Switching from Print to Digital

Are you a designer considering a switch from print to digital design? Whether you’re looking to diversify or shift your design focus entirely, it’s clear that websites and digital design have become a standard of the design landscape. Check out this good advice from Skillcrush (including mine) on how to make the transition. And good luck!

GD USA People to Watch

I’m honored to be included in Graphic Design USA’s People to Watch in 2016, a list of creatives that, in the past, has included icons such as Saul Bass, Milton Glaser, and Massimo Vignelli. From the magazine: “GDUSA starts each year by choosing a group of People To Watch who embody the spirit of the creative community. Individuals we have come to know and respect for a combination of talent, leadership, success, newsworthiness and community service. In a field so deep in talent and broad in numbers, this is clearly a subjective process. Still, for five decades, it has seemed to work out pretty well: the roster of past participants is star-studded, to say the least. The 2016 group adds to the glow.” I’m happy to be in such great company.

Best of 2014

Fast Company’s Co.Design gave me 2 great honors. They named Graphic Icons one of The Best Design Books of 2014 (which also includes greats like Paul Rand and Abbott Miller), writing “In this crucial book for any design lover, Clifford takes readers on a history tour illustrated with the work of the world’s most famous graphic designers.” They also include my work among The Most Important Design Lessons of 2014 and write “John Clifford takes a spin through history to show how yesterday’s design pioneers have influenced, and continue to inspire, today’s designers.” It’s a thrill. Thank you, Fast Company!

Reviews, Interviews & Excerpts

Very thankful for the positive reviews and mention of Graphic Icons: Visionaries Who Shaped Modern Graphic DesignDesigners and Books has named Graphic Icons a Notable Design Book of 2013. Allison Arieff writes: “Clifford’s reverence for the greats of the profession is apparent on every gorgeous page of the book. Sure to become required reading for any graphic design student (but also ideal for the coffee table), Graphic Icons is 240 pages of pure inspiration.” Read the full review.

Dominic Flask, of the site Design is History, asked me 5 questions about the book, and the role of history in the practice of design. Read that interview at The Designers Review of Books. Nate Burgos at Design Feast asked me many great questions about Graphic Icons, as well as about creativity, design, and working. Check out the interview.

“In addition to being more logical, asymmetry has the advantage that its complete appearance is far more optically effective than symmetry.” German designer Jan Tschichold wrote The New Typography, a radical type and design guide that remains influential today. David Airey, author of the popular books Logo Design Love and Work for Money, Design for Love, excerpted my section on Tschichold on his blog. Read it at DavidAirey.com.

“If you’re on the lookout for a great gift for the designer in your life, here’s your answer. Graphic Icons: Visionaries Who Shaped Modern Graphic Design…is a book every designer should have on their desk.” Thank you, Design Work Life! The book has been included on some excellent gift guide lists, like Grain Edit and Designers and BooksAqua-Velvet calls Graphic Icons a “visually rich book…Brimming with a who’s who list of international graphic designers whose work has both shaped our industry in a significant and ongoing manner…the book seeks to serve as an entertaining primer.”

Very Short List is a great email highlighting 3 items from different themes each day (food, tech, culture, lit, etc.). I curated a list all about graphic design.

The 2014 Winter Olympics recently took place at Sochi, Russia. While most people are interested in the sporting events, I tend to focus on the design. Two of the most iconic designers for the Olympics are Japan’s Yusaku Kamekura and Germany’s Otl Aicher, and I wrote a blog post about them at Peachpit.

Black Creatives, the premier network for multicultural talent, highlights the accomplishments of Georg Olden, the pioneering African American graphic designer, in an excerpt from Graphic Icons. Read Celebrating Creative Contributions: Graphic Icons. Graphic Birdwatching is a new platform for women in graphic design. They are featuring an excerpt from Graphic Icons on Cipe Pineles, the first female art director of a major U.S. magazine, and the first female member of the Art Directors Club. There is also a photoset featuring some the women featured in Graphic Icons on Women in Graphic Design, a blog dedicated to exhibiting design work by women.


Career Tips

Researching and writing my book Graphic Icons: Visionaries Who Shaped Modern Graphic Design, which profiles industry pioneers from the early 1900s to today, taught me so much about design. But I also learned many valuable lessons about working that apply to all creative professionals. I shared that knowledge in a guest post at The Creative Group’s blog called 5 Career Tips from Famous Graphic Designers.