Last updated on February 14th, 2018
As a graphic designer, where do you get inspiration from? Most probably, like many designers, you idealize and follow your favorite graphic design. In case you are undecided, how about having a whole list of graphic designers whose works are widely considered as landmarks in the modern design history.
One question must be crossing your mind now, Why do you need to know about such inspirational designers in your career? There are many reasons for the same, firstly for creative energy and for your evolution as a designer. Legendary designer Hillman Curtis rightly says ‘the goal of a designer is to listen, observe, understand, sympathize, empathize, synthesize, and glean insights that enable him or her to ‘make the invisible visible.’
Do you remember the first time you saw a piece of art? And the heady feeling that you experienced when you saw it? That feeling which pushed you to create your own art? That was an inspiration.If you are a graphic designer, you probably seek inspiration from all around you. But every once in a while, you come across the art of another graphic designers which makes you want to get back to the board and create your own masterpiece.
We are listing out some of the most creative and amazing designers to inspire you and help you get that creativity flowing!
Here Are Top 50 Amazing Graphic Designers You Should Know
01. Jason Santa Maria
Currently the Design Director at Slate, he loves experimenting with Typography and traditional print design. Check out his website for his latest works and projects.
02. Khoi Vinh
The Principal Designer at Adobe, Design Chair at Wildcard and co-founder of Kidpost, Khoi works on creating stunning website designs.
03. Dana Tanamachi
If you love typography and lettering, she is the designer you look for inspiration. Having her own line of Tanamachi Goods, she specializes in beautiful custom typography for brands.
You may be a graphic designer who is dedicated to creating wonders in typography based designs. Just continue learning from iconic designers and improve typography in your designs.
04. David Carson
Moving away from the norm is his trademark style. Often pushing the boundaries of ‘acceptable’ design, David works across both print and digital medium.
05. Lauren Hom
A letterer and graphic designer, she is behind the exquisite typography of several brands like Starbucks, Google, and AT&T. She puts up her designs on her website ‘Hom Sweet Hom.’
06. Frank Chimero
Looking for publication design inspiration? Frank is your guy. He specializes in publication design and digital design system; he has also written a book ‘Shape of Design.’
07. Nicholas Felton
One of the lead graphic designers of Facebook’s timeline, Nicholas creates functional designs and specializes in creating stunning visuals of maps, graphs, statistics and social media design.
08. Debbie Millman
Just hearing her speak on her podcast ‘Design Matters’ is inspiration enough! For over 20 years as the director of Sterling Brands, she has redesigned big brands like Burger King.
It may be that packaging design is your passion and you take delight in creating amazing packaging designs. Then, take inspiration from icons like Debbie Millman.
And, in case you are a business owner in need of product designs, visit crowdsourcing platforms like Designhill to get plenty of new design ideas. This is an ideal marketplace to source trendy design ideas at low price. You get your entire money back from the site if none of the designs are to your satisfaction.
09. Allan Peters
The current Associate Creative Director at Target, Peter specializes in bold and effective visuals. He has in fact created the iconic Target logo!
10. Aaron Draplin
Aaron runs his own design firm and works with several brands on their corporate design.
11. Violaine & Jeremy
An electic style is what you get with this designer duo, who works on everything from illustrations to corporate designing.
12. Viktor Hertz
Icons and Pictograms, if that’s your thing you should follow Viktor. He has started the ‘Noun Project’ as well which is one the largest icon libraries online.
13. Chuck Anderson
Electric and Vivid, that’s Chuck’s design style. He runs his own agency ‘No Pattern’ and has worked with international brands like ESPN, Microsoft, and Nike.
14. Roanne Adams
Roanne has founded her own design agency – RoandCo, which works with lifestyle, tech and beauty brands to create fantastic designs.
15. Brian Hoff
Brian creates beautiful and functional designs for the web and mobile platforms. He also works with product and user experience design.
Iconic designers like Brian Hoff have inspired many budding graphic designers to take up app icon or button design seriously.
16. Scott Hansen
He is both an artist (ISO50) and musician (TYCHO) creating path-breaking art. He is a self-taught designer and works especially with clean layouts and designs that are clutter free.
17. Dave Foster
He is a freelancer and works with creative agencies and brands for creating attractive typefaces and lettering.
18. Michael Beirut
A partner at Pentagram, Michael has worked with brands for all kinds of designs, packaging design, exhibition design and graphic design.
19. Joshua Smith
Also known as Hydro74, Joshua has created bold and influential designs and worked with brands like EA Sports, Lucasfilm, and Nike.
20. Alex Trochut
His designs are a perfect inspiration for the seamless mix of language and visuals. He specializes in design and typography.
