Eva Machauf | COMD 3501 OL26 | Fall 2020

Category: WEEK 4: Paula Scher 1, Artist Series Video

Hillman Curtis Artist Series Video

Paula Scher

Paula Scher is a great designer and she uses very simple elements to achieve great results.In particular, the Citi Bank logo is very simple but amazing.She is good at drawing by hand, directly pointing out the characteristics and themes of the brand, and then drawing a good finished product.She has a classic quote: “It took me a few seconds to draw it, but it took me 34 years to learn to draw it in a few seconds.”

Artist Series: Paula Scher – Week 4

Paula Scher’s video was really interesting and inspiring for me: The process of understanding and analyzing is fascinating. In this video she shares many of her creative processes such as: The Jazz logo at the Lincoln Center, Funk posters all over New York City and the Citibank logo.

The Jazz logo that she designed represents this musical genre. She uses the concept of syncopation.  For me this logo represents jazz.

I can say: I did not know until I saw this video that she was the designer of the Citibank logo. She designed it on a napkin and it took her only a minute at the first meeting. it’s great!

Practically, It only takes a minute for her to design (sketch). She has been doing it for 34 years and it is how her head works. That is what is fascinating: Her vision and creativity.

Finally, something to keep in mind. She says:  “The computer makes me feel like I don’t have hands because I don’t design directly, everything is digital. It doesn’t smell like art supplies, it just smells like a car. “

Paula Scher Week 4

I remember learning about Paula Scher in a course I think it was Communication Design 1 in Spring 2017 semester, I was given her name to work on as a project and I finished up doing a mood board of her and her work. She amazes me since she made a logo within 5 minutes that all begun out from a small napkin sketch. She made me learn that no matter where you sketch the greatest ideas come from 1 little piece of paper, or for her, 1 little napkin sketch. Which is by the way worth 1.5 million dollars. Paula Scher has been an motivation for me she ambitious , a trailblazer and a icon within the field of graphic design and she inspires me to get more into the graphic design field more as an illustrator.


Attached on the bottom is a poster I’ve done for class a long time ago dedicated to Paula Scher

Paula Scher :Artist series

I do remember learning about Paula Scher in a class in which I had last semester and the hand drawn Music posters she did and I thought they were really fascinatingas well as her maps.After watching this video, it still shocks me that it took her minutes  to design the citi bank logo, on a napkin nonetheless and this logo is seen all around in regards to advertising, commercials, the banks itself, and the citi bikes and  with 34 yrs of experience she’s able to capture the essence of a brand in one or two tries.I also like the advice her professor gave her in regards to illustrating with typography and making it pop out and sometimes it doesn’t feel right when typing it on a computer which I totally get. Nonetheless she a visionary , innovator and a legend in the field of graphic design

Paula Scher

In my freshman year of college, I came to admire the work of Paula Scher. I assume she is one of the most popular graphic designers in the world. Scher straddles the line between pop culture in her fiction and fine art. To all woman graphic designers, she is a voice that is no longer a company for men.

Perhaps that’s the story behind the famous logo of Citi Bank. Finishing in just five minutes on a napkin, selling it for $1.5 million. That’s what I love about her unbelievable creativity and vision, Paula Scher.

Paula Scher: Artist Series

Graphic Designer Paula Scher explains in the artist series that experience plays a major part in her design process and how she is able to come up with ideas in just a second or as she puts it “It’s done in a second in 34 years”. When she was designing the CITIBANK logo for two merging companies she took the lettermark from one and a symbol from the other and merged it and that was it. Her experiences gave her the ability to be intune with herself that she is able to base all her designs on her instincts. 

Paula map painting really gives an insight on who she is and how her career started; her map shows her attention to detail with the hand written type and the amount of patience. All of her original ideas were done by hand because at that time they had no computers,it’s not like our generation where computers are so accessible that we can go online to get inspiration from all over the world with a click of a button. Paula always got inspired by walking around manhattan.

