Back in the old days, graphic design was a much simpler profession. You used traditional art techniques and designed graphics for print ads and products. Today, there are many more options to pursue in this field – from designing games to websites, animations, logos, and more. It’s not easy being a graphic designer these days with the high competition in the industry, but it can be done if you have what it takes to make it happen! This list of the greatest graphic designers of all time will inspire and motivate you!
How Did I Curate This List?
Today, I want to introduce you to the GOATs of graphic design. The greatest of all time. This is a list of 10 designers, and unfortunately, I’m not on this list yet. But, I wanted to make a list that’s going to impact you, that’s going to inspire you, and hopefully spark something in you that it sparked in me, which is passion. This article is to recognize all the greats of our graphic design industry all the people that have come before us.
I also wanted to feature the people who are still out there impacting and bringing a ton of value to the industry and hopefully will inspire future generations and impact their careers in this industry as a whole. I want to start by saying that this curated list contains my personal choices, my preferences, and you may have a difference of opinion. You may even disagree with me, and that’s okay. But, I picked these graphic designers based on three categories: style, creativity, and impact.
The Greatest Graphic Designers Have Style
The first category is style. The style of their artwork has influenced me, is something that I follow, and is something that has inspired a large number of other people. This goes hand in hand with creativity, which is the second criterion, but style is also about recognition. Your individual style is like a signature that immediately marks a design like yours.
The Greatest Graphic Designers Value Creativity
Number two is creativity; the greatest graphic designers have created some of my favorite pieces that I’ve seen in this industry. They’re always pushing boundaries, and they’re always innovating things to do new innovative things with their designs. And whether it’s through technology or just being so creative on a project for what seemed like an impossible brief, they will rise up to any challenge you put before them.
The Greatest Graphic Designers Make an Impact
Finally, the impact is important as well. These are the greatest graphics designers who have made an impact on our lives one way or another either by inspiring us as artists or as entrepreneurs. How have they impacted the industry? How have they impacted businesses, and how have they impacted other designers? These designers I’m going to talk about have dramatically impacted my career and have influenced the way that I design, the way I run my business, and where I’m going in my career. Some of them have written books, some have made tv shows, some of them have done some pretty incredible things, and so I’m taking that into consideration as well.
Top Ten Greatest Graphic Designers
Thank you for taking the time to read this article. I wanted to let you know that being a graphic designer might be difficult at times, and remaining inspired may become even more difficult. It’s easy for us to get burnt out; we work late hours of the night, and most graphic designers aren’t paid what they’re worth, so it’s more vital than ever to follow people who can inspire you. When you follow their work, you’ll have a place where you can go to get ideas, acquire inspiration, and really learn and grow as a graphic designer. Because your vibe attracts your tribe, and the more you surround yourself with inspiring people, the more it’s going to impact your work.
When they create a new article comment, I want you to interact with them. I want you to attempt to establish relationships with these people since they have programs and coaching and other unique opportunities that allow you to get involved with them and learn because iron definitely sharpens iron, and being in proximity with legendary individuals such as this will have a significant impact on your career. Because Brian Ferry made a major impact on my career very early on, about ten years ago, and it led me to where I am today.
The first one is Scott Martin from Burnt Toast Creative, who has worked for Samsung, Wix, and Google. I mean, you name it; he’s done it all! He just debuted on the scene for me; I just discovered him about six months ago. His work is incredible, so if you go check out his Instagram here (which I would strongly advise you to do), you’ll notice that he has 269k followers. That’s a huge influence.
He’s doing NFTs; he’s doing tutorials; he’s doing a lot for the community, a lot for the industry. Beyond just creating amazing artwork, his style is brilliant, and his creativity is brilliant. It’s so funny. It’s so comical: the way he uses different colors than you see most designers using. The creativity behind this guy is just second to none; I don’t think I’ve ever seen anybody that does it on this level like Scott. When I’m working on my kid’s book series, I’ll probably be following a similar approach to what he did here since I’m so influenced by it. The crisp, clean lines that he creates are wonderful, and I’d want to emulate them in my work as well.
The third one, as you can see in the video, is David Soto, or @aka.dope. He’s also a member and curator of The Dope Type Society and shares his process in his videos. He always explains exactly what he’s doing and how he’s having an impact and inspiring lots of graphic designers. When you look him up, be sure to pause for a second to just absorb his work because it is so incredibly inspirational. His designs are amazing motivational-type material with typography logos.
This guy has such a broad range of styles, from graffiti to the very elegant sophisticated monogram work. I just really like his designs; he’s done a lot of fantastic work for various firms, including Coca-Cola, Pfizer, and Burlington. His work is incredibly iconic and classic, which is why I wanted to put him on my list of the greatest graphic designers–this guy is one of the greatest ever! I believe we’re at the very beginning of his career, and we’ll see much more from him.
Let’s move on to number three, which is Alex Trochut. He has a massive audience with 100,000 followers. He’s really specialized; his profile says “digital craftsman,” but he’s so much more than that. He does lettering and graphic design as well as 3-dimensional work. He’s even getting into the NFT space as well. (Many exceptional graphic designers are entering that space right now, and there’s significant momentum happening there.)
His work shows high levels of detail to build beautiful, high-quality graphic design. He has worked for Tums, Pepsi, Nike, and Adobe–and that’s why he made an appearance on this list. His work is recognizable and unique. He does logos in a wide style range; he can really do anything, as far as I’m concerned. Everything I’ve seen so far varies widely between elegant typography, intricate illustration, and creative design.
Number four is Michael Fugoso, otherwise known as Fugstrator. Since our video designer, Ian, Introduced me to him a few weeks ago, I’ve been looking at his work, and this guy has some pretty incredible skill and talent. If you look through his work on Instagram, you’ll see that he’s done design work for very well-known brands like Adobe, Nike, NASA, and SpaceX. He has such a unique style, and his creativity is just incredible.
