Eva Machauf | COMD 3501 OL26 | Fall 2020

Artist Series: Paula Scher

The vimeo Artist Series taught me about Paula Scher’s thought process. There were so many parts that stood out to me.

In the beginning she describes the importance of knowing your clients through her experience making the Jazz Logo. What I found important was how Scher wants to be able to give back someone’s values to them through the logo. 

Then later in the video she explains what makes identities special comes from what you know. You have to take all the experiences and knowledge you have. She says “…but it is done in a second. It’s done in a second and 34 years. A second with every experience and every movie and everything of my life that’s in my head”. Scher has strong instincts which helps her work intuitively. The negative is clients like to buy processes, so working quickly can often catch people off guard. (I look forward to the days I can write logos on a napkin and walk out of meetings proudly.)

I enjoyed her noise funk series at the Public Theater in 1996-99. It really stood out to me because she made typography move with and around the photograph.

Then I found it interesting how she never goes past the thumbnail stage. That she has so much trust in her team to produce her visions. 

At the end of the video Scher says her teacher told her to illustrate with type. You don’t type a design, you illustrate it. 

The final take away for me was how she lives for the one moment when you get the logo right. It was inspiring and impressive how that hasn’t changed 34 years.

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  1. Li Yan

    I enjoyed her noise funk series at the Public Theater too. I remember seeing that throughout when I’m taking COMD type classes. I still can’t believe she sketched the Citi bank design in a second.

  2. Matthew Rivera

    It still baffles me how she’s able to encapture aomething and hit something right on the nail in just one try like her citi bank logo. I myself am quite a fan of her noise funk series and find them to be very fun.

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