AIGA DC Design Week

I’ll be speaking at AIGA DC on October 21 as part of their Design Week. AIGA is celebrating its 100th anniversary, and the DC chapter is celebrating its 30th, so it’s a perfect time to discuss Lessons from the Design Icons, wisdom on design, creativity, work and life I learned from the legendary designers profiled in my book. Register online, and check out the Q&A I did with AIGA’s Scott Kirkwood. Hope to see you there!

Digital Design Icons

The designers who designed not only on the screen, but for the screen, ushered in a new era of digital design, mixing media and incorporating motion, sound and interactivity. Read my post about pioneers such as Wim Crouwel, April Greiman, and John Maeda at Smashing Magazine.

Design Lessons on Co.Design

Simplify, visualize, know your user: the lessons of these design pioneers, from El Lissitzky to Paula Scher, are as relevant as ever. Read my guest post, complete with slideshow, at Fast Company’s Co.Design.

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

“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.