He’s known for his amazing augmented reality designs, and I wanted to include him in this list because he’s venturing into new territories of augmented reality and virtual reality. He’s taking his designs and creating these multi-layered looks that are gorgeous and memorable. There are not a lot of designers out there that are able to do VR/AR design on this level. Fugstrator sets the bar and a new standard, and he represents the future of graphic design. His work is cutting-edge, and I know he’s impacting a lot of people with his tutorials and his training videos.
The next GOAT is Mr. Bryan Ferre, one of my mentors and friends. Unfortunately, I’m not able to show you much of his work because he does not have a large quantity of it on his Behance profile. If you go to his website, you’ll notice that he’s getting into the blockchain crypto world, like the NFT space. I just want to tell you that you should look up his website, follow him on Facebook, and check out his stuff on Behance if you can.
He’s done stuff for Unison Solar and for Prodigal. He’s done some of the biggest brands out there; I’ve watched his work over the years, and he just continuously innovates. He actually just put out a book on graphic design, and he’s made a big impact on me personally and professionally. That’s why I wanted to share his name with you and give you some context for how I know him. He literally is a legend in the design community. He’s done seven-figure deals in the graphic design industry, and he’s definitely somebody that you should be following if you’re not already.
Number six on this list is a legend. John Alvin has several fan pages on Instagram, which people have created for his work, but there was nothing that really did him justice. If you look him up on Google Images, you can see some of the amazing, high-profile work he’s done: Lion King, Aladdin, E.T., Beauty and the Beast, Blade Runner, Star Wars, Pulp Fiction, and Star Trek barely touch the surface. If you name a huge graphic design project, he’s done it all.
Every movie poster he creates is pure gold to a film buff like me. He’s worked on some of the biggest movies of all time, including Hook, Indiana Jones, and Jurassic Park. This guy is an absolute legend. He’s one of the most recognizable graphic designers out there, and he’s one of the innovators and pioneers of our industry. I’ve learned a lot from him; he was one of the first graphic designers that I studied, and his work has impacted millions of people around the globe through these huge brands.
Sagi Haviv doesn’t have a personal page, but I’m including his business profile for his agency because he’s just fantastic. If you haven’t seen his designs, I would go to Domestica and type in his name. Check out his work and also follow his agency’s page. Their work is incredible; it’s probably the most minimalist and the simplest, but it is some of the most impactful logo design and branding work you’ll ever see.
They’ve done incredibly iconic brands like Animal Planet and NBC; they even rebranded The US Open. Sagi Haviv is one of the people that I really look up to. This guy is a legend in the field. He has a really cool and very informative master class that I watched on Domestica, and I would really encourage anyone reading this to take his class and learn from someone whose work you’ve probably seen on a daily basis.
Number eight is somebody that I followed really early on in my career, as well; his name is Jacob Cass. He posts his work on his Instagram page, and he has around 41,000 people following him. He’s created some amazing brands–some really iconic brands–, and he did this branding alphabet project that’s absolutely incredible. Jacob Cass did the Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee logo.
he’s done tons and tons of really well-known brands: Work.io, Techsmart, and Syndicate are some of my favorites. His clean, elevated, and brilliantly creative work is phenomenal; his process is phenomenal; he really sets the bar very high for graphic designers. He’s taught and inspired millions of graphic designers with his blog, and that’s what I’ve linked above.
With Paula Scher, I’ve linked her Behance because she doesn’t really have an Instagram presence. If the name sounds familiar, she’s the one that was responsible for drawing the city logo on a napkin and selling it for 1.5 million dollars or so. Her work is very iconic; Windows Shake Shack, CNN, and Tiffany and Company have all used her graphic design work. She’s part of a big agency called Pentagram and her work is so widely known that she was featured in an episode of Netflix’s documentary, Abstract.
She’s really good with typography, really good with logos, and she’s a partner at Pentagram. Paula Scher is an absolute legend in the field. You can’t do the greatest ever list of graphic designers without putting Paula Scher on the list—she’s just a legend. If you love Paula Scher, join our Instagraphics Pro Group and tell me all about it!
This is somebody that honestly is probably my favorite of all time artist if I could do a video on just him, I would but this guy has inspired me in such a major way and helped me level up my career. I’ve messaged him on Instagram a few times he’s gone back and forth just telling me how much he appreciates me every time I need to get inspiration, this is the go-to profile. His name is Jeff Granito.
Jeff Granito Designs is on Instagram. He’s got a pretty good following, almost 60,000 people. He’s well known for his work with Disney, he does a ton of Disney merchandise. You can just see his work on his profile. He has a specific and super unique style with how he does like the splotchiness and kind of just the style he does this shading on all of his artwork. He is hands down one of the greatest graphic designers–one of the greatest artists period–out there. I don’t think it gets better than Jeff Granito.
The final piece is for you to invest. Not only do I want you to spend your time on these businesses, but I also want you to invest your money in anything these graphic designers with the GOATs of graphic design have created. A lot of them have published courses and tutorials. I want you to make the investment and put yourself in proximity with them because if you surround yourself with legends, you become a legend. If you spend time with nine millionaires, you’re going to become the tenth. If you hang out with nine of the greatest graphic designers, what do you think will happen? You’ll become the tenth.
So it’s really important to surround yourself to stay inspired to follow them and to engage. It’s a two-way street, you need to give back to them just like they’re giving back to you so make the investment and take the time and put your money where your mouth is and go all-in if you want to be a GOAT. Thank you guys so much for watching, I’m Adrian Boysel. I’ll see you on the next video article, and as always, keep looking up.