One of Paula Scher’s influential pieces was the funk designs posters which she used  typography to show noise surrounding an image.The funk posters reminded me of Filippo Marinetti Manifesto Les Mots en liberté futuristes Also known as Futuristic words in freedom that expressed enthusiasm for war using typography as noise.

“There is this one moment when you figure it out and you get it and you think it’s gonna be the best thing you ever did” if she feels this way about every design no wonder she is able to top her last designs. She loves what she does an it is expressed in her art.


Artist Series: Paula Scher

According to “Artist Series: Paula Scher”, what should be reflected in a logo is that it should be syncopated. I, too, did not know what this word meant until she explained it. What I enjoyed about the video is when they started talking about adding movement to text. I personally enjoy seeing posters that have text going in all different directions. It adds more of a personality to the posters in my opinion. There are times where it is needed to add movement into text to attract the viewers’ attention, especially if the information on it is something such as a theater Ad where there is entertainment. I found it interesting that the Citibank logo was made in such a short amount of time, considering how well it works. I would’ve imagined a lot of thought and process and especially time, went into it.

Paula Scher : Artist Series

I remember Paula Scher when I’m taking the history class. When first looking at her work, I was shocked about how she has done all these designs and sketches by hand. Her hands are powerful. During her time, she all she got was her hand, it’s not like now we got a computer, we can go online to get ideas from others. When she talks about how the music typography was design to look like it makes noise and how it became an identity, a style of public theatre. I love it! I love her the maps that she sketches. I agree with her that design is something that you work by hand. When she talks about the logo of Citi bank, I can’t imagine she done that logo in a second. Everything is in her head.

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.


The Paula Scher video was really interesting and inspiring for me as an aspiring designer hearing a well know designer’s experiences and tips are really helpful. a large takeaway from the video is Paula’s approach to her designs as in she goes by intuition and what comes to her mind or either has it in three takes or she doesn’t have it at all and to me, I feel something similar to that like my ideas like hers are usually random and explosive sometimes and just come out and hearing a fellow designer express similar traits are really inspiring of being on the right track or having the feeling of getting really excited or pumped for a project and that’s what drives her forward as well as I want something as such to keep pushing me forward and to drive me as well in my career.

Virginia S. – Paula Scher Video Response

Watching the Artist Series on Paula Scher I can see her process when designing and her interesting personality.  Beginning with the Jazz logo,  Scher is able to use a conversation she had with Wynton Marsalis,  the artistic director of Jazz,  as the basis for the new logo. The keyword from this conversation being “syncopated” a musical term used to describe a variety of rhythms being played in unison, or described in the video as having “a bunch of things in order and one is off”.  Using this information she would add a small square inside the rounded “a” in jazz to reflect this.  Creating an effortlessly iconic logo, something Paula Scher is known for in her work.

In the video Scher adds, she works on instinct allowing her to finish her work quickly.  However, she goes on to say that it may seem quick but actually took all of her experiences and interests to get to the point of being able to do something so instinctual.  As I read her biography on the AIGA website I could see her nod to the famous graphic designer Herbert Matter in her poster “Swatch Watch USA”,  revealing her influences and how she playfully uses them in instances.

Jerry Neira

It’s really amazing how Paula can create any typography she wants and use it to her advantage. I’ve never really been strong when it comes to typography since I focus on symbols and everything else. In order to create and refine customized letters is quite a feat in the design world. What I want to know from her is what’s the best way to create custom type. I wonder how her mind works when she creates her typography. She really is honest and straight forward when it comes to her design process.

Paula Scher Artist Series Video

This is the first time for me to see a video where Paula Scher is talking and to be honest all her designs speak for her energy, she got a great energy which is reflected in all her designs. She has an amazing spirit, I really loved the part where she said the design of Funk’s posters made Noise, it was loud, visible and original. 

Her typography was designed to make a statement and an identity, then it became a popularized style where the design speaks about itself. You see other posters and know that these belong to the others you saw somewhere else. I find it very hard at her time where there was no place or social media for them to search and get inspired about an idea, they had original ideas that weren’t somewhere else and they also worked with type presses they had no computers! As she also mentioned that all she got was her hands. It’s mind-blowing to be honest for me.