21. John Maeda
John runs his own studio now MaedaStudio and is an authority in design trends in tech ecosystems.
22. Alex Center
He is a fantastic packaging design expert and currently works with Coca-Cola and heads the design strategy for their Powerade, Vitaminwater & Smartwater.
23. Dan Cassaro
He is a designer who works on typeface, lettering and logo design. Currently, he runs a design studio, ‘Young Jerks’ with another artist – Dan Christofferson.
If you too want to make it big in logo designing world, make sure that you know how to design logos in this digital era.
24. Lousie Fili
Starting her career as a book cover designer, Louise is now running her own studio which specializes in restaurant and food packaging design.
25. Shepard Fairey
The man behind the ‘Hope’ posters of Obama, Shepard understands the power of political imagery. He does a lot of exhibitions, street art as well fine art.
26. Tina Roth Eisenberg
Popular in the online world as ‘Swiss Miss’, Tina runs a popular design thought the blog and pursued her creative personal projects seriously.
27. Tom Muller
The flashy movie posters, edgy comic book designs and unique web designs are a specialty of Tom Muller who now works with international brands with his agency ‘Hello Muller’.
28. Erik Spiekermann
You will understand his craziness in his own words, ‘I have been suffering from Typomania all my life, a sickness that is incurable but not lethal.’
29. Craig Ward
His website URL ‘words are pictures’ itself indicates his love for typography. He is also an artist but best known for his typography work.
30. Joshua Davis
If you believe science is art and Joshua’s unique graphics style of using rule-based randomized processes to create art will excite you.
31. Kelli Anderson
Old school meets New Media in her artwork, she has a unique style where she creates graphics through drawing, photographing, cutting, coding and printing!
32. Simon Prades
He works with pencil or ink on paper and digital coloring, he has worked with several publishing houses and media outlets.
33. Seb Lester
Creating iconic visuals with typeface and lettering is Seb’s passion. He has worked with brands like Intel, Apple, NASA to create logos and illustrations.
34. Stefan Sagmeister
Currently he runs a firm Sagmeister and Walsh that is a full-service studio. However, his own design style has been to always to create shock and awe!
35. Jon Contino
Jon runs his own studio where he works with brands creating unique designs for apparels, TV & Film, publishing, and retail.
36. David Airey
He works with companies to create their brands as he says ‘People are more likely to buy from you if the quality of what you sell is matched, or surpassed, by the quality of your brand identity.’
37. Erik Marinovich
He is a lettering artist and designer based out of San Francisco. He has worked with companies like Google, Facebook and Nike to create unique designs.
38. Sean McCabe
His entire career has been set around lettering, from working on individual projects to teaching others about lettering! You can follow his work on his blog ‘seanwes’.
39. Lotta Nieminen
She is an illustrator and graphic designer and was featured in Forbes Annual ’30 under 30’ list in Art & Lifestyle category.
40. Mike Perry
The quirkiness hits you as you navigate through his website. An artist, graphic designer, and illustrator, Mike also works on animation and branding projects.
41. Timothy Goodman
Starting as a book cover designer, he has moved onto unique projects such as ’40 Days of Dating’ and ’12 Kind of Kindness’ which combines art and the real world in a twisted way!
42. Llew Mejia
Colors, Textures, and Details stand out in Llew’s work. He is an illustrator and works with clients like Starbucks, Chipotle, and Target.
43. Jacob Cass
A logo design and branding expert, Jacob has worked with the likes of Disney and Nintendo to create trademark logos.
44. Jessic Hische
Jessica is a lettering expert and creates wonderful design with letters. She has worked as an illustrator and type designer in many companies.
45. Jon Hicks
You would have come across his work for sure, having created iconic logos for Mailchimp, Firefox, and Skype. He has also written the book ‘The Icon Handbook.’
46. Steven Heller
Having worked as an art director for 30 years at the New York Times, Steven has created a legacy for himself, also having authored over 170 books on the design!
47. Richard Perez
Cute, Quirky, and Comic – Richard has created designs that appeal to the child in you. He has worked for Google, Fitbit, and Facebook.
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48. Dan Cederholm
He is the guru of web design and is a longtime advocate of standards-based web design. Web graphic designers at Designhill follow his work/blog to get inspired and create fantastic websites for their clients.
49. Jessica Walsh
The other half of Saigmeister and Walsh, Jessica is known for her youthful work full of attitude, appealing to the millennial!
50. Becca Clason
Becca has taken lettering to the next level and creates works in stop-motion. She also works with photography.
Inspiration can come from anywhere. But if you are a graphic designer, what can be more inspiring other than just glancing at the works of some of the greatest iconic designers? This list mentions legendary designers whose works are a landmark. Take inspirations from their works.