer is different in each of them, but altogether, life is good.
Section: Inspiration -
career, graphic design, ux design
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